Ferguson Votes to Pass PROSPER Act out of Committee
WASHINGTON D.C. –Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, today voted to pass The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity Through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act out of the committee following a markup. The PROSPER Act will reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 for the first time since 2008.
“While the last half century has seen millions of students gain access to higher education, the reforms added to the 1965 HEA over the years have created cumbersome policies for students and institutions alike,” said Ferguson. “With six million jobs unfilled, there is clearly a skills gap between our higher education system and the realities of our economy and a growing number of students who are struggling to afford or even complete their educations. The PROSPER Act addresses these issues by limiting the federal government’s over-regulation of higher education and instead creating more transparency, accreditation accountability and modernized market-alignment to put downward pressure on college costs. I look forward to continuing to support this bill as it heads to the House floor.”
Ferguson’s bill, the Help Students Repay Act, aimed at helping students make progress towards paying down their student loan debt is included in the PROSPER Act. Currently, student loan borrowers must choose from nine different loan repayment plans, five of which are income-driven. Ferguson’s proposal would replace these five plans with a single, simplified income-based repayment plan.
A bill Ferguson cosponsored, the Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act of 2017, was also included in the final package.
Ferguson also introduced an amendment to the PROSPER Act to ensure high school students receive information about the financial aid options available for higher education. The amendment passed with bipartisan support.
The PROSPER Act passed out of committee by a vote of 23-17.