ED Publishes Notice Detailing Authority to Carry Out Student Debt Relief

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) on Wednesday unveiled an official notice detailing its authority to carry out President Joe Biden’s student loan debt cancellation plan.

The Federal Register notice ties the administration’s authority to the Higher Education Relief Opportunities For Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 and directly links the relief to the ongoing national emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as was previously described in a memo that accompanied the August announcement to implement debt cancellation.

“The Secretary determined that the financial harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has made the waivers and modifications described in this document necessary to ensure that affected individuals are not placed in a worse position financially with respect to their student loans because of that harm,” the notice explains. “The Secretary further determined that the modifications and waivers as described in this document will help minimize the administrative burdens placed on affected individuals.”

According to ED, the authority to carry out student loan debt relief will sunset once the COVID-19 national emergency ends.

“The waivers and modifications of statutory and regulatory provisions are effective October 12, 2022,” the notice writes. “Unless specifically noted within a waiver or modification identified below, a waiver or modification identified in this document expires at the end of the award year in which the COVID-19 national emergency expires, unless the waiver or modification is otherwise extended by the Secretary in a document published in the Federal Register.”

The notice comes amid half a dozen legal challenges that have been filed to challenge the program.


Publication Date: 10/13/2022

Darren C | 10/17/2022 8:52:43 AM

So the Federal Government who through their actions created a " national emergency" then uses said emergency to justify erasing student loan debt. Interesting how that works. Seems like through that type of process they would be able to justify any action.

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