Student Loan News: House Dems Pitch Broad Education Reform

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

student-loan-news
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Welcome to Student Loan News, a weekly summary of developments and events affecting college debt in the U.S. Join us each Friday for a look at goings-on that could impact your own student loan situation.

House proposes ‘modest’ but expansive College Affordability Act

The Higher Education Act of 1965 is overdue to be reauthorized. Leading senators and the current administration have weighed in on changes they’d like to see, and this week the House Democrats added their latest ideas on remaking financial aid.

The College Affordability Act would, in part, help states offer tuition-free community college and expand federal grant and loan programs — but it would stop short of matching the wider-sweeping promises of some presidential candidates.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the chairman of the House’s education and labor committee, presented the bill on Tuesday as a “more modest proposal [that] can actually pass in this Congress,” according to Politico.

You can check out the full text here, but some of the initiatives contained in the bill include:

Politico reported criticism from Republical House members, however, who said the bill would create red tape and drive up the cost of college.

How it affects YOU: In 2017, the House Republicans sought to revamp the system with the PROSPER Act, but it failed to become law despite full Republican control of government. With the Congress now split between the two main parties, passage of the College Affordability Act through the GOP-held Senate faces even longer odds.

Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on the debate in Washington. The Higher Education Act was last revamped in 2008, and its next iteration is likely to affect current and future students and borrowers for some time to come.

Also in the news …

  • The Department of Education blocked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in its attempt to review the failures of Public Service Loan Forgiveness, according to an NPR report Tuesday. For its part, the Education Department told NPR it was in the process of hashing out a new information-sharing agreement with the CFPB.
  • Also on Tuesday, the CFPB’s private education loan ombudsman, Robert Cameron, released the agency’s annual report on student loan complaints. The report catalogs about 6,700 private loan complaints and 13,900 federal loan complaints received between 2017 and 2019.
  • The restaurant chain Chipotle announced Tuesday it will pay 100% of tuition for seasoned employees to pursue a business or technology-related degree at one of five universities. Employees with 120 or more days of experience at the company would be able to attend the University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University or Wilmington University without incurring student loan debt.
  • Budweiser beer brand Natural Light said Wednesday it will award a $10,000 grand prize and 10 additional $1,000 prizes to student loan borrowers and others who dress up as their “real-life nightmare” for Halloween. The offer follows similar Natural Light giveaways earlier this year.
  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was criticized in court last week for her department’s collection of loan payments from defrauded Corinthian Colleges students, traded shots on Twitter with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) over the issue. Warren called DeVos a failure, while DeVos accused Warren of lying about the situation.
  • Taking a cue from international student loan practices, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) unveiled a proposal to make federal student loans interest-free and lengthen repayment terms to 30 years. Cicilline told an NBC News affiliate the plan was modeled on the current system in Australia.
  • A student loan borrower zeroing her balance nearly woke the dead: 28-year-old Mandy Velez’s viral celebration included posing in a cemetery and pronouncing her $102,000 debt deceased, once and for all. Velez told USA Today last Friday that her key repayment strategies included budget-cutting and income-increasing.
  • During her visit to Morehouse College earlier this month, entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey made the surprise announcement that she would donate an additional $13 million to the school’s scholarship program bearing her name. Winfrey has now given a total of $25 million to Morehouse since 1989, while fellow philanthropist Robert F. Smith paid off the entire debt of the Morehouse Class of 2019.

News can be useful, but if you want some deeper advice, take a moment to sign up for the Student Loan Hero weekly digest email and get valuable financial knowledge sent straight to your inbox … for free!

Published in News & Policy, Student Loans

You're on your way...

You are being redirected to LendingTree.com where you’ll be able to fill out an online form. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different personal loan lenders in our partner network.