January 28, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 47

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Wednesday, Democratic members of Congress sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to release a memo prepared by the Department of Education on the administration’s authority to cancel federal student loan debt. Recall that early last year, White House chief of staff Ron Klain announced that the president had requested a memo from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona outlining the president’s legal authority to cancel federal student loan debt. The letter alleges that the memo has been available since April 25, 2021 but has not been made public. The president reaffirmed his support for the cancelation of $10,000 in federal student loans throughout 2021 but has insisted that his administration needs to review whether he has the authority and would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.

News You Can Use

What the recent stock market slide means for student loans.

The Brookings Institution published a piece arguing that the student loan system results in costly racial disparities.

Recent Legislation

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

H.R. 6424HIGHER ED Act [Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)] would simplify income-driven repayment to one plan available to all borrowers, cap monthly payments at five percent of discretionary income, allow loan refinancing, reinstate subsidized loans for graduate students, and change the PSLF program to allow for ten percent forgiveness for every year a borrower works a public service job.

H.R. 6466Student Loan Rehabilitation and Credit Score Improvement Act [Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA-5)] would remove all adverse credit history related to a defaulted student loan if the borrower successfully rehabilitates the loan.