At the end of December, the House introduced
a new Higher Education Act intended to “transform the college marketplace by
promoting innovation, access, and completion; simplifying and improving student
aid; empowering students and families to make informed decisions; and ensuring
strong accountability and a limited federal role.”
H.R. 4508, the Promoting Real
Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, proposes major changes to the federal
student financial aid landscape. PROSPER would:
subsidized student loan interest for certain Stafford loans.
the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
only one type of grant (Pell) and one type of loan (Federal ONE) for all
10 different repayment plans with two repayment options: A 10-year standard
plan and a single income-based repayment plan.
process for disbursing loans would be altered as well. Loans and grants would
be doled out on a monthly basis rather than in a lump sum at the start of the
program benefits will remain in place for those who have subsidized student
loans or who are already enrolled in income-driven repayment or public service
loan forgiveness programs. New borrowers would have fewer financing and
repayment options if Congress passes the proposed law.