February 11, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 49

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Monday, the Education Department announced updates to the College Scorecard to provide families with more information about higher education institutions so that they can make more informed decisions about their academic plans. The changes include updated metrics to help students compare institutions based on costs, graduation rates, and post-college earnings. Also included is an annual refresh of the cumulative loan debt of student borrowers at the institution-level, by field of study within each institution, and the federal student loan repayment rates for the institution.

Late last week, the House passed the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022 which included an amendment overturning the ban on student-level data collection and creating a student-level data network. Recall that Congress banned the creation of a student-level data system back in 2008. The Senate passed a similar bill, the United States Innovation and Competition Act, in June that did not include this amendment. The bills will go to conference committee to resolve the differences before heading to the President for his signature.

News You Can Use

Student loan data will become part of law schools' ABA-required disclosures.

College enrollment continues to slide while completion increases.

The Pew Charitable Trusts released a report on how redesigning income-driven repayment (IDR) plans could help struggling student loan borrowers. For example, the report recommends reducing interest accrual or capitalization the add-on of outstanding interest to the loan principal to prevent loan balances from unnecessarily growing under IDR plans.

Recent Legislation

The following bill has been recently introduced for consideration by the 117th Congress (2021-2022):

H.R. 6668Can’t Cancel Your Own Debt Act [Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK-4)] would prohibit any individual who serves as a Member of Congress from participating in federal programs enacted during their tenure that would cancel student loan debt. This includes any relief created by executive order, agency action, or legislative action by Congress. It would also ban Members from any service- or employment-based student loan forgiveness for time served in Congress.