Governor's Task Force on Student Debt
On August 18, 2020, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt released its final report to Gov. Tony Evers on how to address the growing student debt crisis in Wisconsin. The task force was created by Executive Order #67 and chaired by DFI Sec. Kathy Blumenfeld. Read the final report on the task force website.
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This task force was chaired by Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld and tasked with assessing student debt in Wisconsin and providing long-term strategies to reduce education-related debt, prevent abusive practices by loan companies, and improve financial literacy education.
On May 11, 2020, Gov. Evers announced his appointments to the task force. The 32-member task force included borrowers, industry leaders, legislators, financial aid experts, and lenders to share a broad spectrum of ideas and experiences to inform the work of the task force.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the task force convened and completed its work virtually over the course of three months and eight meetings.
After months of research, listening sessions, consultation with external experts and colleagues in other states, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt finalized its 120-page report during a WebEx meeting on August 12, 2020. The electronic report includes 37 proposed solutions and eight recommendations approved by the task force during previous meetings.
On August 18, 2020, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt announced the release of its final report to Gov. Evers. The report outlines eight recommendations for how Wisconsin can provide relief, education, and protection to its student debtholders now and in the future.
The task force submitted the following eight recommendations to Gov. Evers for consideration: 1) create a Borrower Bill of Rights and Student Loan Ombudsman; 2) enhance proprietary school regulations and reinstate the Educational Approval Board; 3) improve financial literacy education; 4) increase need-based, targeted aid for postsecondary education and create a statewide promise program; 5) strengthen student loan counseling; 6) consider targeted loan forgiveness programs; 7) promote refinancing opportunities with other states; and 8) create a state student debt relief tax credit. These recommendations are the result of expansive dialogue between experts from government, industry, academia, and student loan borrowers.
For additional information, email StudentDebtTaskForce@dfi.wisconsin.gov or visit the task force website at https://lookforwardwi.gov/student-debt-task-force/.