Arlington, VA (May 16, 2020) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) today applauded the US House of Representatives for passing the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.
“This is important legislation that will provide critical financial assistance to all levels of education,” said Joyce Smith, the association’s CEO. “NACAC appreciates Congress’ diligent efforts during these trying times.”
While the legislation passed the House on Friday, it must also pass the Senate or be reconciled with their version of the bill before being sent to the president for his signature. The legislation would, among other things:
- Provide $90 billion for education, of which approximately 65 percent would go to K-12 education, 30 percent would go public higher education, and the remainder appears to be reserved for other educational expenses as determined by governors;
- Provide $7 billion for private, nonprofit higher education;
- Prohibit the US Secretary of Education from imposing any restrictions on who is considered a student for the purposes of HEROES Act and CARES Act based on anything other than their enrollment status at an institution. This provision ensures that undocumented students enrolled at an institution of higher education can receive financial support under these two bills;
- Direct the US Secretary of Education to make private student loan payments on behalf of certain borrowers through the end of September 2021 or until such time as $10,000 in loan payments have been made;
- Extend the suspension of payments, interest, and collections activity under CARES and HEROES to September 30, 2021. The previous date was September 30, 2020;
- Require the US Secretary of Education to make payments on behalf of certain borrowers for all covered federal loans up to $10,000;
- Clarify that any form of emergency financial aid a student receives is not taxable;
- Forgive the federal loans of students who were defrauded by certain colleges.
These measures would play a critical role in helping students, schools, and colleges weather the economic hardships associated with the coronavirus shutdown. NACAC urges the Senate to approve the legislation or begin work on their version of a relief bill as soon as possible so the two can be quickly reconciled and the aid disbursed to students, schools, and universities.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.
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