October 15, 2021

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 37

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Wednesday, at a public meeting with the Treasury Department, Chief Operating Officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) Richard Cordray discussed FSA’s agenda and the important issues he hopes to tackle in the coming months. The discussion items included implementation of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Simplification Act and the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and the upcoming resumption of federal student loan payments.

Regarding the FAFSA Simplification Act and the FUTURE Act, Cordray reiterated that changes made by these laws will take two to three years to implement due to IT limitations. Recall that earlier this year, the Education Department (ED) notified Congress that it would be delayed in rolling out changes to both laws, which includes a new simplified FAFSA form for the 2023-24 school year, and data-sharing between the Internal Revenue Service and ED that will result in fewer FAFSA questions and automatic recertification while enrolled in an income-based repayment program.

Cordray also emphasized FSA’s dedication to making the PSLF application process more automated and streamlining the process for military service members. Lastly, it was noted that FSA will be heavily focusing on their outreach efforts to ensure that borrowers are aware of the upcoming resumption of federal student loan payments. A recording of the event can be found here and Mr. Cordray’s remarks begin at the 21-minute mark.

News You Can Use

What happens when student loan payments restart?

The end of the student loan payment pause is expected to be tougher on women, millions of whom left the workforce during the pandemic.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance, FSA Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray details his push for increased student loan oversight.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta highlights signs to look for to tell if a call is a student loan scam.

Recent Legislation

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

S. 2976 Student Loan Repayment Freedom Act [Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)] would allow borrowers to change their income-based repayment plan without first having to make a payment under standard repayment or enter forbearance.