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This week the Senate unveiled a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through December 16 and offer Congress additional time to work through spending levels for fiscal year 2023 following the midterm elections. The spending bill staves off debate on a number of legislative sticking points — related to agencies outside of the Department of Education’s (ED) discretion — that have held up the annual spending process and will be reconsidered during Congress’ lame duck session this November.
On Wednesday NASFAA submitted comments to Federal Student Aid (FSA) Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray on FSA’s Draft Strategic Plan for 2023-27. NASFAA reiterated its desire for a strong partnership and pointed to FSA’s goal of engaging stakeholders as an opportunity to foster that relationship. NASFAA also gave special focus to issues surrounding FAFSA simplification implementation as areas where the Department of Education (ED) can demonstrate its commitment to other goals laid out in the plan.
NASFAA would like to remind schools in the areas affected by natural disasters about existing guidance regarding the impact of a "major disaster" on the administration of the Title IV student assistance programs. Dear Colleague Letter GEN-17-08 and its attachment are intended to help Title IV student financial aid recipients and their families who are affected by a federally declared major disaster. In addition, certain individuals may qualify for assistance through updated waivers and modifications to statutory and regulatory provisions within the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act.
Although activity slowed during Congress’ summer recess, lawmakers continued to introduce student aid-related legislation in August 2022. Among the many bills introduced were the Student Loan Literacy Act of 2022, which would provide federal funding to community-based organizations and other stakeholders who engage with student borrowers; the Debt Cancellation Accountability Act of 2022, which would prohibit the Department of Education from making any federal student loan forgiveness without direct appropriations from Congress; the Simplifying Student Loans Act, which would replace existing repayment plans with two new options: a fixed repayment plan and an income-based repayment plan; and the REAL Reforms Act, which would overhaul the student loan portfolio and, among other provisions, place a cap on the overall amount any borrower would repay on their student loans. Stay on top of new bills introduced each month with NASFAA's Capitol Recap and the NASFAA Legislative Tracker.