WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Education and Labor Committee approved an amendment by Rep. Susan Davis to provide student loan forgiveness for service members when they are called up while attending college. The Davis Amendment was added to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221) and passed by voice vote.
While serving their nation, members of the U.S. Armed Forces often must withdraw from college in the middle of a quarter or semester without receiving credit for their work. Service members accept that they will need to retake the same courses upon returning home to graduate. However, it is not fair that we would add to their student debt for courses they will need to take again.
“These men and women have enough to think about, without also worrying about whether they will have to pay additional student loans on the courses they have not completed,” said Davis, a member of the committee. “My amendment is fundamentally about fairness – service members who are activated while in school should not be charged for coursework for which they did not receive academic credit.”
The Davis amendment directs the Secretary of Education to assume the federal student loan obligations that service members incur when they are activated in the middle of an academic term. For example, a service member expects to receive $5,000 in federal student loans for the semester. If activated after completing only 50 percent of the semester, that service member may still be charged $2,500 in student loans, even without receiving academic credit.
In addition to assisting service members in college, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221) would invest in our nation’s economic future by improving early education opportunities and making college dramatically more affordable. It does so without increasing costs to taxpayers.
H.R. 3221 passed out of the committee on a vote of 30-17. The bill heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.