Multiple media outlets, and White House, utilize expertise of UW–Madison’s Hillman

Multiple media outlets — and the White House — have utilized the expertise of UW–Madison’s Nicholas Hillman in recent reports about the unveiling of President Joe Biden’s new plan to provide student debt relief.


Hillman has also been called on by media to speak about the impact of the botched roll-out of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form this year.

Hillman is a professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and the director of the Student Success through Applied Research (SSTAR) Lab. His research examines how finance, policy, and geography shape educational opportunities in the United States.

In an article in The Atlantic, “Colleges Are Facing an Enrollment Nightmare,” Hillman weighs in on how the issues with the FAFSA this year may prevent students from going to college in the fall.

On the topic of Biden’s plan for student debt relief, research by Hillman is utilized in a report from the White House examining “The Economics of the Administration’s Actions on Student Debt.”

He is also quoted In Capital Times article, where he discusses the plan’s legality. Hillman notes that the plan takes its legal basis from language in the Higher Education Act, which “allows the U.S. secretary of education to ‘compromise, waive, or release’ federal student loans,” the article explains.

While Biden’s previous proposal for student debt relief was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, this version is more narrowly targeted: “They were like ‘Let’s focus on a few different groups’,” Hillman says. “People who have been in repayment 20 years, people who have their loans that are more expensive today than when they originally took them out, people facing economic hardship. And they prioritize those tailored, narrower groups of cancellation.”

Hillman notes that he expects the new policies to be upheld in court.

In addition to the above, Hillman discusses Biden’s plan for student debt relief on WISN 12 Milwaukee and WMTV Madison, and research from his SSTAR Lab is utilized in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

Pin It on Pinterest