On August 21, President Trump issued a presidential memorandum directing the Departments of Education (DOE) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to simplify the process disabled veterans must follow to have their student loans forgiven.
Under the Higher Education Act, veterans who have total and permanent disabilities because of their military service qualify for federal student loan forgiveness. According to President Trump’s memorandum, only half of those veterans who qualify have taken advantage of the program.
The memorandum directs the DOE and the VA to work together to minimize the burdens on qualifying veterans who want relief from their student loans.
Presidential memoranda and executive orders both carry the force of law, but memoranda are not numbered nor required by law to be published in the _Federal Register_. Under an executive order issued by President John F. Kennedy, the president must cite the constitutional or legal authority that justifies issuing an executive order; that justification is not required for presidential memoranda.