The PROSPER Act, new legislation introduced by the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee Chairwoman, Rep. Virginia Fox (R-NC) and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) includes major proposals aimed at reshaping federal higher education policy.
As the IHEP team analyzed the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, we searched for evidence-based policies that support college completion, prioritize need-based aid, and promote college access and success for underrepresented students, including incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students.
PROSPER makes a few promising strides by rethinking the Federal Work Study program and calculating program-level debt and earnings metrics for students who receive federal student aid, providing students and families with better—yet still incomplete—information to help them make decisions. But it stops short of making policy proposals that could significantly transform the higher education policy landscape, including making Pell Grants available to incarcerated students or lifting the existing ban on student-level data. And in some cases, the bill would directly make college less affordable for low-income students by cutting their need-based aid.
We've outlined many of PROSPER's key provisions alongside our team's analysis. Our PostsecData team has also done an in-depth analysis of one of the many major proposals outlined in the legislation: the College Dashboard.
I invite you to read IHEP's analysis of the PROSPER Act, a look at why Incomplete Data Leaves Us With Incomplete Student Outcomes, and our take on the PROSPER Act's proposed College Dashboard.
Institute for Higher Education Policy