Miguel Cardona has been nominated by President Joe Biden to be the United States secretary of education. Cardona currently serves as Connecticut education commissioner.
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ project on student borrower success has sent the attached letter to Chair Patty Murray and Ranking Member Richard Burr of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee concerning the nomination hearing for Secretary-designate Cardona. The letter provides the committee with questions, backed by Pew research, concerning federal student loan repayment, specifically regarding easing enrollment and recertification for income-driven repayment plans, providing borrowers with effective and consistent information about repayment, the implementation of the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, and establishing clear standards and oversight for loan servicers. With the Biden administration’s extension of the pause on student loan repayment, Congress and the Department of Education should also focus on putting measures in place now to help borrowers smoothly transition back into repayment when that time comes, including: a grace period for those who struggle after the pauses end, easier enrollment in income-based repayment plans, and the identification of early red flags raised by at-risk borrowers.