Department of Education’s Cancer Treatment Deferment Request form (OMB No. 1845-0154) allows student loan borrowers to request “deferment on [their] eligible loans and forbearance on [their] ineligible loans during cancer treatment and for 6 months after.”

Spreadsheets published by the Department of Education suggest that its Direct Loan and Federal Family Education Loan portfolios each have loans under cancer treatment deferment for fewer than 5,000 borrowers. The precise numbers are not possible to discern, however, due to the spreadsheets appearing to round to the nearest 10,000; the true values could be anywhere between 0 and 4,999.

Even if those spreadsheets did contain precise numbers, they would lack many details of public interest, such as the number of borrowers/loans denied the deferrals, the amounts and types of loans for denied and approved deferrals, and the geographic distribution of deferral requestors.

Our FOIA request 📄 to the Department of Education seeks database records referring to submissions of the deferment request form, excluding personally-identifiable information but including the Department’s actions in response to the requests.

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