January 31, 2020

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 4 - Issue 3

Policy and Advocacy

This Week In Washington

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing its intent to consolidate existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF) forms and processes. Under this consolidation, there will be a single form for borrowers to use for employment certification and to apply for both the PSLF and TEPSLF programs. This will eliminate the current process under which a borrower must complete the PSLF application, be denied and then submit a separate email to be considered for the TEPSLF program. It is unknown at this time when the new form will be in use. The deadline to submit comments on the updated form is March 30, 2020.

News You Can Use

The Bipartisan Policy Center released a report outlining its recommendations for a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The proposal lists 45 policy recommendations including redesigning the PSLF program as a monthly stipend and studying the effects of capping Grad PLUS.

A bankruptcy court in New York City ordered the adoption of a student loan mediation program to help borrowers and lenders reconcile their disputes.

The Urban Institute released a report examining borrowers that hold student debt for prolonged lengths of time, finding that these borrowers tend to have: higher default rates, lower credit scores, and live in lower-income neighborhoods.

Recent Legislation

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

H.R. 3243Simplifying Access to Student Loan Information Act [Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)] would expand the National Student Loan Data System to allow students to review all their federal and private student loans, as well as repayment options, in one place.

H.R. 3219 Respect Graduate Student Workers Act [Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)] would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board from enacting a proposed rule that strips certain graduate student workers of their right to unionize.