Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) today introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act.
The HERO Act takes an innovative approach to reforming our higher education system by allowing individual states to develop their own systems of accrediting educational institutions, curricula, apprenticeships, programs, and individual courses. All accredited programs would be eligible to receive federal student loan money.
“The opportunity that higher education provides should not be limited to the lecture halls of brick-and-ivy universities,” DeSantis said. “The need to acquire advanced knowledge and skills beyond high school has never been greater, yet it has probably never been clearer that four-year universities are not the only way to acquire such skills. Too many of our students are being underserved by the iron triangle of accreditation bodies, universities, and the Department of Education, which prioritizes four year degrees over practical skills while putting an upward pressure on tuition. Giving states the ability to innovate will make it possible for students to use Title IV funds in pursuit of a wide-range of educational approaches at potentially a fraction of the cost.”
Original cosponsors: Reps. Dave Brat (VA-07), Ken Buck (CO-04), Ted Budd (NC-13), Neal Dunn (FL-02), Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Raul Labrador (ID-01), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Mark Meadows (NC-11), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Scott Perry (PA-04), Francis Rooney (FL-19), Mark Walker (NC-06), Daniel Webster (FL-11), Ted Yoho (FL-03).
· The HERO Act authorizes states to create an alternative, state-run process for accreditation, providing the state with the same authority as the Secretary of Education has in selecting the institutions eligible to participate in Title IV funding.
· Promotes transparency by requiring that all institutions that participate in federal student loan programs publish the percentage and number of students that receive federal, state, institutional grant aid or loans by source, and the average amount of total federal loan debt.
· Requires colleges and universities to shoulder a portion of student loans that end in default.