Higher Education Update

More Resources
Federal Aid First Brochure
(available in English and Spanish)

In September 2006, Secretary Spellings announced her action plan to make higher education in the U.S. more accessible, affordable, and accountable.

News, Speeches

  • Secretary Spellings spoke at the 2008 Higher Education Summit, "A Test of Leadership," in Chicago. (Jul 18, 2008)
  • ED and Federal Trade Commission announced a consumer guide to help students and families when seeking new student loans or consolidating existing student loans to pay for college: Student Loans: Avoiding Deceptive Offers. (Jul 3, 2008)
  • A new website provides guidance, letters, and other information regarding ED's authority to purchase federal student loans under the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008. (Jun 25, 2008)
  • Secretary Spellings and Treasury Secretary Paulson announced a four-part plan to ensure that all qualified students have access to federally insured loans for the coming school year. (May 21, 2008)
  • Secretary Spellings testified at a House Committee on Ed and Labor hearing on federal student loans, where she announced a new brochure that encourages students and families to consider federal student aid before pursuing other options. (Mar 13, 2008)
  • Secretary Spellings delivered the keynote address at the National Legislative Summit of the Association of Community College Trustees and the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, D.C. (Feb 12, 2008)
  • Secretary Spellings discussed her action plan for higher education during her keynote address at the Greater Houston Partnership 2008 State of Education Luncheon. (Feb 8, 2008)
  • Secretary Spellings underscored the importance of transparency and accountability in higher education at a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. (Dec 18, 2007)
  • Secretary Spellings announced final regulations to increase transparency and protect borrower choice in the federal financial aid program. (Nov 1, 2007)
  • Secretary Spellings announced first year data results for Academic Competitiveness and National SMART Grants. (Oct 26, 2007)
  • Secretary Spellings announced an award of $2.45 million to higher education associations to provide reliable and valid measures for assessing postsecondary student learning. (Sep 28, 2007)
  • Secretary Spellings issued a statement on the signing of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. (Sep 27, 2007)
  • College Navigator helps you find colleges based on location, programs, tuition, distance learning, evening courses, and more. Save your favorites and compare up to four colleges. (Sep 25, 2007)
  • In a letter, Secretary Spellings asked colleges, lenders, and guarantee agencies to "act now to assure students and parents that we have their best interests at heart in providing competitive student loans" (Aug 9, 2007).
  • Secretary Spellings spoke at the regional higher education summit in Boston (Jun 14, 2007).
  • Secretary Spellings called for a comprehensive higher ed reauthorization law at the first regional summit in Kansas City (Jun 4, 2007).
  • Secretary Spellings hosted a summit on higher education and announced a college planning tool (Mar 22-23, 2007).
  • Secretary Spellings announced a task force on student loans and issued a statement in response to a congressional hearing on the student loan industry (Apr 24-25, 2007).
  • Accreditation Forum (Nov 29, 2006)
  • Federal Student Aid Conference (Nov 28, 2006)
  • Additional Speeches


Announcement of Action Plan (Sep 26, 2006)

See the press release, text and webcast of the announcement, photos, President's statement, and audio clips.


Office of the Under Secretary

The Office of the Under Secretary (OUS) is responsible for helping implement the Secretary's Action Plan for Higher Education.

Commission on the Future of Higher Education

  • Final Report — A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of Higher Education (2006) download files PDF (2.2M)
  • Commission Website

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Last Modified: 07/18/2008

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