Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) was signed into law on August 14, 2008, reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.
Below you will find a link to the HEOA conference report, as well as links to analyses of the new law, or portions of the law, prepared by an wide array of higher education associations.
Please feel free to contact Cindy Bank in the UM's Washington, DC Office for additional information. She can be reached at bankc@umich.edu.

The HEOA conference report can be at: http://help.senate.gov/Hearings/2008_07_29_E/KOS08400_xml.pdf

Higher Education Opportunity Act -selected sections and page number references

Title I - General Provisions (p. 6)

  • Sec. 111 Transparency in college tuition for consumers (p. 22)
  • Sec. 112 Textbook information (p. 31)
  • Sec. 114 In-State tuition rates for Armed Forces members, spouses and dependent children (p. 35)
  • Sec. 119 Certification regarding the use of certain Federal funds (p. 41)

Title II -Teacher Quality Enhancement (p. 50)

  • Part A Teacher Quality Partnership Grants (p. 58)
  • Sec. 206 Teacher Development (a) annual goals (p. 77)

Title III -Institutional Aid (p. 91)

Title IV -Student Assistance (p. 113)

  • Sec. 401 Pell Grants (p. 114)
  • Sec. 402 Academic competitiveness grants (p. 115)
  • Sec. 406 Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG) (p. 141)
  • Sec. 410 Child care access means parents in school (p. 152)
  • Sec. 424 Federal PLUS loans (p. 159)
  • Sec. 429 Loan forgiveness for teachers employed by educational service agencies (p. 162)
  • Sec. 430 Loan forgiveness for service in areas of national need (p.163)
  • Sec. 431 Loan repayment for civil legal assistance attorneys (p. 169)
  • Part C -Federal Work-Study Programs (p. 186)
  • Part D -Federal Direct Student Loan (p. 189)
  • Part E -Federal Perkins Loans (p. 193)
  • Part F -Need Analysis (p. 196)
  • Sec. 483 Improvements to paper and electronic forms and processes (p. 200)
  • Sec. 488 Institutional and financial assistance information for students (p. 221)
  • Sec. 246 Regulatory relief and improvement (p. 246)
  • Part H -Program Integrity (p. 253)

Title V -Developing Institutions (p. 259)

Title VI -International Education Programs (p. 262)

Title VII -Graduate and Post-secondary Improvement Programs (p.274)

  • Sec. 702 Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program (p. 274)
  • Sec. 703 Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (p. 275)
  • Sec. 704 Thurgood Marshall Legal Education Opportunity Program (p. 276)
  • Part D -Programs to Provide Students with Disabilities with a Quality Higher Education (p. 290)

Title VIII -Additional Programs (p. 307)

  • Part A -Project Grad (p. 307)
  • Part B -Mathematics and Science Scholars Program (p. 310)
  • Part C -Business Workforce Partnerships for Job Skill Training in High-Growth Occupations or Industries (p. 32)
  • Part D -Capacity for Nursing Students and Faculty (p. 315)
  • Part G -Patsy T. Mink Fellowship Program (p. 322)
  • Part L -Student Safety & campus Emergency Management (p. 338)
  • Part R -Campus-Based Digital Theft Prevention (p. 356)
  • Part T -Centers of Excellence for Veteran Student Success (p. 359)
  • Part U -University Sustainability Programs (p. 361)

Title IX -Amendments to Other Laws (p. 382)

  • Part E -Omnibus Crime Control & Safe Streets Act of 1968 Part JJ -Loan Repayment of Prosecutors and Public Defenders (p. 402)

Title X -Private Student Loan Improvement (p. 410)

Title XI -Studies and Reports (p. 422)

  • Sec. 1102 Employment of Post-secondary Education Graduates (p. 423)
  • Sec. 1104 -Report & Study on Articulation Agreements (p.425)
  • Sec. 1106 -Analysis of Federal Regulations on Institutions of Higher Education (p. 426)
  • Sec. 1108 -Review of Costs & Benefits of Environmental, Health & Safety Standards (p. 427)
  • Sec. 1109 -Study of Minority Male Academic Achievement (p. 428)
  • Sec. 1111 -Endowment Report (p. 429)
  • Sec. 1115 -Study of the Impact of Student Lon Debt on Public Service (p. 431)
  • Sec. 1120 -Summit on Sustainability (p. 435)
  • Sec. 1121 -Nursing School Capacity (p. 435)

Association Analyses

American Council on Education's analysis can be found at:


National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)

general summary of the Higher Education Opportunity Act focuses on issues of interest to financial aid administrators and federal student aid issues can be found at: http://www.nasfaa.org/publications/2008/HEAsummary.html

National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO)


Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)


The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Summary of Title II, Teacher Quality Enhancement can be found at: http://www.aacte.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=571:finally-a-new-higher-education-act&catid=132:federal-updates&Itemid=129

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing (P2P)

The new law contains several provisions and report language on the issue of illegal "peer to peer" files haring over campus networks. To assist campuses in understanding the requirements of the new law both before and after the rulemaking process is completed, NASULGC, the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of American Universities (AAU) and EDUCAUSE have prepared an explanatory memorandum that can be found at http://www.aau.edu/intellect/Memo_JointAssn_HEOA-Rqmts_8-11-08.pdf

Below are the analyses of the following higher education associations that don't have links to web sites, and are specific to their areas of interest:

Association of American Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

Council on Graduate Schools (CGS)

Coalition for International Education

Association of American Colleges of Nursing -

AACN has been working with our House and Senate champions throughout the reauthorization process to see a number of provisions added to the bill, including:

  • Capacity for Nursing Students and Faculty Program (section 804). This program will address student capacity issues such as the insufficient number of faculty, admission seats, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints. AACN especially thanks Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), and Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) for their efforts to include this program.
  • Capacity for Nursing Students and Faculty Program (section 804). Also included in section 804, is Rep. McCarthy's Nurse Faculty Pilot Project. This program will support partnerships between hospitals and nursing schools to improve alignment between nursing education and healthcare delivery. AACN has supported this proposal in multiple Congresses as stand alone bill and is pleased to see it incorporated in the HEA reauthorization.
  • The Loan Forgiveness in Areas of National Need (section 430). By recognizing nursing as an area of national need, this program will help address our national nurse shortage through educational aid for nursing students. We again thank Rep. McCarthy for her efforts to include nursing in this and the following provision.
  • The Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (section 703). The nurse faculty shortage plays a significant role in addressing the nursing shortage. By including the field of nursing under this program, financial assistance will be provided to nurses pursuing graduate degrees and help address the critical need for additional faculty. AACN also applauds Sen. Mikulski who has championed the inclusion of this provision for many years.
  • A Study Concerning Nursing School Capacity (section 1121). This section calls for the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the capacity constraints at schools of nursing. AACN thanks Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Peter Welch (D-VT) for championing this effort.

Council on Graduate Schools -Details on Title VII -Graduate Programs

Details on graduate education programs and other provisions of interest in the bill follow. Unless otherwise indicated, authorized appropriation levels are set at "such sums as may be necessary" from FY 2009 through 2014.

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship program

The bill adds language concerning allowable interruptions of study without payment of the stipend, specifying "exceptional circumstances" to include active military service, personal or family illness, for not more than 12 months. It also adds additional qualifications for the Javits Fellowship Board to specifically include representation from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). It further clarifies that the Javits stipend level be set at the same level of support as the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program. Authorization level: $30 million for each of FY 2009-2014.

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program

Minor changes are made to the section designating the process for determination of the areas of national need, including an "assessment of current and future professional workforce needs of the U.S." The final language includes a request that the Secretary of Education continue to select nursing as a discipline covered under the GAANN program and also specifies that both Master's and doctoral degree programs are eligible to receive GAANN grants. The bill clarifies stipend levels for GAANN are equal to the NSF GRF program. Authorization level: $35 million for each of FY 2009-2014.

Masters Degrees Programs at HBCUs and PBIs

Resolution of a new Master's degree grant program at Historically and Predominantly Black institutions was one of the major sticking points in the conference discussion. The final language creates two separate competitive, institutional grant programs: one at HBCUs and another at Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). The bill states that these programs are distinct from the existing Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions program, and clarifies that that program is targeted to support doctoral and first professional degree programs at eligible HBCUs.

The new HBCU program enumerates a list of eligible institutions, and eligible master's degree programs include those in mathematics, engineering, physical or natural sciences, computer science, information technology, nursing allied health or other fields where African American students are under-represented. An institution may not receive more than one grant under this program. Among other things, funds may be used for a variety of purposes including fellowships and other financial assistance for needy students, faculty professional development, tutoring, counseling and other support services designed to improve academic success.

The PBI program language enumerates five eligible institutions; eligible fields and use of funds are the same as for the HBCU program. Authorization levels for both programs are "such sums," with an additional $11.5 million authorized for each program annually under a separate section. (The implications for actual funding are unclear at this point.)

Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans

A new competitive institutional grant program is authorized to expand post-baccalaureate opportunities, and improve academic attainment of, Hispanic students. Eligible institutions include Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) that offer graduate certificate or degree programs. Among other things, funds may be used for outreach, mentoring, fellowships, curriculum development, and academic instruction.
Authorization level: $100 million in FY 2009 and "such sums" for FY 2010-2014.

Patsy Mink Fellowship Program

The final bill establishes a program to award institutional competitive grants for fellowships to minorities and women who are seeking doctoral degrees with the intent of entering the professoriate. The agreement specifies that to the extent practicable, at least 30% of funds would be reserved for HBCUs, HSIs, or consortia that include at least one Minority-Serving Institution. Conferees intend that each grant will support a minimum of 10 fellowships.

Fellowship recipients would have to sign an agreement with the Secretary of Education to begin employment in an appropriate faculty position within three years of receiving their degree and must remain in an appropriate position for one year for each year of fellowship assistance received. Fellows who do not comply with the employment requirement would have to fully repay the loan, with interest. Waivers from the service requirement, taking into account extraordinary hardship or total disability, will be considered; regulations will be forthcoming. Fellowship award amounts will be tied to the NSF GRF levels.

Graduate Fellowships to Prepare Faculty in High Need Areas

The bill creates a graduate fellowship program to prepare individuals to become college of education faculty who will prepare highly qualified teachers ("teachers of teachers") in the fields of special education, bilingual education, English as a second language, and science. Fellowship recipients must agree to pursue a position in instruction at an institution of higher education that has a teacher-preparation program. Fellows who fail to comply must fully repay the loan, plus interest. Waivers from the service requirement, taking into account extraordinary hardship or total disability, will be considered; regulations will be forthcoming. Fellowship award amounts will be tied to GRF levels.

Partnership Grants for the Establishment of Teacher Residency Programs

A new program is authorized to award grants to programs designed to prepare teachers for success in high-need schools. Among other things, successful programs would engage teaching residents in rigorous graduate level coursework to earn a Master's degree while undertaking a guided teaching apprenticeship.

International Education Programs

The bill restores undergraduates' eligibility to receive Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. Eligible FLAS program activities now include support for instructors in less-commonly taught languages and projects that support students in STEM fields. Additionally, FLAS program applications must describe how the program will encourage government service in areas of national need and in areas of need in the education, business, and nonprofit sectors.

A new Science and Technology Advanced Foreign Language Education Grant program would provide grants to institutions that develop innovative programs for teaching foreign languages, and for professional development of current teachers of critical foreign languages ton increase the number of highly-qualified teachers.

Changes to the Institute for International Public Policy include broadening the "master's degree" component to "advanced degree", and the definition of "international affairs" has been widened to include international business, foreign languages, and the teaching of languages. The bill additionally establishes a new Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education position, and requires that all international higher education programs will have to reflect "diverse perspectives and a wide range of views".

Capacity for Nursing Students and Faculty

The final bill establishes a pilot competitive grant program to fund scholarships and release time for nurses studying for advanced degrees who intend to become faculty.

Study of the Impact of Student Loan Debt on Public Service

The bill authorizes a study of how student loan debt levels affect whether undergraduate and graduate students choose to enter public service careers after graduation. Among other things, the study shall include recommendations for programs that could encourage new graduates to enter public service careers.

Coalition for International Education

Summary of International and Foreign Language Education Provisions in the Reauthorization of HEA
Prepared by Miriam A. Kazanjian July 30, 2008

Title VI - International Education

Programmatic Amendments to Existing Law

  • Renews all Title VI programs intact for 6 years at "such sums as may be necessary."
  • Authorizes two new activities for which grant funds may be used under the National Resource Center program-
    • -instructors of the less commonly taught languages
    • -projects that promote an understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to achieve foreign language proficiency.
  • Authorizes the Department of Education to make additional grants to National Resource Centers for;
    • partnerships or programs of linkage or outreach with departments or agencies of Federal and State governments, including Federal or State scholarship programs for students in related areas.
    • linkage or outreach between or among post-secondary programs or departments in foreign language, area studies or other international fields; and state or local educational agencies.
    • Reinstates eligibility of undergraduates for FLAS fellowships.
    • Allows up to 10% of grant funds under the Sec. 604 Undergraduate Foreign Language and International Studies program to be used for educational programs abroad that are closely linked to the project's goals and promote foreign language fluency and knowledge of world regions.
  • Adds provisions to the Research and Studies program that the Secretary may, directly or through grants or contracts, conduct the systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of data and make the information collected publicly available and easy to understand.
  • Fine tunes the Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access, including authorizing the development of standards for electronic access; allowing partnerships between institutions of higher education, libraries and nonprofit educational organizations; and allowing linkages between TICFIA grant recipients and institutions of higher education, non-profit educational organizations, and libraries overseas.
  • Amends the CIBER program to-
  • include a Purpose statement about coordinating the programs of the Federal government in the areas of research, education, and training in international business and trade competitiveness.
  • includes Title III or Title V institutions among the institutions of higher education with which CIBERs may engage in outreach activities or consortia under permissible activities; and
  • add another permissible activity as follows: "programs encouraging the advancement and understanding of technology-related disciplines, including manufacturing software systems and technology management."
  • Makes several improvements to the Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP)-
  • Modifies/updates the statement of eligibility for consortium membership.
  • Allows for an advanced degree in international relations;
  • Adds a new section to provide low-income students with summer stipends of not more than $3,000 per summer, and Ralph Bunche scholarships of not more than $5,000 per academic year.

New Programs and Authorities

  • Authorizes a new program under Title VI for Science and Technology Advanced Foreign Language Education Grants with an authorization of "such sums."
  • Allows the Department of Education discretionary funding (up to 1% of Title VI appropriations) for evaluation, national outreach, and information dissemination.
  • Adds a special rule allowing the Secretary to waive or reduce the non-Federal share required under Title VI programs for Title III-A&B or Title V institutions who demonstrate a need for such a waiver or reduction.

Amendments Related to Complaint Issue

No advisory board or complaint process is included in the bill. However, several new provisions were added in response to complaints against Title VI, as follows:

  • Consultation. Prior to requesting applications under Title VI, the Secretary must consult with and receive recommendations about national need for expertise in foreign languages and world regions from the head officials of a wide range of federal agencies. The Secretary may take into account the recommendations, and must provide information collected when requesting applications under Title VI, and provide to the applicants a list of the areas of national need.
  • Survey.The Secretary must assist grantees in developing a survey to administer to students who have completed programs under this title to determine post-graduation employment, education or training. All grantees, where applicable, must administer this survey once every 2 years, and report the results to the Secretary.
  • Applications, Grant Conditions and Selection Criteria. New application requirements, grant conditions, and selection criteria are added to Title VI programs as follows:

NRCs/FLAS: The applicants for the NRC and FLAS programs must submit an application providing information and assurances the Secretary may require. The application must include an explanation of how the activities funded by the grant will reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs. Each application must also include a description of how the applicant will encourage government service in areas of national need, as identified by the Secretary, as well as in needs in the education, business and nonprofit sectors.

