There’s Still Time – Tell the Senate to Protect Students Against Fraud

The borrower defense rule protects students from debts tied to fraud and other illegal conduct by their colleges. The Trump Administration rewrote the rule in 2019, which will prevent students cheated by their colleges from escaping 97 percent of their student loan debt.

There’s still time to make your voice heard! Next Wednesday, March 11, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a resolution – which already passed the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks to supporters like you – to restore the stronger 2016 rule. Several Republicans are undecided on the legislation, and the vote could signal a bipartisan rejection of the president’s higher education policies and provoke the first veto in the area of domestic policy.

Thousands of you in nearly every state in the country have voiced your support, and it’s not too late to make your voice heard. It takes less than a minute – take action now.

TICAS is in Michigan

We’re excited to announce the expansion of our work to the state of Michigan, helmed by TICAS senior advisory Catherine Brown. Disinvestment in operating support for public institutions and scholarship aid at the same time that costs have increased for students and families has increasingly put college out of reach in the state, and our work will focus on college affordability to ensure for access and success all Michiganders, concentrating on college costs and student debt.

Click here for more on Michigan

Why the College Scorecard Should Complement – Not Replace – the Gainful Employment Standards

The introduction of earnings data by program and by college to the College Scorecard helps students and families make more informed college choices. However, the data is not a replacement for strong accountability rules.

Consumer information is not a substitute for accountability – students and taxpayers need both robust information on program information and accountability systems that will prevent colleges from systematically leaving students with debts they cannot afford – and we detail the differences between program-level College Scorecard data and Gainful Employment Debt-to-Earnings (DTE) Rates in a recent blog.

Learn more

Deep Cuts in Student Aid Overshadow Worthwhile Proposals in Trump FY21 Higher Ed Budget

Last month, President Trump unveiled the FY 2021 budget for higher education and his budget fails the millions of students who are struggling to pay for college. The budget would make student loans costlier for students, eliminate SEOG scholarships, and halve work-study funding. While re-prioritizing student aid spending could make college more affordable for students who need it most, the Trump budget cuts overall investment in college affordability by $170 billion.

The deep cuts in student aid overshadow worthwhile proposals, such as automatically enrolling distressed borrowers in income-driven repayment, modernizing student loan servicing, expanding Pell Grant eligibility to incarcerated students, and eliminating wasteful account maintenance fees for guaranty agencies.

Read our statement

Read coverage in the Washington Post and Inside Higher Ed

Simple Fixes for Income-Driven Repayment

The U. S. Congressional Budget Office recently released a report projecting that subsidies for federal student loan borrowers enrolled in income-driven repayment plans will cost the federal government $82.9 billion over the next decade. This number grabbed headlines – as did CBO’s projection that borrowers who took out loans to attend graduate school account for significantly more of the cost than do borrowers with only a bachelor’s degree or less.

Income-driven repayment plans are a crucial safety net for student loan borrowers, but they include well-known design flaws. In a new op-ed, TICAS associate vice president Jessica Thompson and external policy and affairs analyst Michele Streeter write about bipartisan solutions to improve the plans.

Read the op-ed in Inside Higher Ed

TICAS in the News:

  • Senate Might Rebuke DeVos on Borrower Defense | Kery Murakami, Inside Higher Ed
    Beth Stein, senior adviser at the Institute for College Access & Success, wasn’t willing to concede it would be vetoed. “The bipartisan support for defrauded students and veterans demonstrated in the House vote shows that the stories [members of Congress] from both parties hear from borrowers who have been lied to matter to them. We will see if the Senate and maybe even the President agree,” she said in a statement.
  • USC’s Tuition Cut, The Upcoming Kobe Memorial, Increase in DACA Fees | Take Two, KPCC
    The University of Southern California is one of the more expensive private colleges in the country, with an annual tuition of around $57,000 dollars. But on Thursday, it announced a break for students whose families make 80-thousand dollars or less, USC will be free. Plus, more on the idea of Free College with input from the Associate Vice President of The Institute for College Access & Success.
  • Tips for Decoding College Financial Aid Offers |Ann Carrns, The New York Times
    More colleges are recognizing the problem, but “we still have a ways to go,” said Lindsay Ahlman, associate director of research with the Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit that advocates for low-income students.