On May 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intended to increase transparency regarding the costs and financial outcomes of postsecondary programs. The centerpiece of the proposed regulations is a Gainful Employment (“GE”) Rule, which would terminate access to federal financial aid for career training programs that fail to meet federal benchmarks.… Continue Reading
Having stood up and promoted the whistleblower program at the CFPB, it appears that Richard Cordray may now be taking similar steps at Federal Student Aid (“FSA”). On November 10, the Department of Education (“ED”) and FSA issued a bulletin inviting whistleblowers to provide information about potential violations of the Higher Education Act (“HEA”) and its implementing regulations. … Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced final regulations, effective July 1, 2023, designed to expand and improve the major student loan discharge programs authorized by the Higher Education Act. Among other things, the final regulations prohibit institutions that participate in the Federal Direct Loan program from requiring borrowers to sign mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements or class-action waivers that would be applicable to disputes about Direct Loans. … Continue Reading
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced proposed regulations designed to expand and improve the major student loan discharge programs authorized by the Higher Education Act. Among other things, the proposed regulations would prohibit institutions that participate in the Federal Direct Loan program from requiring borrowers to sign mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements or class-action waivers. … Continue Reading
On April 19, one day before the release of a highly critical performance audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Department of Education (ED) announced a series of actions it is taking to “address historical failures in the administration of the federal student loan programs.” The actions are directed at income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, which are used by student borrowers on over half of the more than $1 trillion in outstanding federal student Direct Loans. … Continue Reading
The Department of Education announced last week that it is changing how it determines relief for borrowers who assert “borrower defense claims.” Such claims allege that the borrower was misled by his or her school or that the school engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain laws. Borrower defense claims only apply to federal loans made under the William D.… Continue Reading
Without elaborating on its authority for doing so, the Department of Education recently announced the extension, through January 31, 2021, of certain pandemic-related benefits for federal student loan borrowers.
In particular, the administrative forbearance period, the 0% interest rate (pause in interest accrual), and the suspension of administrative wage garnishment and other collection activity will all remain in effect. … Continue Reading
Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the office of Federal Student Aid is executing on President Trump’s promise to provide student loan relief during the COVID-19 pandemic through several initiatives:
- All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days.
Last week, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal took the lead in pursing two actions against the U.S. Department of Education related to the Department’s alleged refusals to cooperate with state investigations of student loan servicers and for-profit schools.
On September 16, 2019, New Jersey, along with 16 other attorneys general, including New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington, sent a letter to the Department opposing a new policy limiting cooperation with state law enforcement.… Continue Reading
Last week, Congressional representatives Maxine Waters, D-CA, Bobby Scott, D-VA, and Elijah Cummings, D-MD, as chairs of committees with oversight responsibility for the student loan servicing market, sent letters to CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger and Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about their concerns with the current state of the student loan industry.… Continue Reading