The 2008 HEA reauthorization bill created, modified, and funded various federal student aid programs. Changes include an increase in the Pell Grant maximum and federal student loan borrowing limits; a decrease in the interest rate on subsidized loans; expanded loan forgiveness; expanded eligibility for the PLUS program, including eligibility for graduate students; and creation and funding of the Academic Competitiveness Grant, SMART Grant and TEACH Grant programs.
- Effective July 1, 2009, the law increases the authorized Pell Grant maximums for eligible students.
- The bill eliminates the Academic Achievement Incentive Scholarships program.
- Requires the Secretary to evaluate the effectiveness of TEACH grants with respect to the schools and students served by recipients of the grants within two years of this law's enactment, and every two years thereafter.
- Beginning July 1, 2010 all veteran's education benefits will be excluded from being counted in determining eligibility for loans.