Shaheen and Young reintroduce bipartisan bill to address student debt crisis by increasing institutional accountability

October 19, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Todd Young (R-IN) have reintroduced their bipartisan bill, the Protection and Academic Success Actwhich seeks to curb soaring student debt by increasing the accountability of higher education institutions for the ability of their students to repay their loans and by requiring that institutions have a vested interest in the success of their students.

The Protection and Academic Success Act adopt a series of measures holding higher education institutions to account and share responsibility for student success. The bill would remove federal student loan eligibility from all colleges and universities where less than 15% of their students are able to begin repaying their loans within three years of graduating or graduating. The bill would also require schools to pay a “risk-sharing fee” based on the total volume of loans their students are unable to repay to the Department of Education, and then allocate those funds to support schools that better help low-income students.

“When it comes to college affordability, we need to be forward-looking not just to prepare our kids for college, but also for what comes after, so they can find opportunities and succeed in the job market. This is precisely what our legislation seeks to do,” said Senator Shaheen. “Our bipartisan bill would increase accountability measures for higher education institutions’ loan repayments so they must deliver on their promises to borrowers and give graduates the resources to succeed after graduation. This bipartisan effort is an investment in student success and in the sustainability and strength of our future workforce.

“Higher education institutions should prepare graduates for real careers, and we must have a responsibility to ensure that students are not put in debt on the backs of taxpayers. I am proud to reintroduce the Protection and Academic Success Act so that colleges and universities have an incentive to ensure that graduates are able to repay their student loans,” said Senator Young.

Full text of the Protection and Academic Success Act is available here.

Senator Shaheen led congressional efforts to help students manage their debt and make college more affordable. In August, Shaheen joined a bicameral campaign urging the Biden administration to extend the deadline for the public service loan waiver (PSLF). Shaheen has already introduced legislation to help undergraduate borrowers and successfully introduced his legislation with Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Braun (R-IN) and Fischer (R-NE) to combat student loan scams. student debt relief through Congress. It was signed into law in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaheen has led and supported many efforts to provide needed assistance to students and their families so they can afford college education and other higher education opportunities. Last year, Shaheen helped introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would double the Pell Grant award and make college more affordable.

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Robert P. Matthews