August 5, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 6 - Issue 18

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

Late last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report regarding the updated cost of the Direct Loan program due to programmatic changes and previous inaccurate estimates. According to the report, Direct Loans will cost the federal government $197 billion, with $102 billion of that coming from emergency relief provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The Education Department (ED) had previously estimated that the program would provide $114 billion in revenue to the federal government.

Over 100 Democratic members of Congress wrote a letter urging President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to extend the pause on federal student loan payments and interest collection. They argued that ED needs additional time to implement the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver and that borrowers would have to make difficult choices between eating and paying off debt if the loan payments were reinstated. The pause on federal student loans and interest payments is set to expire on August 31, 2022.

News You Can Use

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond released an economic brief on the potential impact of the PSLF program in Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, the District of Columbia and West Virginia.

Recent Legislation

The following bills have been recently introduced for consideration by the 117th Congress (2021-2022):

H.Res. 1296 – [Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5)] is a resolution of inquiry requesting the President and Secretary of Education to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to the legal authority to forgive federal student loan debt.

H.R. 8549 – [Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT-2)] would allow certain individuals who work on farms to be eligible for PSLF.

H.R. 8643 – [Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8)] would establish a grant program for States to fund community-based nonprofit student loan consumer assistance programs.