June 28, 2024

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 8 - Issue 22

Policy and Advocacy

This Week in Washington

On Monday, two federal judges in Missouri and Kansas made separate rulings issuing preliminary injunctions against parts of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan. At issue in the Missouri case was a provision that would, after 10 years, cancel the debt for those who borrowed $12,000 or less in federal student loans. The plaintiffs argued that the Biden-Harris Administration lacked authority to forgive student loans under the SAVE plan and that the forgiveness provision would harm the Missouri Higher Education Assistance Agency by reducing the fees paid to it by the Education Department (ED).

In the Kansas lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that the Biden-Harris Administration lacked congressional authority to enact the SAVE plan. Though the judge declined to block the entire program, a provision slated to be implemented on July 1, 2024 that would lower payments for borrowers was blocked. Specifically, the provision would cap payments for borrowers with only undergraduate student loans at five percent and borrowers with only graduate student loans at 10%. Borrowers with both undergraduate and graduate student loans would have payments capped between five and 10% based on a weighted average.

The Missouri injunction will take effect immediately while the Kansas decision was deferred until June 30 so that ED has time to appeal the decision. The White House announced that the Administration plans to appeal both decisions.

News You Can Use

A recent report by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University revealed that the return on investment in earnings and career outcomes varies widely across law schools.

A new report from Ellucian finds that financial aid processing time, not just aid amounts, impacts students’ college-going decisions.

Recent Legislation

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

S.4565Student Protection and Success Act [Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)] would remove federal student loan eligibility from all higher education institutions where less than 15% of students can begin repaying their loans within three years of leaving or graduating and require institutions to pay a “risk-sharing fee” based on the total loan volume their students are not able to repay.