Our Policy Agenda - Email update 6/5/07

Policy Agenda to Address Rising Student Debt

While student loans have been on the front page, bipartisan Members of Congress and their staff have been working behind the scenes on proposals to revamp the federal role in higher education finance. Soon – possibly as soon as the next several days – detailed results of these negotiations could emerge, and may begin to move quickly through the process on the way to the President’s desk.

On the issue of rising student debt, here are our four top priorities for Congress:

  1. Ensure that borrowers with federal loans have fair and manageable payments.
  2. Rein in private loans.
  3. Restore integrity to financial aid counseling.
  4. Increase access to need-based aid.

For details, see the full policy agenda online.

Time to Tackle Private Loans

Some of the worst scandals uncovered by recent investigations involve private student loans. These loans are risky, largely unregulated by the federal government, and growing more quickly than any other type of student loan.

We have developed a policy agenda for private student loans to give students and parents with private loans access to the kind of information and consumer rights that other types of borrowers can count on.

For example, private student loans are as hard to discharge in bankruptcy as back taxes and child support. In a guest blog post for Higher Ed Watch, Project executive director Robert Shireman takes this issue on. Check Higher Ed Watch for other recent Shireman guest blog posts.

(This announcement was sent to the Project on Student Debt mailing list on June 5, 2007.)