July 29, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 6 - Issue 17

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Monday, the Education Department (ED) announced that the release of the proposed rule creating a new income-driven repayment (IDR) plan would be delayed. ED had previously said that the proposal would be released in July along with a series of other proposals, but they now plan to release the IDR portion separately. Though a final rule must be published by the end of October to take effect in the following year, the Biden administration has said that it would utilize executive power to implement the new changes if the deadline is not met. There is no word yet from ED on when they plan to release the IDR proposed rules. 

News You Can Use

A new article in The New Yorker explores student debt demographics and finds one in five student loan borrowers is over 50-years-old. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a blog post on how the clock is ticking for student loan servicers to help service members with student loans get debt relief.

New America released a new report, Trapped by Default, which discusses why borrowers default on their student loans and how the system jeopardizes their economic security.

Recent Legislation

The following bills have been recently introduced for consideration by the 117th Congress (2021-2022):
H.R. 8522 – Streamlining Income-driven, Manageable Payments on Loans for Education (SIMPLE) Act [Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1)] would automate the process of annually recertifying borrowers’ income to verify eligibility for IDR plans and discharge of federal student loans for borrowers with a total and permanent disability.
S. 4581 – Second Chance At Public Service Loan Forgiveness Act [Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)] would codify certain provisions of the PSLF temporary waiver and expand PSLF eligibility in multiple ways, including allowing public servants with loans or public service before 2007 to qualify for PSLF, letting teachers qualify for both the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and PSLF, allowing Parent PLUS loans to qualify for PSLF and replacing the 120-payment requirement for a new rule of ten years of public service employment.
S. 4589 – Family and Community Inflation Relief Act [Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-RI)] would index certain tax benefits to adjust for inflation, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit and Student Loan Interest Deduction.
H.R. 8472 – Leveraging Opportunities for Americans Now (LOAN) Act [Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA-2)] would replace federal student loan interest payments with a flexible financing fee and allow the Secretary of Education to adjust monthly and annual repayment obligations if a borrower is experiencing certain severe financial hardships.
H.R. 8496 – [Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI-6)] would prohibit the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General from cancelling student loans except as specifically authorized by law.