Group Proposes Some Loan Forgiveness for Pell Recipients and Other Financial-Aid Fixes

Reforming the financial-aid system, including providing some debt relief to Pell Grant recipients who graduate on time, would better meet the needs of today’s diverse students, says a white paper released on Monday by the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

The paper, which offers 13 proposals in a paragraph each, comes on the heels of recommendations from the National College Access Network and the Young Invincibles. All three groups’ papers are part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project.

Some of IHEP’s proposals—including the one to forgive Pell recipients’ loans and another to turn the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant into a source of emergency aid for students—seem novel. Others, such as making income-based repayment the default plan for borrowers and matching the college savings of low-income families with government funds, are frequently suggested fixes.

In addition to the recommendations, the paper includes a framework for weighing the trade-offs that adopting any of its proposals would entail.

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