March 26, 2021

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 10

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

The U.S. Department of Education released guidance regarding the use of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) grant program that was expanded as part of the recently passed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. The guidance gives institutions the ability to reimburse themselves for lost revenue due to supporting students during the pandemic. Additionally, colleges will be able to make financial aid grants to students with exceptional needs like those who are dually enrolled, non-degree seeking, or non-credit seeking.

News You Can Use

There are no easy answers on canceling student debt.

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Education collected $70.3 billion in student loan payments from borrowers, 32 percent of which is due to interest.

A year without student-loan payments: what it has meant for borrowers.

Recent Legislation

The following bill(s) have been recently introduced for consideration by the 117th Congress (2021-2022):

S. 847 – Student Loan Tax Elimination Act [Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN)] eliminates origination fees on certain new federal student loans.

H.R. 2090Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act [Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3)] would require federal student loan borrowers to receive detailed monthly reporting on their loans, including projected payments, accrued interest, total cost of attendance, and other specifics delivered in clear and direct terms.

H.R. 2160Student Loan Refinancing Act [Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-2)] would allow federal student loan borrowers to refinance their loans when interest rates are reduced.