This Week In Washington
Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report finding that 99 percent of Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) program applicants were denied loan forgiveness. The report highlighted that, of the $700 million appropriated by Congress for the TEPSLF program, the Department of Education (ED) only provided $26.9 million in relief. It also highlighted that 71 percent of the denials were based on the borrower not first applying for the original Public Loan Service Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
The TEPSLF program, which expands PSLF to borrowers in extended and graduated repayment plans, was established by Congress last year to help mitigate the high denial rates of the PSLF program.
In its report, GAO recommended that ED integrate TEPSLF requests into the PSLF application process, require all loan servicers to include TEPSLF information on their websites, provide denied applicants with information about options available to contest TEPSLF decisions, and include TEPSLF information in its PSLF Online Help Tool.
House Education and Labor Committee chairman, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), expressed displeasure at the findings of the GAO report stating that “the Department’s failure to implement this program is mystifying and unacceptable.” The committee plans to hold an oversight hearing on Thursday, September 19 to examine the issues raised in the report.
News You Can Use
The Center for American Progress advanced a set of recommendations on how to improve federal financial aid for student-parents.
New America released findings from a public opinion survey, which shows that, despite party affiliation and political ideology, Americans generally agree on the value of higher education, but disagree on how it should be funded.
The Roosevelt Institute released a report on how student loan debt is often more necessary, yet riskier, for black students than for their peers and how this relates to racial wealth inequality.