RD730 - Annual Report of the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman – January 1, 2020
The Code of Virginia directs the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to submit an annual report to the House Committees on Commerce and Labor and Education and the Senate Committees on Commerce and Labor and Education and Health on the implementation and overall effectiveness of the Office of the Qualified Education Loan Ombudsman (§ 23.1-232).
The following are the key findings from the 2019 annual report.
1. Since the initial staffing of the office in October 2018 and the official launch of services in January 2019, the Student Loan Advocate worked directly with 146 education loan borrowers.
2. Outreach efforts focused on developing and expanding the webpage ( http://www.schev.edu/studentloan) and participating in panels and conference presentations at state and national events.
3. Data collected on borrower cases identified key issues for Virginia education loan borrowers: understanding the complexity of the loans; troubleshooting eligibility problems with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program; and filing Borrower Defense to Repayment claims against Federal Student Aid for borrowers who felt defrauded or misled by their college or university.
4. Based on borrower complaints, the office generated a list of federal policy recommendations to address many of the issues that Virginia borrowers experience.
5. For Phase One (October 2018 – December 2019), the Qualified Education Loan Borrower Education Course consists of online learning modules. Phase Two requires additional funds to produce a more robust course-oriented format.