February 21, 2020

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 4 - Issue 6

Policy and Advocacy

This Week In Washington

Department of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, will testify before the House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee on February 27 in an annual hearing regarding the President’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal. Recall that the budget proposed capping annual Grad PLUS limits at $50,000 and aggregate limits at $100,000, eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, increasing the amount paid under Income-Driven Repayment plans from 10 percent to 12.5 percent and extending repayment forgiveness from 25 to 30 years. You can read our brief summary of the budget here and our statement here.

Last week, Senate Democrats sent letters to student loan lenders and servicers asking for information regarding their use of education data in determining access to credit and setting interest rates. This comes after a report accused lenders of charging students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions higher interest rates than students from predominantly white institutions with the same credit profile.

News You Can Use

The American Talent Initiative put out an impact report on its efforts to increase the number of low- and middle-income students at colleges and universities with high graduation rates.

Some HBCUs are actively trying to ease the heavy debt burden facing their students.

An overview of what the Department of Education’s new initiative, the Next Generation Financial Services Environment (“Next Gen”), means for student loan borrowers.

Anthony P. Carnevale, Director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, writes on the racial disparities observed in higher education and what can be done to make college more equal and accessible.

Recent Legislation

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