ADA Seeks Amendment to PROSPER Act to Ensure Au.D. Students Have Same Opportunities as other Clinical Doctoring Students

ADA seeks to amend the PROSPER Act, H.R. 4508, which was recently introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY). The legislation seeks to consolidate the current six federal student loan programs into a new Federal ONE Loan Program with three categories of borrowing for undergraduate, graduate and parent loans.

The bill establishes new annual and aggregate student loan limits. The loan limit for graduate education programs is set at $28,500 per year. However, the bill allows for increases in the loan limits for certain healthcare programs of study. For programs of study to become a doctor of allopathic medicine, doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of dentistry, doctor of veterinary medicine, doctor of optometry, doctor of podiatric medicine, doctor of naturopathic medicine, or doctor of naturopathy, the loan limit is raised by up to $26,667 annually.

Currently, doctor of audiology, is omitted from the legislation altogether. Without an amendment to the bill, students seeking an Au.D. degree will have less access to loan funding than their counterparts in other clinical doctoring programs, and university audiology training programs will have a more difficult time recruiting qualified students. ADA has sent a formal letter to the Education Subcommittee to urge the committee to amend the legislation to include doctor of audiology students, alongside their colleagues seeking clinical doctoral degrees.

Read ADA’s letter to the Committee by clicking here.

This request is consistent with ADA’s vision for audiologists to achieve professional parity with other clinical doctoring professions, and further demonstrates the need for passage of the Audiology Patient Choice Act, so that audiologists can be properly categorized under Medicare Part B, which sets the bar for other federal programs.

Member Action Needed:

  1. Please review members of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development by clicking here.
  2. If your Representative is on this committee, please contact him/her by phone, and contact him/her through Congressional Connect, and request that doctor of audiology be included in the list of clinical doctoring professions for which higher student loan limits will be allowed under the PROSPER Act.