Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Considers Student Loan Playbook

Loan servicers soon could be required to send borrowers personalized information regarding different loan repayment plans. Or borrowers might see these options spelled out when they log into their student loan accounts.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is considering a Student Loan Payback Playbook. The Playbook would be a way for student loan borrowers to get better and timely information from their loan servicers about repayment options. The Bureau is seeking feedback on two versions through mid-June.

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Congress Introduces Legislation that Targets Saving for College

Earlier this year, U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) introduced the Save for Success Act.  The Act transforms the American Opportunity College Tax Credit (AOTC) into a savings vehicle for college.  This legislation would create an incentive for families to save for college in advance by allowing families to claim up to $250 of the AOTC each year they save for their child’s future college education. For example, a family that starts a 529 plan for a child and deposits $200 would qualify for a tax credit of $200 that year. When the child goes to college, they can use the savings and any accumulated interest to pay for qualified college expenses.

Late last year U.S. Congressmen Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) proposed their own college savings legislation. Both pieces of legislation aim to increase access to college for more Americans without having to rely on student debt and state or federal financial aid.

U.S. Senators Introduce Legislation to End Tax Penalty on Veterans with Forgiven Student Loans

Earlier this month, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would allow permanently disabled veterans or survivors of veterans who have their student debt forgiven to avoid tax penalties.

Currently, by law, forgiven student debt is counted as income by the Internal Revenue Service, resulting in veterans or their survivors incurring potential tax-related costs.

The bipartisan bill, S. 2800, was introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME) and Rob Portman (R-OH).  The bill is currently in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

Teacher Educators Convene at Data Summit

Last week Heritage University in Toppenish hosted more than 100 teacher educator professionals to discuss the effective use of data to more accurately illustrate current performance and drive improvements when necessary.

Organized by staff from the Washington Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB), the one-day summit provided the opportunity to discuss the use of university data platforms, data projects, teacher completer surveys, assessment processes, and more. This also provided an opportunity discuss PESB’s indicator-based program review work.

Attendees represented more than 20 public and private colleges and universities as well as the Council of Presidents, Independent Colleges of Washington, Office of Financial Management, and more.

More information is available at: https://sites.google.com/a/pesb.wa.gov/data-summit/.