The Selection Criteria for the NRCs and FLAS applicants is also amended to require the Secretary to take into account the degree to which activities of centers, programs, and fellowships at institutions of higher education address national needs, and generate information for and disseminate information to the public. The Secretary must also consider an applicant's record of placing students into postgraduate employment, education or training in areas of national need and an applicant's stated efforts to increase the number of such students that go into such placements.

LRCs: Conditions for Grants is amended by adding a requirement that grants must "reflect the purposes of this part."

UISFL: The application will require an explanation of how the activities funded by the grant will reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs, where applicable; and a description of how the applicant will encourage service in areas of national need as identified by the Secretary. Grant Conditions is amended by adding a requirement that grants must "reflect the purposes of this part."

Research and Studies (IRS): An new authorized activity is added to allow "evaluation of the extent to which programs assisted under this title reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs, as described in the grantee's application."

AORC: A new subsection entitled Application is inserted, requiring each center desiring a grant to submit an application to the Secretary with information and assurances as the Secretary may require.

CIBER: Grant Conditions under the CIBER program is amended to include among the grant conditions that diverse perspectives will be made available to students in programs under this section.

BIE: Applications under the BIE program is amended requiring each application to include an assurance that, where applicable, the activities funded by the grant will reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views on world regions and international affairs.

IIPP: The Application section is amended to require that the application for the IIPP grant include a description of how the activities funded by the grant will reflect diverse perspectives and a wide range of views and generate debate on world regions and international affairs, where applicable.

  • A Rule of Construction is added, stating "Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to mandate, direct, or control an institution of higher education's specific instructional content, curriculum, or program of instruction."
  • A new Assessment section is added, stating "The Secretary is authorized to assess and ensure compliance with the conditions and terms of grants provided under this title."
  • A new biennial Report from the Secretary of Education is required: "The Secretary shall, in consultation and collaboration with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, submit a report once every two years that identifies areas of national need in foreign language, area, and international studies as such studies relate to government, education, business, and nonprofit needs, and a plan to address those needs. The report shall be provided to the authorizing committees and made available to the public."
  • A new Reporting Requirement is added for certain institutions of higher education with a Title VI center or program. Any such institution that receives a gift exceeding $250,000 in aggregate from any foreign government or from a foreign private sector corporation or foundation during any fiscal year, and which the aggregate contribution or a significant part of the aggregate contribution is used by the Title VI center or grant, must report the gift to the Secretary according to the provisions of HEA-Sec 117.
Title I -- General Provisions

Adds a broad definition of "Critical Foreign Language" that would be applied to any HEA program using this term, may be updated from time to time, and allows the Secretary to set priorities according to the purposes of each program in which the term is used.

Title II -- Teacher Quality Enhancement

Includes foreign languages under the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants accountability and evaluation provisions. Adds a new Adjunct Teacher Corps program that would create opportunities for individuals with expertise in critical foreign languages to become content specialists in secondary schools.

Title IV -- Student Assistance
  • Creates under the Federal Family Education Loan Program a new Loan Forgiveness for Service in Areas of National Need provision that includes foreign language specialists.
  • Amends the Federal Direct Student Loans program to include foreign language faculty among the public service jobs for which loan cancellation is possible.
Title VII -- Sec 607, FIPSE
  • Amends Areas of National Need to include the development, evaluation and dissemination of model programs, including model core curricula that include (among others) study of a foreign language that leads to reading and writing competency in the foreign language.
Title IX -- Amendments to Other Laws

Amends the Department of Education Organization Act creating the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education appointed by and reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Post-secondary Education. top