This week, the Biden Administration issued a call for nominations in support of negotiators, who will participate in a negotiated rulemaking panel that will decide the next steps in student loan debt forgiveness.

The Back Story: Negotiated rulemaking – or “neg reg” – is the process by which the U.S. Department of Education develops proposed rules to govern the student loan program and address student debt relief.

The first step in negotiated rulemaking is for the Department to announce its intent to establish a negotiated rulemaking committee.

After that, the Department will seek nominations from 14 different constituency groups for the Student Loan Relief committee, which will meet for three virtual sessions, beginning on October 10. Both a primary and alternative representative from each of the following categories will be selected:

  • Four spots for current students and student loan borrowers based upon the level of program attended.

    Note: the Department is particularly interested in a variety of experiences with student loans and postsecondary education, including hearing from learners who attended different types of institutions, receiving a Pell Grant and borrowing a Parent PLUS loan.
  • Four spots for representatives from different types of institutions of higher education including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions.
  • Two spots for state officials and Attorneys General.
  • Two spots for civil rights organizations and legal assistance organizations.
  • One spot for a U.S. military service member or veteran.
  • One spot for a representative from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program.

Once the negotiators are selected, the Department will publish the exact issues to be negotiated and names of the members selected to serve on the committee.

The negotiators selected by the Department will meet virtually on October 10-11, November 6-7 and December 11-12, 2023 to discuss ideas for regulatory reform. All sessions will be open to the public and will include opportunities for public comment.

When negotiations are complete, the Department will publish proposed rules for public comment. 

The Department will later review public comments (after the public hearing on July 18, the Department received over 24,000 comments) and produce final regulations, expected next year.

What Happens Next? Nominations for negotiators can be sent to and must include the following details: information about the nominee, their constituency group, resume, experience and contact information. All nominations must be received by September 14. For more information about qualifications for nominees, see the Federal Register notice here.