Office of Planning & Budgeting

Higher Ed Policy


January 25, 2016

New York expands student loan forgiveness program to include lower earners

New York state has recently instituted the “Get on Your Feet” loan forgiveness program in an effort to keep young college graduates living and working in the state. The program, originally introduced as a part of Governor Cuomo’s 2015 Opportunity Agenda, is designed to help struggling recent graduates in the state pay back their student…


December 21, 2015

Perkins Loan Program Temporarily Revived

Last week, Congress passed a bipartisan bill to extend the Federal Perkins Loan Program, which had expired in September. The bill authorizes new undergraduate applicants to join the program through September 2017, but only if they have exhausted all other federal borrowing options first.  New graduate students will not be able to join the program,…


November 12, 2014

New OPB Brief on Graduates’ Earnings Report

Washington State’s Education Research & Data Center (ERDC) recently published the Earnings for Graduates Report, which provides earnings information for graduates from the state’s public institutions. OPB’s latest brief describes where the data for the report came from, discusses some of its limitations, and warns against relying on the report in choosing a program of…


October 31, 2014

Final Gainful Employment Rule Removes Default Rate Metric

The Education Department’s (ED) final “gainful employment rule,” which was released yesterday, will hold vocational programs accountable to just one of the two outcome metrics that were proposed in the March draft rule.  Cohort default rates (CDRs) were eliminated from the legislation, meaning that debt-to-earnings ratios will be the only criteria upon which individual career education…


October 23, 2014

ED Releases New PLUS Loan Rules

It will soon be easier for students and parents with adverse credit histories to qualify for federal PLUS loans.  Under new the Education Department’s (ED’s) new rules – which were released on Wednesday and are expected to take effect in March – ED will review only two years (rather than five) of a prospective borrower’s…


July 22, 2014

AASCU States “Pay It Forward Is Not the Solution to Addressing College Affordability”

On Thursday, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) released a policy brief examining the potential consequences of Pay It Forward (PIF) (please see our previous blogs for background information).  The AASCU brief summarizes other, similar approaches to paying for college and analyses PIF as a potential state approach to financing public higher…


July 11, 2014

AASCU Releases Latest State Outlook

On Thursday, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) released its most State Outlook.  According to the report, state operating support for public  four-year colleges and universities is 3.6 percent higher for FY 2015 than it was for FY 2014. Of the 49 states that have passed a budget thus far, support for…


June 26, 2014

Congress Introduces Bills to Reauthorize Higher Education Act

As the UW’s Office of Federal Relations reported on their blog, yesterday Senate Democrats released plans to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). Their proposal focuses on four main goals: Increasing affordability and reducing college costs for students, Tackling the student loan crisis by helping borrowers better manage debt, Holding schools accountable to students and…


May 28, 2014

Divergent Views on International Student Retention Among Administrators, Students

In an effort to boost international student retention, a new survey by the NAFSA: Association of International Educators seeks to understand why international students drop out or transfer before earning a degree. The survey asked 517 international undergraduate students, of which 110 had either transferred or were planning to transfer, about their college experience and…


May 22, 2014

College Board Recommends Improvements to the Pell Grant

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