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Policy Issues

Congress is currently negotiating changes to the Higher Education Act (HEA) which would impact the federal financial aid and loan repayment programs that medical and other graduate and professional students rely on to finance their education.

As Congress negotiates the HEA reauthorization, ED to MED urges elected officials to protect the future health care workforce by:

Lowering Interest Rate Caps for Graduate and Professional Students 

The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 tied interest rates to the market, placing caps at 9.5% interest for Federal Stafford Loans and 10.5% for GradPLUS loans. These interest rates are projected to hit their limits in 7-8 years and are expected to significantly increase the amount of interest medical and other health professions students will have to pay on their loans. Read our recommendations for making graduate loans more affordable for students.

Investing in Federal Financial Aid Programs 

Federal financial aid programs, such as the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, are critical to medical and other graduate and professional students’ ability to finance their education. Limiting borrowing for these loans, particularly for health professions students, would create disincentives for advancement of their education. Learn more about why Congress needs to make strong investments in federal financial aid programs for graduate students.

Supporting the Continuation of Federal Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs

Our nation faces a critical physician workforce shortage, especially in rural and/or underserved areas. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program provides students with the opportunity to serve these high-need communities while simultaneously paying down their student debt. Read our recommendations for protecting the programs that allow students to manage their debt while providing critical support to communities around the country.

Addressing Regulatory Burdens Impacting Osteopathic Medical Schools 

Regulatory burdens exist that uniquely impact osteopathic medical schools and the students they educate, including state authorization requirements for out-of-state clinical rotation sites. Learn how Congress can address these regulatory hurdles.