today’s news for Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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The House Committee on Education and Labor on Wednesday formally unveiled how it plans to allocate its pot of the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, with increased funding and expanded eligibility for the Pell Grant program, grants for tuition-free community college, tuition assistance for HBCUs, MSIs, and TCUs, new retention and completion grants, and a change to PSLF eligibility for active duty members of the armed services. The committee completed its markup and voted to advance the bill on Friday, sending the measure to the House Budget Committee for the next step in the reconciliation process.

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With the last comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) occurring in 2008, the law has been overdue for another reauthorization for nearly a decade. Since NASFAA began working on reauthorization in 2012, changes to higher education delivery and instruction, along with piecemeal modifications to the student aid programs through other laws, regulation, and executive action, have required a continual review of our initial recommendations. Today NASFAA published the most recent update to its recommendations to modernize the HEA to meet the needs of today’s students and institutions. These refreshed recommendations reflect the ever-changing postsecondary landscape.

This edition of the Capitol Recap includes seven higher education related bills having to do some loans and repayment, campus-based programs, affordability and quality and accountability. In August, we saw two bills which dealt with student loan interest, one which would allow borrowers to refinance their loans when interest rates are low, and another introduced by Sen. Rubio which would get rid of the current interest rate practice, and in it’s place borrowers would have a one-time, non-compounding origination fee to be paid off over the life of the loans. NASFAA’s Capitol Recap provides summaries of each bill introduced in July while the NASFAA Legislative Tracker provides a comprehensive list of all student aid-related bills introduced so far this Congressional session.

Tune in tomorrow, Wednesday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET to join NASFAA’s Susan Shogren as she reviews the factors that affect the Cohort Default Rate (CDR) calculation and moderates a panel of financial aid administrators about their solutions for reducing CDRs and helping their borrowers navigate federal loan repayment successfully. Register for this webinar now. 




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