July 24, 2018

I congratulate Rep. Bobby Scott, the Ranking Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and his colleagues for crafting a promising bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965. Unlike the Committee majority’s “PROSPER Act,” Rep. Scott’s “Aim Higher Act” would broaden access and opportunity, mitigate costs, improve quality, protect students and taxpayers, and promote success for all students—especially those who struggle the most financially.

We are particularly grateful that the bill includes provisions addressing AASCU’s highest legislative priority in creating a federal-state partnership to prevent further state disinvestment and reverse the ominous decades-long trend of privatization of public higher education. The bill also addresses the critical needs of America’s public education system in its commitment to teacher preparation, another key priority for AASCU institutions.

The Aim Higher Act’s financial aid provisions would ensure that today’s students—and generations to come—could attain the American Dream.  Our nation’s state colleges and universities serve as engines of economic mobility and move more students from the bottom to the top quintile of income than any other sector in higher education. AASCU institutions are delivering America’s promise to millions of students, but they need federal aid programs that are configured properly and funded adequately.

The Aim Higher Act is a significant step in the right direction and provides a promising blueprint toward modernizing the federal role in higher education. We look forward to working with the Committee to further refine and strengthen this landmark legislation.


The  American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.