June 4, 2021

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 19

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

Late last week, President Biden released part-two of his fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget proposal which included an increase in Department of Education spending by nearly 41 percent. The proposal contained several notable provisions related to higher education, including:

  • An increase of $600 million in Higher Education Act (HEA) Title III funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and other under-resourced institutions.
  • Two years of subsidized tuition for students from families earning less than $125,000 enrolled in a 4-year HBCU, MSI or Tribal College and University.
  • Limiting low- and middle-income families childcare costs to no more than seven percent of their income.
  • $25 million in increased funding to the Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
  • A call to work with Congress on changes to improve the Income-Driven Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs.

Read AccessLex’s statement of support here and a more detailed discussion of the proposal here.

The U.S. Department of Education announced on Friday it has replaced Trump-era guidance with a new policy to handle requests for information that federal loan servicers receive from third parties, such as state attorneys general, state regulators, and borrowers. In a blog post, Office of Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer, Richard Cordray, said that the previous guidance resulted in these types of requests being rejected, and that this new policy will help state officials better enforce their laws to protect borrowers.

News You Can Use

More colleges are cancelling institutional student debt using American Rescue Plan stimulus funds — will others follow?

Can President Biden shrink the Black-White wealth gap without canceling student loan debt?

New survey finds that the increase in Professional Judgment requests that began during the onset of the pandemic in 2020 continues.

Recent Legislation

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

H.R. 3641Military Spouse Student Loan Deferment Act [Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)] would allow a military spouse of an active duty servicemember to defer their student loan obligations and pause interest accrual for 90 days while they transition through a permanent change of station move.