DC Digest - July 24, 2012
In Today's Issue:
- House Approves FY13 Defense Spending Bill
- Government Report Details Private Student Loan Debt Risk
- Administration Releases Final Version of Financial Aid Shopping Sheet
- A Romney-Obama Higher Ed Debate (By Proxy)
HOUSE APPROVES FY13 DEFENSE SPENDING BILL
The House approved its FY13 Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 5856) last week by a vote of 326 to 90, marking the seventh of 12 funding bills the chamber has approved for FY13. Before approving the measure, the House voted to reduce core Defense Department funding by $1.1 billion across-the-board to $581.1 billion, the same as the FY12 level, reports Politico. However, the bill remains more than $6 billion above the level agreed to in last year’s Budget Control Act (BCA), so it drew a veto threat from the White House. CQ.com reports that the Senate Appropriations Committee plans to mark up its own version of the FY13 Defense bill before the August recess.
As reported from committee, the bill provides $12.21 billion for Science & Technology (S&T), a slight cut of $53.2 million, or 0.4 percent, from the estimated FY12 level of $12.63 billion. S&T programs include defense-wide and military service funding for 6.1 basic research, 6.2 applied research, and 6.3 advanced technology development.
Within this total, applied research (6.2 programs) receives $4.563 billion, a $176.1 million, or 3.7-percent, cut from the estimated FY12 level of $4.739 billion. Advanced technology development (6.3 programs) receives $5.530 billion, a $118.6 million, or 2.2-percent, increase above the estimated FY12 level of $5.411 billion.
The committee report shows that 6.1 basic research would receive a total of $2.116 billion, or about 0.2 percent above FY12. The report provides the following breakdown for 6.1 basic research:
• Army: $428.5 million, $15.6 million below the Administration’s request and $27.7 million below the FY12 estimate.
• Navy: $625.0 million, $20 million above the Administration’s request and $19.7 million above the FY12 estimate.
• Air Force: $516.0 million, the same as the Administration’s request and $14.9 million below the FY12 estimate.
• Defense Wide: $547.4 million, $4.4 million below the Administration’s request and $27.2 million above the FY12 estimate.
The committee-approved bill would provide DARPA with $2.827 billion in FY13, which is $10 million above the Administration’s request and $11.4 million above the FY12 estimate.
Full Committee Report (appropriations.house.gov)
GOVERNMENT REPORT DETAILS PRIVATE STUDENT LOAN DEBT RISK
The Education Department and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this morning released a report finding that private student loans, which make up $150 billion of the more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, are much riskier than federal student loans for both the student and the co-signer. The report, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, gives an overview of the private student loan market and makes recommendations for reform.
Government Report Details Private Student Loan Debt Risk (ACEnet.edu)
ADMINISTRATION RELEASES FINAL VERSION OF FINANCIAL AID SHOPPING SHEET
The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday unveiled the Obama Administration’s model financial aid award letter, also known as the Shopping Sheet — a personalized way to help students understand the type and amount of aid they qualify for and easily compare aid packages offered by different institutions.
The Department of Education partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to develop the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet to promote transparency in student financial disclosures. The Shopping Sheet is designed to help students better understand the amount of grants and scholarships they would receive from a given institution, and the amount of loans an institution recommends a student take out to cover out-of-pocket costs.
According to a letter from an Ed Department official, the new financial aid shopping sheet is not a mandatory disclosure; rather, the Administration is encouraging schools to use this new tool. Secretary Duncan is sending a letter to college presidents asking them to adopt this sheet as part of their financial aid award letters in the 2013-2014 school year.
Obama Administration and CFPB Partner to Promote Transparency in College Costs (Ed.gov)
Financial Aid Shopping Sheet Fact Sheet (whitehouse.gov)
A ROMNEY-OBAMA HIGHER ED DEBATE (BY PROXY)
Education advisers to presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama drew contrasts between the candidates’ views on higher education at a debate before the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ annual conference in Chicago on Sunday. But the campaigns skirted some of the most contentious issues, including student lending and regulating for-profit colleges.
James Kvaal, policy director of the Obama campaign and a former Education Department deputy under secretary, focused on higher education proposals the president put forward in the State of the Union, as well as past achievements on Pell Grants and student loans. But for Scott Fleming, a Romney education adviser and president of the Madison Education Group, the debate was the most extensive outline of the campaign’s proposed higher education policies since a white paper in May called for returning to bank-based student lending and repealing rules on vocational programs.
A Romney-Obama Higher Ed Debate - By Proxy (Inside Higher Ed)