Ranking Member Scott Statement on the Eighth Anniversary of SAFRA

“The higher education reforms and investments made in SAFRA were historic in size and scope. As working families struggled to recover from the Great Recession, SAFRA brought relief to millions of students and parents. Notably, SAFRA made higher education more accessible and affordable by increasing the maximum Pell Grant award and indexing it to inflation; establishing the direct lending program that stopped using billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize corporate lenders; and strengthening investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs).

“As Congress looks to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), House Democrats launched Aim Higher, introducing student-centered legislation to build on the success of SAFRA and further improve college access, affordability, and completion. Unfortunately, H.R. 4508, the Republican’s misguided bill to reauthorize HEA, would undo much of SAFRA’s progress. The bill would weaken the Pell Grant program by eliminating the inflationary award increase.  H.R. 4508 would also force many graduate students and parents back into the private market, where they would enjoy less consumer protection and higher student loan costs. Additionally, the bill would end SAFRA’s investments in HBCUs and other MSIs, harming the fiscal health of these institutions and the academic prospects of the students they serve.

“I urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their partisan approach and work with Democrats to write a higher education bill that expands upon the progress of SAFRA to ensure the HEA empowers all students to pursue an affordable, quality degree that leads to a good-paying job.”

Press Contact

Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853