The Department of Education (ED) is requesting public comments that will aim to identify and resolve challenges with the implementation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
The request follows the department’s recent announcement of PSLF as a possible topic for upcoming negotiated rulemaking sessions and public hearings in which long-term issues centered around the PSLF program were a part of daily commentary.
“The Office of the Under Secretary solicits these comments to identify operational improvements to the PSLF program and to inform determinations about technical improvements, borrower experiences, policy considerations, or other factors that should be considered to improve access to PSLF,” said Julie Margetta Morgan, ED’s senior advisor and acting under secretary.
Reforming PSLF has been an issue of primary concern with several public service workers having detailed their own cumbersome experiences seeking forgiveness through PSLF, often ending unsuccessfully, which has been the case for a vast majority of borrowers throughout the program’s existence.
“While the basic structure of the PSLF program is statutory and therefore must be addressed by Congress, we are encouraged to see that ED intends to use the regulatory process to implement operational improvements to improve the borrower experience and expand access to this critical borrower benefit,” said Karen McCarthy, NASFAA’s director of policy analysis.
In its latest request for comments, ED is encouraging comments from individual students and student loan borrowers specifically calling for input from:
— Organizations representing students and student loan borrowers.
— Labor unions and other organizations representing public service workers.
— Legal services providers and other organizations that provide counseling or direct assistance to student loan borrowers.
— Public service employers.
— Researchers and policy experts.
— Student loan market participants.
— Institutions of higher education.
— Other members of the public.
“We have more work to do if we want the PSLF Program to live up to its promise,” Morgan said.
Comments must be submitted to ED by Sept. 24.
Publication Date: 7/26/2021