CGS Letters

    CGS Comments on SEVP Fee Increase (9/16/2018)

    On September 16, CGS submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security in response to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding proposed fee increases for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), voicing concerns around the potential unintended consequences of this proposal. The letter also addresses other recent changes to policies impacting international students, highlighting how in totality, these actions could impede the ability of U.S. colleges and universities to attract top international talent. 


    CGS Letter in Support of OSTP Director Nomination (8/21/2018)

    On August 21, CGS sent a letter to the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee in support of the nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier to be the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The letter highlights Dr. Droegemeier’s strong credentials as well OSTP’s important role in the work the federal government does around science and research, and its impact on graduate education. It asks the committee to quickly confirm his nomination.


    Letter in Support of College Student Mental Health Bill (8/3/2018)

    On August 3, CGS sent a letter in support of the Higher Education Mental Health Commission Act (S.3106). The bill, introduced by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), would create a national commission to makes recommendations for improvement around services available to students with mental health issues. The letter urges Senator Casey and his colleagues to remain aware of the unique needs of graduate students, “non-traditional” students, and student veterans as this legislation moves forward. It also encourages representation of the graduate education community on the commission.  


    CGS Comments on USAID Education Policy (8/2/2018)

    On August 2, CGS submitted comments and feedback to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) around a set of questions posed at a discussion on the U.S. Government Basic Education Strategy and the impending USAID Education Policy. CGS provided several recommendations that USAID can implement with respect to this critical issue, including: strengthening the academic workforce; partnering with institutions to advance research; improving student support services; and bolstering connections with employers and industry.


    Letter Commending Passage of Senate FY 2019 LHHS-ED Bill (7/7/2018)

    On July 7, CGS sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee commending passage of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS-ED) bill. The bill reflects investments in graduate education and research, and its passage marks an important step in the committee’s work toward completing a comprehensive FY 2019 spending package.


    Comments to HELP Committee on HEA Reauthorization (2/23/2018)

    On February 23, CGS submitted comments to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on policy principles around the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The letter highlighted the erosion of federal financial support for graduate students over the years, and asked the committee to be cognizant of the different needs that graduate students have, particularly as it comes to aggregate loan limits, financial aid counseling, lack of access to Pell Grants, and programs such as GAANN, PSLF, and Federal Work-Study. 


    Comments to Education Department on NPSAS (9/7/2017)

    On September 7, CGS submitted comments and feedback to the Education Department regarding the 2017-18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study Administrative Collection (NPSAS). The letter expressed appreciation that the department proposed differentiating between different segments of graduate and professional students, as well as for its proposal to provide more frequent results of its data collection. CGS also encouraged the department to clarify how forms of financial support, other than student loans, will be captured in this proposed data collection effort.


    Comments to Education Department on Plan to Reorganize the Executive Branch (8/2/2017)

    On August 2, CGS submitted feedback to the Department of Education regarding Executive Order 13781 of March 13, 2017 (Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch). The comments offered several suggestions on how the Department can better serve graduate students, including: better, more nuanced benchmarking; more transparent federal student loan information; simplified and equitable repayment options; and more relevant specified areas of national need in the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program. 


    Comments Sent to CFPB on Student Loan Servicing Market Monitoring (04/24/2017)

    On April 24, CGS submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding the agency’s proposed information collection activity, titled, “Student Loan Servicing Market Monitoring”, which looks to make student loan portfolio, performance, and repayment plan information more accessible and transparent. CGS urged the Bureau to be mindful of the information gap that exists in the data collection of graduate borrowers and encouraged CFPB not only to disaggregate by broad loan type, but also by degree type within graduate and professional programs (e.g., master’s, doctorates, and professionals).


    Letter to House Education and the Workforce Committee Regarding Graduate Student Loans (02/21/2017)

    On February 21, CGS President Suzanne Ortega sent a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce with respect to comments made at a February 7 hearing regarding proposals to either scale back or eliminate the Grad PLUS program. 


    Letter to the Education Department on New Experimental Sites (07/19/2016)

    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) sent a letter to the Department of Education (ED) offering suggestions for the agency to consider before ED unveils a pilot program that would let colleges and universities experiment with requiring additional loan counseling beyond what is already mandated by federal law. In the letter, CGS encouraged ED to consider the unique financial information needs of master’s and doctoral students when making awards to experimental sites.


    Letter to House Education and the Workforce Committee Concerning H.R. 3179 (06/21/2016)

    On June 21, CGS President Suzanne Ortega sent a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce regarding H.R.3179, the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act. The letter emphasizes that while CGS appreciates the Committee’s interest in helping students and families make informed decisions regarding financing their education, policymakers should also consider the unique financial information needs of master’s and doctoral students, as have different financial needs and circumstances than those of undergraduates.


    Comments Sent to CFPB on Student Loan Payback Playbooks (06/03/2016)

    On June 3, CGS  submitted comments and feedback to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding the agency’s Student Loan Payback Playbooks, a digital tool designed to assist borrowers better understand available repayment options for paying off student debt. CGS urged the Bureau to be mindful of the information needs of graduate borrowers, which may be different from those of undergraduate borrowers, and offered modifications to the tool to better serve graduate students.


    Letter Sent to Treasury Department Supporting Financial Education (05/11/2016)

    On May 11, CGS sent a letter to the U.S. Treasury Department in response to the agency’s feedback solicitation on its national strategy to promote financial success. The Financial Literary and Education Commission is updating the national strategy document, which was last updated in 2011. In the response, CGS highlighted the Enhancing Student Financial Education project and encouraged the Commission to consider graduate schools as a part of broader financial education infrastructure.


    Response to Department of Education’s Comment Request on IPEDS Modifications (04/08/2016)

    On April 8, CGS sent a letter in response to the Department of Education’s request for comments regarding changes to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). CGS encouraged the Department to disaggregate enrollment data of graduate students by degree objectives (e.g., master’s degree, doctor’s degree-research/scholarship, etc.). Having such data available would offer more meaningful insight into the state of graduate education in the U.S.






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