Susan Dynarski testifies on student loans before U.S. Senate HELP committee

January 18, 2018

Susan Dynarski will testify in front of the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee (HELP) hearing “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency.” The hearing will be livestreamed on January 18 at 10:00 a.m. with live viewing parties at the Ford School and School of Education.

Dynarski’s testimony will focus on the U.S. student loan market, current student loan policy, and improvements geared at making borrowing work for students. These include insights from research Dynarski has conducted with Nicholas Barr, Bruce Chapman, and Lorraine Dearden from their report "Getting Student Financing Right in the U.S.: Lessons from Australia and England,” which suggests that the U.S. could reduce student loan default by moving from the current repayment system, based on mortgage-style fixed repayments, to a well-designed and run income-contingent loan program.

The report is a product of an international comparative conference that Dynarski convened in Washington, DC in June 2016: “Restructuring student loans: Lessons from abroad.” The conference provided policymakers, analysts and press with cross-national perspectives on student debt and repayment to enrich the U.S. conversation around student loans with perspectives on how other countries structure aid, borrowing, and repayment.

For a primer on Dynarski’s student loan research:

Dynarski joins several witnesses at the hearing, including Dr. Matthew Chingos, director of the Education Policy Program at the Urban Institute; Ms. Joanna Darcus, Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation Racial Justice Fellow at the National Consumer Law Center; Ms. Laura Keane, chief policy officer at UAspire; and Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, president of Amarillo College.

--Story by Julie Monteiro de Castro, Education Policy Initiative administrator.