House Committee Holds Hearing on Higher Education Costs and Value

Published August 07, 2023

By AACOM Government Relations

Advocacy Federal Policy Financial Aid Higher Education OME Advocate

  • On July 27, 2023, the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development heard from stakeholders regarding “Lowering Costs and Increasing Value for Students, Institutions, and Taxpayers.” The conversation was centered around finding the best strategies to reduce the cost of attending college without reducing accessibility to higher education.
  • During the discussion, subcommittee members weighed in on federal student loan reform plans. Representative Erin Houchin (R-IN) asked whether there is “justification” to continue the federal Direct Graduate PLUS (Grad PLUS) loan program, which allows graduate students to borrow up to the cost of attendance for tuition, textbooks, room and board and other important living expenses.
  • Dr. Andrew Gillen, senior policy analyst, Texas Public Policy Foundation, believes Grad PLUS loans are not needed because they are duplicative of the Stafford loan program. As an alternative, he suggested raising the borrowing limit in the Stafford loan program for certain programs that are more expensive, such as medical school, to tailor loan amounts to the expected outcome for students.
  • AACOM understands the importance of Grad PLUS loans for osteopathic medical students and remains committed to maintaining the program’s existing structure. We will continue to advocate against a borrowing limit under the program.