FINISH Act is Key to Supporting Higher Education Innovation and Efficiency in Education and Workforce

On Monday, April 8, Sens. Young (R-IN), Bennet (D-CO), and Scott (R-SC) introduced the Fund for Innovation and Success in Higher Education (FINISH) Act, a bill that would support evidence-based innovations and improve efficiency in postsecondary education. As America’s workforce become more diverse and dynamic, it has become evident that a wider breadth of skills and knowledge is needed to keep our nation on track.  

With fewer than half of first-time, full-time college students graduating within four years, it has become necessary to provide new and innovative ways to assist in their educational development. This important bipartisan legislation would increase access to higher education by initiating an evidence-based grant program, Pay-for-Success projects, and open education resources. These measures will promote innovation in higher education and better support postsecondary students.  

Specifically, the bill would allow grant recipients to use some of their funds for tiered grants that increase degree attainment, improve efficiency, and increase access to higher education for students who need it most. Additionally, the bill encourages educational institutions to make instructional content more widely available, saving students money and increasing institutional effectiveness. Lastly, the legislation would authorize the Secretary of Education to approve a grant initiative that demonstrates increases in public value and social benefit to students and the public sector. To receive these grants, recipients most show tangible achievements of measurable goals.  

With a growing need for innovation in higher education, a single approach does not meet the needs of all students who often need more individualized learning methods. This legislation would assist our higher education institutions in meeting the needs of students in higher education, and we applaud Senators Young, Bennet, and Scott for their efforts.