February 4, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 48

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

Late last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report titled "COVID-19: Significant Improvements Are Needed for Overseeing Relief Funds and Leading Responses to Public Health Emergencies" which included a discussion about the Education Department’s (ED) plan to transition borrowers back into repayment. According to GAO, 50 percent of student loan borrowers were identified as at-risk for becoming delinquent when payments resumed and ED plans to provide more targeted communications to these borrowers as well as those who were in default on their loans, and those who were automatically paying their student loan bills prior to the payment pause. The report also noted that ED plans to temporarily suspend reporting missed payments to credit agencies in an effort to provide borrowers with more flexibility as they enter repayment. The payment pause is set to expire on May 1, 2022.

News You Can Use

More companies are considering helping workers pay student loans.

When a sudden, small expense threatens an entire college career.

How canceling $15 billion in student loan debt impacts the racial wealth gap.

Recent Legislation

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

S. 3559Fair College Admissions for Students Act [Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)] would prohibit colleges from giving admissions preference to students with legacy or donor status. It creates an exemption which enables certain HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs to use legacy preference if the school demonstrates its use serves the best interest of historically underrepresented students. A companion bill, H.R. 6559, was introduced in the House by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16).