With the Higher Education Act (HEA) overdue for reauthorization, reforming U.S. higher education will be on the agenda in 2017. The Trump administration should use this opportunity to zero in on some of the most urgent challenges, including the student loan repayment crisis; the lack of information on college quality; the financial aid system’s burdensome complexity; and misguided efforts to reintroduce private lenders into federal lending and incentivize public service. Here are five steps that Congress and the new administration can take:
- Adopt a single, income-driven repayment plan for federal student loans
- Repeal the ban on a unit-record data system
- Simplify federal financial aid
- Bring market discipline into student lending in innovative ways
- Eliminate loan forgiveness for public service
Beth Akers is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and coauthor of "Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt."