February 3, 2023

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 7 - Issue 3

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Monday, the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Wharton released a cost estimate of the Biden-Harris Administration’s proposed changes to income-driven repayment (IDR) plans over the next 10 years. According to the budget model, it is estimated that the IDR changes would cost between $333 to $361 billion. This estimate is significantly higher than the $137.9 billion that the Education Department (ED) estimated. The difference in cost is because ED assumes that enrollment rates in IDR plans will stay the same, while the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Wharton’s budget model assumes an increase from 33 percent to between 70 and 75 percent.

On Wednesday, the White House released a report from ED on how colleges and universities spent federal COVID relief funding in 2021. According to the report, $19.5 billion was spent on emergency grants to students, $1.5 billion was spent on discharging unpaid student account balances, and $21.5 billion was spent on institutional purposes such as reimbursement for lost revenue due to the pandemic.

News You Can Use

New data show that undergraduate college enrollment is stabilizing after steep declines in recent years. 

Recent Legislation

The following bill(s) have been recently introduced for consideration by the 118th Congress (2023-2024): 

H.R. 644 - Student Loan Borrower Safety Net Act [Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1)] would support federal student loan borrowers in preparation for the end of the payment pause by providing them with timely notices about when repayments will resume, information on eligibility for available repayment plans, and options for borrowers who are in default.