January 19, 2024

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 8 - Issue 2

Policy and Advocacy

This Week in Washington

Late last week, the Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairwoman, Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5), introduced the College Cost Reduction Act aimed at lowering the cost of college. Some of the bill’s provisions include:

  • Eliminating origination fees;
  • Eliminating interest capitalization;
  • Eliminating the Grad PLUS Loan program;
  • Limiting the amount of federal student loans a student can receive annually at the median cost of attendance for students enrolled in similar degree programs nationally;
  • Capping the aggregate student loan limit at $150,000 for professional students, $100,000 for graduate students, and $50,000 for undergraduate students;
  • Creating a new income-driven repayment plan that would end time-based forgiveness; and
  • Standardizing the format and content of financial aid offer letters.

The White House announced plans to implement a provision of the SAVE plan, the new income-driven repayment plan created by the Education Department (ED), earlier than expected. The provision, which forgives the debt of borrowers who borrowed less than $12,000 and who have made payments for 10 years, was supposed to be implemented in July 2024 but will now take effect next month. ED is not yet aware how many of the borrowers currently enrolled in the SAVE plan will benefit from the forgiveness.

Recent Legislation

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

H.R. 6951College Cost Reduction Act [Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5)] would initiate comprehensive reform to postsecondary education, such as standardizing financial aid offer letters, eliminating Grad PLUS loans, and reforming student loan repayment.

H.R. 6914Pregnant Students’ Rights Act [Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA-2)] would require institutions to make protections and options available to pregnant students, including flexible class schedules, excused absences, and childcare assistance.