Higher Education Act Reauthorization 2013

APA submits recommendations that would ultimately increase access to postsecondary study

At the request of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the American Psychological Association has submitted recommendations for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). APA's recommendations include both suggestions for improving and strengthening the law, as well as extending support for existing programs that should be maintained — all with the goal of increasing access to and successful completion of post-secondary study, including graduate study.

APA seeks to:

  • Empower students as consumers in higher education by asking the committee to direct the Department of Education to make more of an effort to provide comprehensive, timely, accurate information about all government support for postsecondary study to students. APA encourages the department to engage graduate students and listen closely to the needs of those students (as well as undergraduate students and their families) in an effort to provide information that is of real value to them.
  • Simplify and improve the student aid and loan programs by increasing opportunities for graduate study. Graduate students with financial need should be eligible for subsidized loans, the lowest possible interest rates and have access to grant programs. APA also seeks to gain the inclusion of doctoral students of psychology more fully in grant programs (like GAANN, Javits and Mink) and to advocate for continued support for foundational programs like Federal Work Study and Perkins Loans, for which graduate students are currently eligible.
  • Increase college accessibility, affordability and completion by investing in important student support programs including TRIO and GEAR UP.
  • Promote innovation and improve access and delivery by directing funds from the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIPSE) toward rigorous research around educational effectiveness and the effectiveness of educational interventions and model. In addition, APA seeks to increase support for educational research on the teaching and training of team science, particularly at the interfaces of human behavior, medical science and technology.
  • Balance the need for accountability with the burden of federal requirements by supporting recommendations related to specialized accreditation put forward by the Association for Specialized and Professional Accreditation (ASPA).
  • Improve teacher education by investing federal resources in teacher training and make the committee aware of APA's draft report entitled "Applying Psychological Science to Using Data for Continuous Teacher Preparation Improvement." This report provides a roadmap for teacher education programs to help them use data more effectively to improve their programs.

APA's Education Government Relations Office will continue to develop APA's recommendations for HEA reauthorization and monitor federal action on higher education in general. Please visit our website for updates during the year.