January 7, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 46

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

Last month, President Joe Biden announced that his administration will be extending the pause on federal student loan payments, interest accumulation, and collection activities that was set to expire on January 31, 2022 to May 1, 2022.  According to the announcement, the extension was due in part to the ongoing pandemic and recent emergence of the Omicron variant. Democratic leaders had been urging the Biden-Harris Administration to extend the pause or interest accumulation, insisting that restarting the payments would create significant challenges for borrowers.

The Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) announced that it would be transferring its student loan servicing contract for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program to MOHELA. Recall that the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), which was responsible for servicing the loans of borrowers in the PSLF program, announced that it would not be extending its contract with the Education Department. FSA has said that it hopes to have the loans transferred to MOHELA by the end of 2022.

Republican leaders of the House and Senate education committees sent a letter to ED Secretary Miguel Cardona this week requesting information on ED’s decision to temporarily expand access to the PSLF program, including the legal authority to do so and the estimated cost of the expansion.

News You Can Use

Why student debt keeps growing – even when borrowers keep paying.

How President Biden’s student debt pause invigorates the push for loan forgiveness.

Student loan borrowers could face harmful budget shocks in 2022.

Recent Legislation

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