As things move quickly in Washington, DC, NACUBO is your constant advocate in action. NACUBO On Your Side covers important legislative and agency activity NACUBO staff are tracking, what we’re currently advocating for, and how you can take action with us.
Here are the issues we are tracking and advocating for this week.
ED Announces Slew of New Loan Forgiveness
For the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals with total and permanent disabilities will not need to turn in annual paperwork for three years verifying their income requirements for federal student loan forgiveness. Individuals who did not turn in the required paperwork during the pandemic and lost their right to a discharge will see those decisions reversed and any payments refunded. The Department of Education also announced the temporary halt of payment collection and interest accrual on federally guaranteed student loans held by private entities. These loans, which previously had been excluded from the pause on payment collection and interest accrual in place for other federal loans throughout the pandemic, will now receive the same treatment through the end of September, when loan collection activities for all federal student loans are scheduled to begin again.
White House Releases Infrastructure Plan
President Joe Biden has released the details of his $2.5 trillion infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan. The plan, which contains several items of interest to colleges and universities, is intended to “reimagine and rebuild a new economy…create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to out-compete China.” The plan would see lawmakers invest $180 billion in research and development advancements, $100 billion for workforce development and job training, and $100 billion to enhance America’s digital infrastructure, including funding for high-speed broadband infrastructure. STEM programs for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions would receive investments, and $12 billion would be reserved for infrastructure needs at community colleges. This is likely to be the first in a series of proposals put forth by the White House to address infrastructure needs throughout the country.
NACUBO Supports Charitable Giving Legislation
NACUBO has joined hundreds of organizations in support of the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act (S. 618, H.R. 1704), which would incentivize charitable giving for individuals who do not itemize their taxes. The Charitable Giving Coalition, of which NACUBO is a member, has created a one-pager to help demonstrate to policymakers the value and impact of a universal charitable deduction.
Bold Action Required
The latest edition of NACUBO’s State of Higher Education series calls for bold action for higher education institutions and policymakers to support students from low-income backgrounds. In addition to an article authored by NACUBO’s policy team, the project includes a customizable slide deck to help make clear the necessity and urgency of this work.
NACUBO On Your Side: March 23-29, 2021