Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA)

  • Date: March 01, 2011
  • Source: Admin
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The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) is a higher education reform bill. This legislation focuses on expanding college access and preparing minority students for competitive and innovative jobs. This came about in response to growing public concerns over ever-rising costs associated with higher education, particularly textbooks and supplemental course materials, and threats to academic quality.

  • HEOA is renewed every 6 years
  • Transparency in college costs information empowers consumers
  • Reduction in course materials costs encouraged by stakeholders working together


Regarding course books/text books


·         Disclose, copyright date history, and alternate formats and net prices of those alternates, if an by faculty & other adopters on campus

·         Offer the parts of all bundled textbooks for sale separately, except for integrated textbooks (read the definition of bundles)

Institution -


·         College’s internet course schedule to list ISBN and Retail Price or be linked from the schedule to another appropriate web site such as the bookstore.

·         Author, title, and copyright date to be posted if ISBN is not known.

·         College to post “to be determined” for any information not available

Institution -

For College bookstores

·         Information to their bookstore (s) to be supplied by colleges:

·         Course schedule for the next term

·         Adoption information

·         Number of enrolled students

·         Maximum student enrollment for such course or class.


·         Creates a new competitive pilot grant to fund up to 10 institutions and their college bookstores who wish to experiment with offering students textbook rental programs to reduce the net costs for students up to 10 million.

·         Raise the authorized maximum Pell Grant award from $6,000 to $8,000 by 2014. The minimum Pell Grant award will also change from the current $400 to ten percent of the maximum grant award set by the appropriations process for the year. (5.4 million Pell Grants were awarded in 2006/2007)

·         Expand the current campus based financial aid programs formula for books and supplies from $450 to $600;

·         4. Requires a new Government Accountability Office study in 2013 to review the implementation by institutions, bookstores, and publishers, as well as the cost, and benefits to institutions and students of the provisions


Highlights of HEOA

Section 111 - Transparency in College Tuition for Consumers

·         requires institutions of higher education to post a "net price" calculator on their Web sites.  Students can log on and enter relevant information. The calculator provides an estimated total cost of attendance along with an estimated net price and estimated grant aid.

·         requires the U.S. Department of Education to begin publishing a number of lists: The Top 5% of institutions with:

         highest tuition and fees for the most recent year

         highest net prices for the most recent year

         largest percentage increases in tuition for the most recent three years

         lowest tuition and fees for the most recent year

         lowest net price for the most recent year

Section 483 - Improvement to Paper and Electronic Forms and Processes

·         requires the U.S. Department of Education to develop a new EZFAFSA to be used by low-income families

·         requires the U.S. Department of Education to work to reduce the data elements in the FAFSA by 50 percent

Section 484 - Model Financial Aid Form

·         requires the U.S. Department of Education to offer recommendations in the development of a uniform financial aid award letter. 

·         award to be "consumer-friendly, simple, and easy to understand."

 Regulations related to Peer-to-Peer file sharing on campus networks - three primary requirements:

  • An annual disclosure to students describing copyright law and campus policies related to violating copyright law.
  • A plan to "effectively combat" copyright abuse on the campus network using "one or more technology-based deterrents".
  • Agreement to "offer alternatives to illegal downloading".


Since HEOA is a federal law, noncompliance with these new policies could put in jeopardy federal funding, severe fines and a reduction of state aid.



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