Penn Hill Group’s Washington Wrap-Up: June 11

Here’s a quick look at the news from last week (June 4 – 8) in Washington.


The White House released a Presidential memorandum Thursday on streamlining the income-based repayment application for federal student loan borrowers. Borrowers will be able to import their IRS income data directly into the IBR application.

Earlier this week, leaders from 10 colleges and universities met with the Obama Administration and agreed to increase transparency around college costs and financial aid. These ten institutions will provide information to incoming students on what one year of college will cost, what financial aid is available, estimated monthly payments for federal loans, and their student retention, graduation and default rates. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education are drafting a “shopping sheet” that colleges can use to disseminate the information.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia made a ruling on the case brought by APSCU to the Department of Education’s program integrity higher education rules. The Court upheld rules on incentive compensation, but sided with APSCU on regulations requiring online programs to get authorization in every state where they have students, stating the regulations were beyond the scope of the original regulations proposed by the Department on state authorization.

The American Council of Education released a report (Assuring Academic Quality in the 21st Century: Self-Regulation in a New Era) on Thursday from a panel of college presidents and accreditation leaders, giving broad recommendations on how to overhaul the accreditation process.

The House Committee on Education & the Workforce marked up H.R. 4297 (the Workforce Investment Improvement Act) last Thursday.  The bill passed the committee by a 23-15 vote.

Senate Democrats sent a counter offer to House Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell after their proposal last week in the ongoing effort to pay for an extension of student loan interest rates that are set to rise on July 1. In a letter yesterday, Majority Leader Reid proposed making changes to how businesses account for their pension contributions, as well as increasing premiums paid by businesses for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. coverage.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education is scheduled to mark up the FY13 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill on Tuesday, June 12, and the full committee may take up the bill as soon as Thursday, June 14.