September 3, 2021

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 31

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

The Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) held a Federal Policy Update webinar providing updates to several pieces of recently passed legislation including the following:

  • Regarding the Stop Student Debt Relief Scams Act of 2019, which bolsters the ability of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and law enforcement to target student debt relief scams and prevent vulnerable borrowers from being victimized, FSA made changes to exit counseling materials warning borrowers about debt relief companies.
  • Regarding the FUTURE Act, which permanently reauthorized $255 million in annual funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions, simplified the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and streamlined the process for verifying the income of borrowers applying for and looking to remain enrolled in income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, FSA provided a timeline for when implementation would begin.

FSA plans to post a video of the webinar in the coming weeks, but webinar slides can be accessed here.

News You Can Use

Student loan borrowers are still having their wages seized and are owed $37 million in garnished wages, according to a new analysis by the Student Borrower Protection Center.

How some companies in the private sector are weighing in on America's student debt crisis.

NPR affiliate WBUR discusses the state of student loans as end of the pause on payments looms.

Recent Legislation

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

H.R. 5084Student Loan Refinancing Act [Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH-10)] would provide for the refinancing of certain federal student loans.

H.R. 5126Combating Predatory Lending in Higher Education Act [Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24)] would require that certain loans made to parents on behalf of a dependent student and to graduate students are included in the definition of cohort default rate (CDR). The bill also requires the Secretary of Education to report default rates for such loans.