March 11, 2022

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 5 - Issue 53

Policy and Advocacy


This Week in Washington

On Thursday, the Congress passed a Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations package, averting a government shutdown. The funding bill provides money for several higher education priorities including increasing the maximum Pell Grant award by $400 and increasing funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities by $452 million. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that is has identified 100,000 borrowers who are eligible for forgiveness under the temporary Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver. It estimates that forgiving the student loans of these borrowers will result in $6.2 million in debt relief. Borrowers have until October 31 to take advantage of the flexibilities offered by the limited PSLF waiver.

Politico reported this week that ED has instructed its federal student loan servicers not to provide borrowers with notices about student loan payment resumption. This news is being seen as further evidence that the Biden administration may provide borrowers with an additional extension of the payment pause. Recall that last week, in an interview on the podcast Pod Save America, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said that “the president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the pause expires, or he'll extend the pause.” The student loan payment pause is currently set to expire on May 1.

News You Can Use

Student loan delinquencies could return to pre-pandemic rate when payments resume – what borrowers can about it.

Recent Legislation

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

H.R. 7000Clean Slate through Consolidation Act [Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI-11)] would eliminate records of default from the credit history of student loan borrowers who have consolidated a defaulted loan.