This Week In Washington
This week, the Department of Education (ED) continued its negotiated rulemaking session to redraft Borrower Defense to Repayment regulations. These regulations would clarify which acts or omissions (e.g., fraud) by a school may be used by a borrower as a defense to repayment of a federal Direct Loan. At this session, negotiators tackled a range of issues including setting a new standard for relief, discharging debt for schools that close, and evaluating guaranty agency collection fees. The third and final round of negotiations will take place in February. ED is expected to release final regulations by November 1, 2018, with an effective date of July 1, 2019.
As a reminder, the House passed out of committee its version of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The PROSPER Act would place a new cap on graduate student loans at $28,500, eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and terminate time-based forgiveness for borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment plans. Read our full summary of the bill and our statement calling for substantial improvements to be made.
And tune in for our Facebook Live Chat on February 8to learn more about how these changes could directly impact the future of your students.
News You Can Use
The mobilization of graduate student groups ensured that taxing graduate tuition waivers was not included in the final tax bill. As the House and Senate work on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, these groups will turn their attention and advocacy towards provisions that may harm graduate students.
Law schools raise concerns about the PROSPER Act’s proposals to cap graduate borrowing at $28,500 a year and eliminate the PSLF program, citing limitations on access and the pursuit of public service careers.
No student aid-related bills were introduced this week for consideration by the 115th Congress.