May 8, 2020

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 4 - Issue 16

Policy and Advocacy

This Week In Washington

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that colleges and universities that receive funding for emergency financial aid grants will be required to publicly disclose how they are distributing the money. Recall that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized more than $6 billion in emergency financial aid grants to colleges and universities to help students cope with the economic disruption of COVID-19. According to the guidance, colleges and universities that receive the funding will be required to post a report that includes the total amount of funding the college received and the number of students that received the grants.

News You Can Use

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) released its annual State Higher Education Finance Report, which found that state funding for higher education remains below pre-recession levels.

A comparison of five of the student loan debt relief plans currently floating in (and around) Congress.

The Education Trust explores whether debt relief and investment in HBCUs level the playing field for black students.

Recent Legislation

The following bill(s) have been recently introduced for consideration by the 116th Congress (2019-2020):

H.R. 6720Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act [Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12)] would provide student loan forgiveness to health care workers who are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

H.R. 6651 Use Your Endowment Act [Rep. Ben Cline (D-VA-6)] would deem some colleges and universities ineligible to receive certain COVID-19 emergency relief funds. It would also require schools with an endowment greater than $10 billion to return funds they may have previously received through the CARES Act. A companion bill, S.3589, was introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).

H.R. _____ - American Opportunity Student Tax Relief Act [Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35)] would require that certain emergency grants to college students authorized by the CARES Act are not taxed.