Trump Administration Announces Easier Path to Student Loan Forgiveness for Disabled Veterans
August 22, 2019

ACE President Ted Mitchell applauds announcement, urges administration to address other loan cancellation problems

​President Trump on Wednesday directed the Education Department (ED) to remove bureaucratic barriers and make it easier to forgive federal student loans owed by veterans with severe disabilities. 

Trump signed the memorandum at an event organized by the veterans group AMVETS in Kentucky.

In 2008, Congress made the process for forgiving federal student loans easier for vets by requiring the ED to recognize “total and permanent disability” determinations made by the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, the application process remained a barrier for many veterans.

"We applaud the long overdue action taken today by the administration to cancel the federal student loan debt owed by totally and permanently disabled veterans,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell in a statement yesterday. “This announcement means that nearly 40,000 disabled veterans—including 25,000 already in default on their loans—will get the benefits that were promised. This is welcome news for these American heroes.”

The administration’s announcement comes after veterans service organizations, including Veterans Education Success, attorneys general, and others had been calling on ED to discharge these veterans’ debts automatically. Earlier this year, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Representatives Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the “FREED Vets Act,” which would have done just that.  

Mitchell added in his statement that ​the administration should redirect its focus and streamline other loan forgiveness programs.

“While we commend the administration, we will continue to call on it to take action to address the similarly egregious loan cancellation problems in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and TEACH Grant programs," Mitchell said.

Read the full statement here​.