Federal Relations

Student Aid


June 9, 2014

Obama Aims to Ease Student Debt

President Obama announced today a new executive order aimed at easing student borrowers’ debt loads by capping repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Obama also made student loans the focus of his weekly address on Saturday, saying he’d be taking action this week. The executive order will expand on a 2010 law, the Bipartisan Student…


The Week Ahead

This week lawmakers continue to debate FY2015 appropriations, student loans, and VA reform. Tonight, the House will vote on S. 1254, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013. The bill would authorize $20.5 million annually through 2018 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reduce the effects of…


June 4, 2014

Senate Committees Hold Hearings on Student Loans

This morning Senators discussed student loans in two simultaneous committee hearings. The Senate Budget Committee, which is chaired by Washington State’s Senator Patty Murray, held a full committee hearing titled, “Impact of Student Loan Debt on Borrowers and the Economy.” Key witnesses in the hearing included representatives from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Student…


May 21, 2014

ED Announces Plan College Ratings Timeframe

Today, the Department of Education (ED) announced a timeframe for rolling out the Administration’s proposed College Ratings system. In a post by Deputy Under Secretary Jamienne Studley entitled, “Making it Easier to Pick and Pay for College through Ratings“, the Administration announced that the college ratings system will be ready this Fall and a final…


May 9, 2014

Larsen Introduces Bill to Protect Bereaved Student Borrowers

Today, Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA) introduced the Bereaved Student Borrowers Act. The bill  is designed to protect grieving students and students facing family hardship from auto-defaulting on their private student loans and to get better access to information about cosigner release requirements. The bill also prohibits lenders from reporting an auto-default as a result of cosigner…


April 1, 2014

Ryan Reveals House FY15 Budget

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the House FY15 Budget today. The measure proposes to cut $5.1 trillion over a decade in a bid to erase the federal deficit, while calling once again for dramatic changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and the tax code. The House proposal would significantly reduce federal support for college access. The Ryan…


February 5, 2014

Pell Grant Shortfall Delayed to FY2017

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2024. The deficit is expected to fall this year as the economy gains steam, but CBO also anticipates that increasing health care costs and higher payments on the national debt mean that those gains will not last. The deficit estimate sets…


November 12, 2013

This Week in Congress

Below is an overview of relevant House and Senate committee hearings and markups on the schedule this week. WEDNESDAY, November 13th House Education and the Workforce Federal Student Aid 10am, 2175 Rayburn Full Committee Hearing Joint Economic Fiscal 2014 Budget 10am, 1100 Longworth Conference Committee Meeting THURSDAY, November 14th Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions…


August 29, 2013

Obama’s Plan for College Affordability

Last Thursday and Friday, President Obama toured several colleges and universities touting a new plan for higher education access and affordability. The Offices of Planning & Budgeting and Federal Relations prepared a brief with additional information about this plan.


August 22, 2013

White House Releases Higher Education Proposals

As part of the college road show President Obama is undertaking starting today, the White House has released a fact sheet on a series of proposals that the Administration will be promoting on higher education. Some of these proposals require legislative action by Congress, while some can be instituted by the Administration. Other proposals by the…



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