October 1st begins a new Fiscal Year for the Federal Government. The challenges facing higher education remain; Gainful Employment, Cohort Default Rates, Sequestration… and while Capitol Hill eyes the next administration, it’s anyone’s guess if we will see the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorized any time soon.
The current HEA was set to expire at the end of 2013 but has been extended through 2015 while Congress prepares for the next reauthorization. It was last reauthorized back in 2008, so a number of issues will likely will be included in the final reauthorization bill, such as affordability and college costs; access, persistence and completion; better information for consumers; student loan programs; accreditation and oversight; innovation; and the burden of federal regulations.
In the meantime, you can expect to see lot’s of focus on data and outcomes related to affordability, transparency and accountability. The trick is to understand the rules, what is of immediate consequence and do what needs to be done.