September 8, 2023

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 7 - Issue 31

Policy and Advocacy

This Week in Washington

On Tuesday, officials from the Biden-Harris Administration announced that over four million federal student loan borrowers enrolled in the new Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) income-driven repayment plan. The SAVE plan, aimed at lowering borrower’s monthly student loan payments, launched the first phase of its program on July 30 which included increasing the share of protected income from 150 percent to 225 percent of the federal poverty level and eliminating unpaid interest each month. The remaining changes will become effective July 1, 2024. Check out AccessLex Institute’s summary of the SAVE plan.

On the same day, Republican lawmakers in both the House and Senate introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the SAVE plan. The CRA would require a simple majority in both chambers to pass but is expected to be vetoed if it reaches the President’s desk.

Late last week, the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) updated its FSA Data Center which provides information regarding federal financial aid programs. The key takeaways from the update include:

  • 43 million borrowers have a total of $1.63 trillion in outstanding federal student loans;
  • Approximately 300,000 borrowers opted out of the pandemic-related payment pause; and 
  • As of mid-July 2023, approximately 662,000 borrowers qualified for forgiveness under the limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness program waiver.

News You Can Use

The Brookings Institution recently published an opinion piece on how students would benefit if the federal government collected richer race and ethnicity data.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is collaborating with the Biden-Harris Administration to raise awareness around the new income-driven repayment plan for Black borrowers.

Recent Legislation

There were no relevant student-aid related bills recently introduced for consideration by the 118th Congress (2023-2024).