Higher Education Advocacy Groups To Dig Deeper On Federal Student Loan Design & Delivery

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Beth Maglione, VP for Communications, NASFAA, at news@nasfaa.org 
Colin Seeberger, Communications Associate, Young Invincibles, at Colin.Seeberger@younginvincibles.org 

NASFAA, Young Invincibles, Institute for Higher Education Policy, HCM Strategists, New America Foundation, National College Access Network, Committee for Economic Development, the National Campus Leadership Council, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities receives Gates Foundation RADD: Phase #2 Grant to Examine Student Loan Repayment

Washington, DC, September 12, 2013 -- Nine student-aid advocacy and research organizations have announced that they will serve as a consortium to look specifically at issues and challenges pertaining to student loan repayment, with an emphasis on income-based repayment. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Young Invincibles, Institute for Higher Education Policy, HCM Strategists, New America Foundation, National College Access Network, Committee for Economic Development, the National Campus Leadership Council, and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities will take part in Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) Phase #2, through a $310,000 shared grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This project builds on the work of Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) Phase #1, which funded 16 grants to individual organizations to examine current systems of aid design and delivery, with an eye toward reimagining how they may be improved in the future.

Specifically, this consortium is focusing on one of the key topical outcomes from RADD: Phase #1--student loans. Higher education experts fear that mounting student loan debt is becoming a major impediment to college access and a damper on future success. The Federal Reserve recently acknowledged that student loans could pose risks to the broader economy as tens of millions struggle to pay off old debt.

Income-based repayment (IBR) is one critical tool for managing student loan debt, and lowering the risk for graduates facing an uncertain job market. Unfortunately, student loan defaults have continued to increase even with the availability of IBR.   The work of this consortium will provide the most comprehensive research and analysis to-date on strengthening IBR, exploring the range of potential reforms and offering “pros” and “cons” for different approaches.

“Our nine groups include some of the leading national experts around student loans in general, and income-based repayment in particular,” said Young Invincibles Executive Director Aaron Smith. “We come from across the ideological spectrum, representing a variety of stakeholders in the student loan process. This diversity is critical to crafting compelling new research as well as promoting pragmatic, impactful ideas that can gain traction and influence policymakers.”

“The consortium represents both students and financial aid administrators, two critical constituencies that must be engaged to create the necessary momentum to turn student loan policy reform ideas into reality,” added NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “During the RADD: Phase #1 process, many groups discussed the importance of examining the student loan system—and repayment options in particular. This work will build on that broad discussion with more specific research and analysis.”  

The grant will result in a comprehensive white paper around income-based repayment, as well as two to three major events with students during the grant period. It will culminate with a joint Capitol Hill briefing with all of the consortium partners after the white paper is released in spring 2014.



The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents nearly 20,000 financial aid professionals at more than 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. Each year, our members help nearly 15 million students receive funding for postsecondary education. In all, NASFAA member institutions served 97 percent of all federal student aid recipients in the US. Based in Washington, DC, NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit www.nasfaa.org.

About Young Invincibles 

Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young Americans, aged 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young Americans are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

About IHEP 

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization based in Washington, DC, committed to promoting access to and success in higher education for all students, with a particular focus on populations that have been traditionally underserved by our postsecondary system. Celebrating its 20th year in 2013, IHEP develops innovative policy- and practice-oriented research to guide policymakers and education leaders, who develop high-impact policies that will address our nation’s most pressing education challenges.

About HCM Strategists 

HCM Strategists, founded in 2008, is a public policy and advocacy consulting firm that works with clients to align, advocate for, and advance public policies that improve our nation's education and health.

About NCAN 

NCAN is an affiliation of hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the United States that help more low-income and underrepresented students enter and succeed in postsecondary education. We provide training, knowledge-sharing, benchmarking, and advocacy services so that nonprofits, K-12 schools, states, and colleges and universities can serve more students, more effectively and communities can enjoy the benefits of a better educated populace.

About The Committee for Economic Development (CED) 

The Committee for Economic Development is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, business-led public policy organization that delivers well-researched analysis and reasoned solutions to our nation’s most critical issues. CED’s work centers on the pursuit of seven core principles: sustainable capitalism, long-term economic growth, efficient fiscal & regulatory policy, competitive & open markets, globally competitive workforce, equal economic opportunity, and non-partisanship in the nation’s interest. CED's research falls under four issue areas: fiscal health, education, global competitiveness, and democratic institutions. Learn more about CED online at www.ced.org.