Strengthening Federal Student Aid: An Assessment of Proposals for Reforming Federal Student Loan Repayment and Federal Education Tax Benefits

Research Report

Strengthening Federal Student Aid: An Assessment of Proposals for Reforming Federal Student Loan Repayment and Federal Education Tax Benefits

February 3, 2016

Abstract

Reviewing proposals for improving the complex array of federal student aid programs, we find agreement on some broad policy directions but considerable differences of opinion about the details. Many advocates support automatically placing student borrowers into income-driven repayment plans, which set payments at some percentage of discretionary income. And virtually no one argues against consolidating tuition tax credits and deductions into one credit. This comprehensive report examines over 20 proposals for reforming student loan repayment and education tax credits and deductions, evaluating the equity and efficiency of proposed provisions and providing recommendations for strengthening these components of federal student aid.

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