November 3, 2023

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 7 - Issue 38

Policy and Advocacy

This Week in Washington

On Monday, the Education Department (ED) released proposed regulatory text for its next negotiated rulemaking session regarding student loan forgiveness slated to take place on November 6-7. Recall that after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Biden-Harris Administration’s debt forgiveness plan, President Biden announced that his administration would pursue debt forgiveness through the negotiated rulemaking process using the Higher Education Act. Included in the regulatory text are proposals to cancel the debt of borrowers whose balances exceed the original principal balance, borrowers who first entered repayment 25 or more years ago, and borrowers who are not enrolled in but meet the requirements for forgiveness under a repayment plan.

On Tuesday, ED announced that it would not be providing a $7.2 million payment to Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) due to a report of billing errors. Specifically, it was alleged that 2.5 million borrowers received their billing statements late resulting in 800,000 borrowers missing their payment. MOHELA was instructed to put all impacted accounts into forbearance with zero percent interest until the issue is resolved.

Recent Legislation

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

H.R. 6077Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act [Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-28)] would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to make graduate and professional students eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans.

H.R. 6134 – [Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8)] would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require certain higher education institutions to provide notice of tuition levels for students.