The SAFRA Act:  Education Reconciliation in the 111th Congress

The House and the Senate approved H.Rept. 111-89, the conference report to accompany S.Con.Res. 13, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for fiscal year 2010, on April 29, 2009. The FY2010 budget resolution includes reconciliation instructions directing the Senate HELP Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee to report changes in laws within their jurisdictions to reduce the deficit by $1 billion for the period of FY2009 through FY2014. The instructions for the House specifically direct the Education and Labor Committee to report a bill that invests in education while reducing the deficit by $1 billion over the FY2009-FY2014 period.

H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, was introduced on July 15, 2009, in response to S.Con.Res. 13, to increase student aid through loan reform, improve college access and completion rates, invest in educational facilities and early childhood education, and other purposes. On July 27, 2009, the House Education and Labor Committee reported H.Rept.111-232 to accompany H.R. 3221 to the House Budget Committee for incorporation into the budget reconciliation bill and to the whole House for passage.

On September 17, 2009, the House passed H.R. 3221 by a vote of 253 to 171. H.R. 3221, as passed by the House, would amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, by making changes to existing programs and by establishing several new programs and benefits. It would also establish several new non-HEA programs. Major proposals in H.R. 3221 would include the following.

  • The authority to make loans under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program would be terminated after June 2010.
  • Beginning July 1, 2010, all student loans made under Title IV of the HEA would be made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (DL) program.
  • Beginning July 1, 2010, a new Federal Direct Perkins Loan would be offered under the DL program; and authority to make new loans under the current Federal Perkins Loan program would end.
  • Beginning in FY2010, indefinite mandatory appropriations would be provided for the Federal Pell Grant program to supplement annual discretionary appropriations.
  • Effective for AY2011-2012, the HEA, Title IV federal student aid need analysis methodology would be simplified and requirements for aid applicants to report certain asset-related financial information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) would be eliminated.
  • Mandatory funding for HEA programs serving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority-Serving Institutions would be provided for FY2010 through FY2019.

Southern University and A & M College received the first SAFRA award for the fiscal year 2010 - 2011.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Kim Chavis Director,

HBCU Title III Program
1036 Harris Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
Phone: (225) 771-2330

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