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Our Work


Student Defense works to promote effective, data-driven rulemaking by commenting on regulatory proposals, and holding regulators accountable when they fail to comply with their responsibilities.

For several years, Student Defense engaged in advocacy efforts calling on the Department of Education to provide automatic “total and permanent disability” (TPD) discharges to the hundreds of thousands of borrowers it has long known are entitled to relief, but who have not received it. After years of work, these efforts paid off. On August 19, 2021, the Department announced that it would provide $5.8 billion in automatic TPD discharges to 323,000 borrowers identified as eligible through a data match with the Social Security Administration. According to data recently released by the Department, over 400,000 individuals have now received discharges totaling more than $9 billion. A timeline of Student Defense’s advocacy efforts on TPD is available here.

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Advocacy Work