Help us equip leaders to better prepare children and youth for college and careers. Donate Today!

August 2023 IEL Federal Policy Update 

August Policy Update

August 2023 IEL Federal Policy Update 

Policy by the People Agenda 

Summary of federal policy action this past month and a look-ahead to the next few weeks/month 

I: What Borrowers Should Know as Student Loan Payments Restart: The student loan pause that began in March 2020 is set to end in August. Student loan forgiveness repayments are expected to resume after Sept. 1st, 2023. Payments for borrowers are projected to be due October 1st, 2023. The pause cost around $200 billion. The Department of Education also established a new program called the “on-ramp” program to allow borrowers more flexibility until September 30th, 2024. The new repayment plan is called SAVE (Saving on a Valuable Education) and is income-driven. This new plan is projected to save borrowers $1,000 a year compared to existing plans. However, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated it will cost $27.5 billion annually to fund the plan through 2033.  

II: Biden Administration Announces Cybersecurity Initiative for K-12 Schools: On August 7th, 2023, the Biden Administration announced a new cybersecurity initiative for K-12 schools. The Department of Education will create a “government coordinating council” to collaborate with government and school districts. Activities, recommendations of policies, and communication of best practices would be discussed during these formal meetings. The initiative will prepare schools against potential cybersecurity threats and attacks. Along with the council, the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will give K-12 schools tailored assessments and cybersecurity training.  

III: Biden-Harris Administration Opens Nearly $100M in Grant Opportunities for HBCUs, TCCUs, MSIs, and Underserved Students: The Department of Education announced on August 1st, 2023, the launch of two grant programs that will expand research infrastructure in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Community Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions. The grants aim to increase the completion of courses and retention rates among students at these universities. The grants will provide $100 million towards transformational infrastructure investments and evidence-based strategies, specifically, $7.3 billion (cumulatively) for 98 HBCUs, $474.5 million for 35 TCCUs, and $18.1 billion (cumulatively) for MSIs.  

Policy-related events and resources of interest, including federal funding opportunities 


  • Upcoming Event: Education Week is hoisting the webinar How to Build a Thriving Adult Community Across Your District on August 15th from 2-3:00 pm ET. More information can be found here
  • Upcoming Event: FutureEd is hosting the State Policy Solutions for Reducing Student Absenteeism webinar on August 16th at 2:00 pm ET. More information can be found here
  • Upcoming Event: The Hunt Institute is hosting the webinar Homeroom with Education Leaders: Educator and Administrator Retention: The Ultimate School Improvement Strategy on August 17th at 2:00 pm ET. More information can be found here
  • Upcoming Event: The Collective Impact Forum is hosting a Virtual Office Hour on August 17th, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. ET. For more details, click here.  
  • Past Event: U.S. Department of Education Recognition Ceremony for the 2023 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees on August 8th, 2023, in Washington D.C. The event link can be found here
  • Past Event: The Biden-Harris Administration and the White House Hispanic Initiative, along with Executive Director Melody Gonzalez, will share how these initiatives are helping support educators as they prepare for the new school year at United Teachers of Dade Stewards Retreat on August 10th, 2023. Click here for more information.  


Funding Opportunities 

Federal Register: Education Department 

  • NIA: The Office of Postsecondary Education and Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2023 for the HBCU, TCCU, MSI, and RDI grant programs. The deadline to apply is November 30th, 2023.  
  • The Department of Education Supporting America’s School Infrastructure Grant Program deadline is due on August 18th, 2023. Click here to access the application. 

IEL Policy Highlights: 

  • The Coalition for Community Schools wrapped its eight-part Ready, Set, Apply! Webinar series to support schools and districts nationwide in preparing to submit their Full-Service Community School grant application.