August 13, 2021

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 29

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

The Education Department (ED) announced that it is extending the pause on federal student loan payments, interest accumulation, and collection activities that was set to expire on September 30, 2021 to January 31, 2022.  Recall that Democratic leaders had been urging the Biden-Harris Administration to extend the pause to March 31, 2022, or until the employment rate hit pre-pandemic levels. ED said that the extension was made to allow borrowers to prepare for payments to resume and avoid unnecessary delinquencies and defaults. ED also noted that this will be the final extension and that it will be working to notify and transition borrowers back into repayment.

This week, ED published a notice in the Federal Register establishing a negotiated rulemaking committee that will be tasked with updating regulations for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, income-contingent repayment plans, and other issues. Recall that back in June, ED held public hearings to solicit feedback regarding future rulemaking on federal higher education policies. AccessLex Institute CEO Chris Chapman spoke at one of the public hearings and the Company submitted comments that you can read here.

News You Can Use

Many student borrowers are still ‘underwater’ ahead of repayment restart, according to new data obtained from ED.

Multiple transfers and prolonged upheaval for borrowers is expected as a result of the latest student loan servicing changes.

Beth Akers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses discharging student loans in bankruptcy.

Recent Legislation

There were no relevant student-aid related bills recently introduced for consideration by the 117th Congress (2021-2022).