ED Review (11/11/22)

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November 11, 2022


POTUS in Albuquerque 

On November 3, at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, President Biden announced that close to 26 million Americans have applied for federal student loan debt discharges under the Administration’s student debt relief plan.  Moreover, by the end of last week, the Department had approved the applications of some 16 million Americans.  However, per a court order, the agency remains temporarily blocked from processing any discharges. 

“I want to state again who will benefit most: working people and middle-class folks,” the President noted in his remarks.  “If you earn under $125,000 a year, you’ll get up to $10,000 knocked off your student debt.  If you earn under $125,000 a year…and you received a Pell Grant, you’ll get another $10,000 [off].  That’s $20,000 in relief….  In total, more than 40 million Americans stand to benefit from this relief, and not a dime of it will go to the top 5% of incomes -- period” (fact sheet).

The Administration continues to urge those eligible for relief to apply, and the Department will continue to review applications, so it may quickly process discharges when it is able to do so. 

The application takes less than five minutes to complete.  It is short and simple, available in English and Spanish on desktop and mobile devices, and requires no Federal Student Aid (FSA) identification or supporting documentation.  If additional information is required, the Department will follow up directly (FAQs in English and Spanish). 

“To the federal student loan borrowers awaiting relief, I’d like to share an update on the Administration’s one-time student loan debt relief plan,” Secretary Cardona added in a Twitter thread.  “We believe strongly that the lawsuits are entirely meritless, and that the debt relief plan is lawful and necessary.  We are not deterred.” 


Over the course of two days at the end of last month, the Department issued final higher education regulations reflecting extensive stakeholder input, including multiple public hearings, three negotiated rulemaking sessions conducted last fall, and thousands of public comments received this summer. 

First, on October 27, the agency announced rules to better protect servicemembers and veterans from predatory requirement practices (strengthening the 90/10 Rule), implement access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students in high-quality prison education programs, and increase accountability when institutions change their ownership (press release, fact sheet, Secretary’s Twitter thread, and Federal Register notice). 

Then, on October 31, the agency announced rules that expand eligibility, remove barriers, and encourage automatic discharges for borrowers eligible for relief because their institution closed, they have a total and permanent disability, or their loan was falsely certified.  The rules also establish a fairer process for borrowers to raise a defense to repayment, while preserving borrowers’ day in court by preventing institutions from forcing students to sign away legal rights using mandatory arbitration agreements and class action waivers.  And, the rules help borrowers avoid spiraling student loan balances by eliminating all instances of interest capitalization -- which occur when unpaid interest is added to a borrowers’ principal balance -- not required by statute (press release, fact sheet, Secretary’s Twitter thread, and Federal Register notice). 

Most of these regulations will go into effect July 1, 2023 -- the effective date specified in the Higher Education Act (HEA) for rules issued on or prior to November 1, 2022. 

The regulations are part of the Administration’s broader efforts to get students and borrowers the benefits to which they are entitled. 


Raise the Bar 

This week, the Department hosted the second of five sessions focused on key strategies and programs to boost literacy and math outcomes (view the first session recording). 

Also, the What Works Clearinghouse (WCC) released a practice guide summary and instructional tip sheet showcasing evidence-based practices that educators may use when teaching literacy and related content to English learners in kindergarten through eighth-grade. 

Additionally, in a video, DuPont Hadley Middle School (Old Hickory, Tennessee) Principal Kevin Armstrong discusses using American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding to build back stronger from pandemic learning loss. 


NBRS Awards Ceremony 

On November 2, Secretary Cardona participated in the 2022 National Superintendent of the Year gala. 

On November 3 and 4, the Department recognized the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools -- watch the awards ceremony and a fun IG reel. 

And a reminder: the Department is currently accepting applications for the 2023-24 cohort of School Ambassador Fellows.  The fellowship offers two separate one-year tracks.  A full-time appointment is based at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and requires fellows to relocate for their experience.  A part-time appointment allows fellows to maintain their school responsibilities in their home communities, while also participating in the experience.  The deadline to apply is December 18, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. 


The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is celebrating 20 years!  As the Department’s independent, non-partisan research, statistics, and evaluation arm, IES has worked with educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public since 2002 to transform education sciences and improve outcomes for all learners.  Over the next few months, it will share stories about its work and impact on education policy and practice, and there will also be opportunities for others to share stories and their vision for the future of the education sciences (IES blog post and tweet). 



“I especially want to thank the young people of this nation, who…voted in historic numbers again -- just as they did two years ago.  They voted to continue addressing the climate crisis, gun violence, their personal rights and freedoms, and student debt relief.  Last night, I was pleased to call Maxwell Frost, the 25-year-old who got elected [from Florida] -- the youngest man ever elected to the United States Congress.  I told him that I was the second-youngest person ever elected to the United States Senate at 29.  I have no doubt he’s off to an incredible start in what, I’m sure, will be a long, distinguished career.  And when he’s President and they say, ‘Joe Biden is out in the outer office,’ I don’t want him to say, ‘Joe who?’” 

-- President Joseph Biden (11/9/22), from remarks at his post-midterm elections press conference 


National Apprenticeship Week (November 14-20) is a nationwide celebration for which industry, labor, education, workforce, and government leaders host events to showcase the many successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship for rebuilding the economy, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities. 

Register today to celebrate National Parent Involvement Day in a virtual town hall on November 17 at 7 p.m. ET.  Listen in to discover how using the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships may enhance efforts to help children and communities thrive. 

Registration is also open for the virtual 2022 FSA Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals (November 29-December 2), featuring keynote addresses by Department leadership, five general sessions, 22 breakout sessions, and a one-day only Exhibit Hall to engage one-on-one with subject matter experts. 

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