December 9, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 6 - Issue 31

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Wednesday, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5) received a waiver from the Republican Steering Committee allowing her to move forward with seeking a term as the new Chairwoman on the Education and Labor Committee in the next Congress. Rep. Foxx sought the waiver because current Republican rules prohibit members from serving more than three consecutive terms as leader of a committee. POLITICO is reporting that, as of now, Rep. Tim Wahlberg (R-MI-7) is planning to run against her in the race for chair. These elections, which were originally planned for later this month, may be pushed to early next year, after the Speaker’s race on January 3, 2023.

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments regarding a challenge to the Biden-Harris Administration’s student loan forgiveness plan. The challenge comes from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals that issued a temporary block of the forgiveness plan until the court ruled on an emergency request by six Republican-led states to prevent the student debt forgiveness policy from going into effect. It is expected that the case will be argued in front of the Supreme Court in February of 2023, with a decision in June.

The Administration is also asking the Supreme Court to pause a ruling from a second challenge to its forgiveness plan that struck down the program as illegal. In that case, a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of the Job Creators Network Foundation citing that the forgiveness program was unconstitutional. The ruling was later upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. If the pause is not granted, the Administration is asking the Supreme Court to hear both challenges at the same time.

News You Can Use

Student loan debt experienced its biggest drop in 20 years, which may be due to President Biden’s student debt relief efforts and a drop in college enrollment.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on financial aid packages and what colleges need to do to improve information on college costs and student aid. One of the GAO’s specific recommendations is for Congress to consider legislation requiring colleges to give students financial aid offers that adhere to best practices for providing clear and basic information.

Recent Legislation

There were no relevant student-aid related bills recently introduced for consideration by the 117th Congress (2021-2022).