House Republicans are planning to propose a bill this week that would bring about drastic changes to federal loans servicing and higher education policy, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The bill is part of a push to provide students with more skills in a modern labor market, but would also do away with programs meant to ease students' borrowing burdens.
Under the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity Through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, student loan debt would no longer be forgiven for workers after they spend 10 years in the public sector. The Journal notes, however, that the bill would "grandfather in" people who signed their loans before the bill's implementation. The bill would also cap the amount of money students or their parents could borrow to pay for tuition.
For-profit colleges are expected to reap many of the benefits of this proposal, The Journal notes. The Education Department would no longer be able to enforce the "gainful employment regulation," which looks at the debt-to-income ratio of students post-graduation when considering how much federal student aid for-profit education institutions should receive. Earlier this year, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said this rule was "critical in holding for-profit schools accountable and we must continue fighting to make sure students come before profits."
Steve Gunderson, CEO and president of Career Education Colleges and Universities — a trade organization representing for-profit colleges — told the Journal, "If we can replace [the gainful employment regulation] with a common set of outcomes for everybody, I think we're all better off."
Editor's note: This piece originally stated that income-driven repayment would be eliminated for private sector workers. Under the new bill, income-driven repayment would be preserved. We regret the error.