The bipartisan deal announced Tuesday to amend legislation tied to funding historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions is moving quickly. It’s already been passed in the U.S. Senate.
In addition to making permanent $255 million in annual funding to those institutions, the so-called FUTURE Act would also simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and eliminate paperwork for the 7.7 million federal student loan borrowers currently on income-driven repayment plans by automating income recertification.
This was the latest attempt at compromise after Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the education committee, proposed a package of bills that was seen as a piecemeal approach to reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
“By permanently extending funding for these valuable institutions and streamlining our student aid system, this deal is a win-win. Now, I look forward to continuing to work with my Republican colleagues on efforts to overhaul the Higher Education Act in a comprehensive, bipartisan way that does right by all students,” Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington and the ranking member on the Senate education committee, said in a statement.