NAICU Washington Update

Negotiated Rulemaking on Federal Student Aid Programs Moves Forward

August 11, 2021

The Department of Education announced it is seeking nominations for a negotiated rulemaking committee session regarding the federal student aid programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act.  The Department is planning to establish a primary committee focusing on affordability and student loans and a subcommittee focusing on prison education programs. 

The committee will include representatives of organizations or groups with interests that are significantly affected by the subject matter of the proposed regulations.  NAICU submitted comments regarding the intent to establish this negotiated rulemaking committee and will be nominating negotiators to represent the private, nonprofit sector.

The affordability and student loans committee will meet three times (October 4-8, November 1-5, and December 6-10, 2021) and consider the following topics: 
  • Borrower defense to repayment; 
  • Closed school discharges;
  • Discharges for borrowers with a total and permanent disability; 
  • Discharges for false certification of student eligibility;
  • Loan repayment plans;
  • Interest capitalization on federal student loans;
  • Mandatory pre-dispute arbitration and prohibition of class action lawsuits provisions in institutions’ enrollment agreements and associated counseling about such arrangements; 
  • Pell Grant eligibility for prison education programs; and
  • The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
While the dates have not been finalized, the Prison Education Program Subcommittee is expected to meet for two three-day sessions in October and November.  

All negotiated rulemaking committee meetings will be conducted virtually and made available for the public to view. Nominations are due by August 31. 

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