Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report calling into question the methodology used by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to estimate the utilization and costs of federal student loan borrower benefits like income driven repayment and loan forgiveness. Also last week, during a session at the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals, ED officials stated that only 139 borrowers are on track to have their loans forgiven in 2017 through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
Taken together, this information does little to allay the concerns NASFAA expressed in a letter sent in late-October to Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, and other Department of Education officials regarding the lack of transparency about the numbers of borrowers who are on track to receive loan forgiveness.
“The new PSLF numbers from the Department, combined with the methodological concerns highlighted by the GAO, only add to the confusion and concerns we have about properly identifying and reaching out to borrowers who could—and more importantly should—be benefiting from these federal programs. If the data reveal a likely large underutilization of this public benefit, steps should be taken now to help remedy this situation.”
To request an interview with a NASFAA spokesperson on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 785-6959.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 20,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit www.nasfaa.org.
Publication Date: 12/8/2016