November 5, 2021

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 40

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Monday, the Education Department (ED) convened its second rulemaking committee panel to continue working through changes to various student aid programs, such as income-driven repayment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and borrower defense to repayment. Recall that ED announced a plan earlier this year to solicit feedback regarding rulemaking on several student aid issues and convened its first meeting in early October. The committee will meet again in December with a goal of finalizing the regulations by November 2022. More information can be found here.  

A group of Democratic lawmakers sent a letter urging ED Secretary Miguel Cardona to consider additional measures simplifying and expanding student loan discharge options and student loan repayment plans as part of EDs negotiated rulemaking process. The additional measures include:

  • Streamlining the current income-driven repayment plans into a single plan that expands relief for borrowers;
  • Speeding the processing of borrower defense claims and expanding protections for students; and
  • Making the recent improvements to the PSLF program permanent.

News You Can Use

Financial aid offices face staffing shortages.

PSLF overhaul hits an early stumbling block: the federal loan servicer is still rejecting borrowers under old program rules.

Big changes to student loan bankruptcy rules may be coming.

A recap of the upcoming federal student loan servicing changes.

Recent Legislation

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

S. 3081Tax-Free Education Act [Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)] would allow students and families to deduct the cost of tuition and related expenses for higher education (and K-12 education) from their household income tax each year, including the interest amount of each education loan.