House Panel Will Explore Higher Ed’s Post-COVID Future

By The New England Council

DC Shuttle …

Hearings/Markups of Interest. The House Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment, will hold a hearing on The Future of Higher Education Post COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 17 at 1 p.m. via Zoom.

Congress Passes, President Signs American Rescue Plan. President Joe Biden signed the law the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.86 trillion COVID-19 aid package that provides $40 billion for higher education including provisions for financial aid and student loan forgiveness. The House passed the legislation (H.R. 1319) by a vote of 220 to 211, after the Senate passed on a 50 to 49 vote, with no Republicans in either chamber voting for it. The legislation includes $1,400 direct payments to millions of U.S. households, an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments and school systems, nutrition and rental assistance and money for restaurants, airlines and transit agencies. Higher education institutions will receive $40 billion, and at least 50% of the total funds each institution receives must go directly to students for emergency financial aid. The legislation also includes a provision making student debt forgiven between 2021 and 2025 tax free, Inside Higher Ed reports. See the education-related provisions in the legislation here.

President Signs Title IX Executive Orders. Biden signed two executive orders directing the U.S. Education Department to conduct an expansive review of all policies on sex and gender discrimination and violence in schools, in an effort to dismantle Trump administration rules. The first executive order directs the new education secretary to review those policies, and the second establishes a gender-focused White House policy council.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week Congress is in session featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of March 15, 2021. For more information, please visit:


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