WISCONSINREPORT.COM (08/01/08 - U.S. Senator Russ Feingold is hailing congressional passage of legislation that will help make college more affordable for many students. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) includes a provision to broaden access to TRIO programs for colleges with branch campuses, such as the UW system, based on legislation Feingold had previously introduced.
The TRIO grant program provides outreach and assistance to low-income students and underrepresented minority students to help these students attend and succeed in college.
The bill will also increase funding levels for Pell Grants, improve teacher training, and make the financial aid application process easier for students and their families. The legislation now heads to the President for his signature.
“Reducing the financial hurdles that many college students face will help them focus on their education rather than worrying about how they’re going to pay for it,” Feingold said.
“Thanks to programs like TRIO and Pell, more students are getting the help they need. By increasing access to these important programs, we can help more students get the education they need to compete for jobs," Senator Feingold said.
"The legislation passed today by Congress is a great victory for all the students and families working to make a higher education a reality,” Senator Feingold added.
In addition to the TRIO program, Feingold also strongly supported provisions to reform the student loan system, increase Pell grants, and better train our teachers. The Feingold-backed provisions:
- Require all colleges participating in programs in the Higher Education Act to develop a code of conduct for student loan lending practices and ban gifts of more than nominal value from lenders to campus employees.
- Increase the authorized maximum for Pell Grants to $8,000 by the 2014-2015 academic award year.
- Ensure that teacher training grants will promote a wide range of teaching skills, including improving the ability of teachers to measure student achievement on different forms of assessment, such as performance-based measures, student portfolio assessments, and formative assessments which can better measure higher order thinking skills in students.