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Cordray to Step Down from Federal Student Aid Post

Richard Cordray has announced he will be stepping down this summer from his post as the chief operating officer of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Federal Student Aid.

Richard CordrayRichard Cordray“We are grateful for Rich Cordray’s three years of service, in which he accomplished more transformational changes to the student aid system than any of his predecessors,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel A. Cardona.

Cordray worked to fix student loan system programs, like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income Driven Repayment, and oversaw the development and implementation of the SAVE Plan.

Cardona said the COO revitalized the FSA Enforcement Unit to hold schools accountable for cheating students and combated student loan scams. “It’s no exaggeration to say that Rich helped change millions of lives for the better,” he said.

Cordray’s office has also undergone scrutiny and criticism for its botched rollout of changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which were supposed to simplify the application process and expand access to underserved students and their families. The rollout, instead, has caused application backlogs and delays prompting the Government Accountability Office to begin an investigation into the application process — which, in March, encountered a calculation error in the financial aid formula for applications sent to colleges and required potential reprocessing for more than 200,000 students.

Cordray, who was appointed COO in May 2021, is responsible for the strategic and operational management of ED’s Office of Federal Student Aid. He is expected to continue in the role until the end of June.

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