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Rep. Porter Introduces Bill to Improve Data on Student Loan Defaults

Congresswoman’s legislation holds universities accountable for accurately reporting number of graduates who are unable to repay student loans

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) has introduced legislation that would improve reporting requirements for universities on the number of their graduates who can’t repay their student loans. Under the current system, institutions can artificially deflate the number of individuals who default on their loans and escape accountability.

“If a large number of school’s graduates can’t repay their student loans, that’s something we should know about,” Congresswoman Porter said. “Having better data is the first step to implementing concrete solutions to address the escalating student debt crisis. My legislation improves the way we measure student loan defaults and prevents bad actors from gaming the data to continue cheating student borrowers.”

Porter’s Accountability in Student Loan Data Act changes the way government agencies calculate the cohort default rate, a measurement of how many borrowers default on their loans in a certain time period. Her bill prevents universities from manipulating data to make this number seem smaller. It also creates penalties for institutions with a high percentage of graduates who are unable to repay their student loans.

Congresswoman Porter has consistently advocated for students in her time in Congress. Last week, she led 47 colleagues in investigating the Trump Administration’s failure to implement program forgiving student loans for those working in public service. Porter introduced the CFPB Student Loan Integrity & Transparency Act of 2019, which would increase oversight of the top federal official in charge of protecting students struggling to repay their loans. She also worked with several colleagues on legislation to make permanent a student loan forgiveness program for borrowers who were defrauded or misled by their schools.