February 7, 2020

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 4 - Issue 4

Policy and Advocacy

This Week In Washington

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that the two agencies had signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding student loan complaints. Under the agreement, the CFPB will direct complaints about federal student loans to ED, and ED will direct complaints about private loans to the CFPB. The MOU does not address whether the CFPB may conduct oversight of federal student loan servicers, which the agency had been undertaking until ED ended a related agreement in 2017.

On Tuesday, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) and Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-3) sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting information about the development and approval process of the new formula used for processing borrower defense claims. Recall that the borrower defense rule, which establishes new standards and processes under which borrowers can have federal student loans discharged in cases of fraud or deception by an institution, has come under fire for making it more difficult for defrauded borrowers to receive relief.

News You Can Use

The Student Borrower Protection Center released a report that found student loan lenders may be unfairly hiking up the interest rates for borrowers who attend minority-serving institutions.

Black students take about a year longer to complete college than their white classmates, which may be one reason why black borrowers take on more student debt than their peers.

The University of Oregon says it will no longer require the Law School Admission Test for all applicants.

Recent Legislation

No relevant student aid bills were introduced this week for consideration by the 116th Congress (2019-2020).