Member Advisory--July 13, 2005
Congressman Fortuño Amendment on Single Definition
Congressman Fortuño (PR) introduced an amendment today that would allow for a single definition of non-profit and for-profit institutions of higher education within the Higher Education Act (HEA) except for Titles III and V on Developing Institutions and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The effect of the amendment would be to continue to render proprietary institutions ineligible for Title V HSI funding, as well as funding under Title III, but would allow them to be treated the same as non-profits in all other titles of the HEA. Since other agencies rely on the definitions within HEA, the amendment might also make for-profit institutions eligible for other government funding for which they are currently not eligible.
While HACU appreciates the Congressman’s effort to protect HSIs and other developing and under-funded institutions from a much-expanded pool of competing institutions, we are on record as opposing the single definition throughout HEA. The uncertainty about the impact of Fortuño’s amendment on a variety of other Federal grant programs for institutions of higher education only underlines the importance of maintaining a clear distinction between the non-profit and the for-profit sectors of higher education.
HACU continues to urge Congress to maintain the current distinction and assure that the Federal funding targeted to higher education will continue to be directed to institutions whose primary and sole purpose is serving the educational needs of their students. While this assurance is especially critical for HSIs and other under-funded institutions who serve the less economically advantaged, it is also important for the entire non-profit sector in higher education.
Please take a moment to email your Congressman and the members of the 21st Century Competitiveness House Subcommittee, listed below with links to their webpages, to let them know your support for continuing the dual definition currently in place and to ask them to support Rep. Betty McCollum’s amendment, which will strike the single definition language from the entire HEA. HACU members in
Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness
Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman
(V) 202.225.1956 (F) 202.226.0683