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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Natow

Federal Higher Education Policy in the News -- February 18, 2020

There are several news items today regarding federal higher education policy:

The Hechinger Report on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recently released higher education plan as he runs for the Democratic nomination for president: "Bloomberg now has a plan for the future of higher education that both echoes and expands upon policies his fellow Democratic candidates have already called for: Free community college, greater investment in Pell grants and automatic income-based repayment plans for student loans. In fact, he no longer sounds like Trump at all, at least when it comes to talking about higher education."

Inside Higher Education reports on the federal college endowment tax: "It has been more than two years since President Trump signed into law a controversial new tax on net investment income at wealthy colleges and universities -- the so-called endowment tax. Since then, a few large universities have made headlines as they for the first time reported eight-figure endowment tax liabilities. Stanford University received attention for its $42.9 million estimated tax liability last week. A few months earlier, Harvard University grabbed headlines with a $37.7 million tax bill."

Inside Higher Education also reports on forthcoming Title IX regulations and the role these regulations might play in hindering a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this year: "Any deal to update the law governing federal student aid would have to overcome concerns about the highly charged new rule U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is about to release on what colleges are required do about allegations of sexual assault or harassment on campuses. That was the message from an aide to Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, who said the Title IX rule would be a stumbling block toward reauthorizing the Higher Education Act."

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