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Committee Leaders Request Details about Obama Administration’s Higher Education Executive Actions

Dear Mr. President:

On January 16, 2014 the White House convened a summit with more than 100 college and university leaders and 40 non-profit organizations to discuss opportunities to expand access to higher education for low-income students. We share the goal of strengthening federal policy to ensure all students, regardless of income, have the opportunity to access and complete a postsecondary education. Both Congress and the administration have a responsibility to help students understand the value of postsecondary institutions and programs that can lead to success in the workforce.

Leading up to the summit, it was widely reported that college and university leaders were invited to attend only after committing to a series of pledges designed to increase low-income access and persistence on campus. Institutions made promises in several areas, including expanding college advising, improving remedial education, increasing the pool of low-income applicants in admissions, and matching disadvantaged students to the institutions that best meet their unique needs. These are all laudable actions consistent with one of our primary goals for the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act — to increase college accessibility, affordability, and completion.

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