This Week In Washington
After several months, the House is finally expected to vote on the floor on its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget resolution next Thursday. You’ll recall that this resolution, in its current form, instructs the education committee to cut a massive $20 billion from mandatory spending programs within its jurisdiction. If the current House resolution passes both chambers, there could be substantial changes to federal financial aid programs, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The Senate is expected to markup its budget resolution next week as well. Thus, we must wait to see which committees receive reconciliation instructions and for how much. Watch this space.
To get involved in stopping any potential negative changes to federal financial aid programs, visit our #MakeTheCase advocacy campaign website for resources you can use.
The Perkins Loan program is set to expire tomorrow, and a bipartisan group of 226 House members have signed on as co-sponsors to the Perkins Loan Extension Act, which would extend the Perkins Loan program for another two years for undergraduates, and one year for graduate and professional students. However, even with bipartisan support from a majority of the House, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5), chair of the House education committee, opposes the bill and it is currently not scheduled to be brought to the floor. In the Senate, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the education committee, is also opposed to extending the program and has said that the program should end because it adds a layer of complexity to a system that needs to be simplified.
If the Perkins Loan program does expire, it would not be first time. In 2015, the program ended, only to be temporarily reauthorized a few months later. Expiration of the program would not end aid for current recipients, but it would prevent new borrowers from enrolling in the program.
The U.S. Department of Education released the FY 2014 three-year federal student loan cohort default rate, which increased slightly from 11.3 percent to 11.5 percent for borrowers who entered repayment in 2014, compared to the FY 2013 cohort.
News You Can Use
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA-13) and Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA-6) urge Congress to preserve and protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Law professor argues that tuition discounting is financially unsustainable and hinders access for disadvantaged students, and the crisis is acute for law schools.
Collaboration between undergraduate pre-law faculty and law school professors could lead to success for future law school students.
The following bills were recently introduced for consideration by the 115th Congress (2017-2018):
H.R. 3835 – Eliminating the Hidden Student Loan Tax [Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA)] would remove all administrative fees on federal student loans.
H.R. 3836 – Student Loan Fair Prepayment Act [Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA)] would ensure that extra payments are applied first to the principal of the highest interest rate loan, unless the borrower requests otherwise.