AAUP and AFT Comment on Student Loan and Accountability Proposals

The AAUP joined the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in submitting two public comments on proposals made by the US Department of Education.

The AAUP and AFT praised the Biden administration’s proposed income-driven repayment program and provided suggestions for improvement. The AAUP supports the administration’s efforts to lower monthly payments for borrowers, decrease the time to forgiveness for many borrowers, increase the income threshold to qualify for $0 monthly payments, and stop negative amortization for borrowers who are on income driven repayment. But we urge the department to lower the discretionary income cap to 5 percent for all borrowers, including graduate and undergraduate borrowers, and to work to include Parent PLUS borrowers in their proposals.

Regarding the department’s request for information on metrics for creating a list of low-economic-value postsecondary programs, we encourage the department to use its already existing program integrity rules to hold institutions accountable for predatory programs. Our comments also stressed that the department should avoid turning to performance-based funding models and instead focus on resource inputs such as instructional spending, which can better differentiate institutions’ capacities to serve students.

Download the text of our comments on the income-driven repayment program here and metrics for creating a list of low-economic-value postsecondary programs here.

Publication Date: 
Monday, February 13, 2023