May 1, 2022
More than a half-decade after first introducing the proposal, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Michael Bennet, D-Col., continue to champion the “Higher Education Innovation Act.”
“The bill would ensure students who attend high-quality trade schools, community colleges, and other post-secondary programs have access to federal financial aid,” Rubio’s office insisted.
The bill creates a five-year pilot program giving unaccredited institutions access to federal financial aid provided they “promote and support student success outcomes and cost-effectiveness” and “meet high student performance outcomes related to student learning and completion of education programs that benefit students and address college affordability.”
“America needs a 21st-century education system that embraces options beyond the traditional four-year college degree track,” Rubio said. “Our current accreditation system stifles innovation and leaves too many people with piles of student loan debt. This bill would help make higher education more affordable for students who choose high quality, nontraditional higher education pathways such as trade schools and community colleges.”
“As the needs of America’s economy and students continue to change, the higher education system must evolve too,” said Bennet. “Our bipartisan legislation will ensure that students have the opportunity to attend institutions like trade schools and community colleges that have a proven track record of success. This is an important step to grow our skilled workforce and lower costs for students who want to advance their education.”
Bennet and Rubio have been pushing this proposal since 2015.