Resources: The PROSPER Act

The U.S. House of Representatives has begun work on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA) that administers policies and procedures for higher education institutions. They recently released the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity Through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act. This proposed legislation has implications for higher education across all of the nation’s accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private.

UW Impact has been hard at work tracking the bill since its formation in December. Check out our blog post, The PROSPER ACT- What is it, and how might it affect my student?, to find out more details on the PROSPER Act’s anticipated effects on students and families.

With such a robust overhaul of the HEA, it can be challenging to get a clear picture of the potential challenges and benefits of the proposed legislation. To assist, we have curated a few resources to help you better understand the PROSPER Act and its implications.



President Cauce wrote this letter to the Washington delegation regarding the PROSPER Act (this letter is addressed to Patty Murray, but letters were sent to the whole delegation). The letter highlights items of support as well as areas of concern. President Cauce urges House members to make significant changes to the bill prior to its final passage.

The American Council on Education has a 1.5 page talking points document for advocacy that addresses many of the complexities found in the PROSPER Act. It highlights both the opportunities and the shortfalls of the current bill.

The NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) divides the items in the PROSPER Act by “Concepts Supported by NASFAA” and “Areas of Concern.” This brief is from the perspective of financial aid only, and doesn’t note the cuts to underrepresented minority programs, for example.

From US News and World Report. This article from December substantially covers specific elements included in the PROSPER Act impacting student borrowing and student loan repayment options. It highlights the elimination of Stafford and PLUS loans to create the ONE Loan, the elimination of loan subsidies, repayment options, and the elimination of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The timeline this article sets forth is no longer accurate (early 2018 for a Senate version, for example). The process is taking longer than expected.

Finally, official text of the House bill may be accessed here: H.R.4508- PROSPER Act. Read full details on the impacts expected across all of higher education. Here you may also track the bill as it progresses through Congress.


Please check back with UW Impact for more information as the PROSPER Act makes its way through Congress. With our advocacy, the Act is expected to change. Keep up to date with us!