Washington — President Bush signed legislation today to renew the Higher Education Act, the major law governing federal student aid.
The White House announced the action unceremoniously and without comment, simply listing it among two other bills that Mr. Bush also signed today.
Among its provisions, the law creates dozens of grant programs for colleges and students while imposing hundreds of new reporting requirements on institutions. It cracks down on conflicts of interest in student-loan programs, presses institutions and states to rein in tuition, and makes it easier for for-profit colleges to become, or to remain, eligible to award federal student aid.
It also seeks to prevent students from taking out private loans unnecessarily, and it prohibits the secretary of education from dictating how colleges measure student learning for purposes of accreditation.
Margaret Spellings, the secretary of education, had voiced her displeasure about the dozens of new grant programs Congress included in the bill. In a letter she sent to lawmakers after it passed, Ms. Spellings said that the White House supported many parts of the bill but remained concerned about the more than 60 “new, costly, and duplicative programs” that the legislation would create. That criticism appears not to have been so deeply felt as to warrant a veto. —Sara Hebel