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Taxpayers are owed more than $1 billion related to the student loan program — but not from borrowers

·10 min read
Taxpayers are owed more than $1 billion related to the student loan program — but not from borrowers

The debate over expanding the benefits of the student loan program, including canceling loans, is often framed as a battle between taxpayers and borrowers. As of January 31 of this year, higher education institutions owed roughly $1.375 billion to the Department of Education, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Legal Student Defense Network, an organization founded by former Department of Education officials that does litigation and advocacy on behalf of student loan borrowers. The reasons the Department assessed liabilities against the schools varied; some may have closed and so the agency had to discharge the money enrolled students borrowed to attend, others perhaps overdrew from the government’s coffers or applied loan money to an ineligible student.