Today's News

Today's News for Friday, March 06, 2015 
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Great Lakes. Our enhanced Portfolio Navigator allows you to use NSLDS data to identify all of your students who need repayment help, not just students with Great Lakes. Then, leverage your time and resources with the new Action Center tool, using your data to connect each student to their servicer for the repayment help they need.


Report: School Order on FAFSA Has Little to No Bearing on Aid Amount

A study highlighted in Inside Higher Education found evidence suggesting students are listing institutions on the FAFSA in order of preference, but a new report, "Strategic Use of FAFSA List Information By Colleges," finds selective colleges and universities do not appear to be adjusting their financial aid packages in response to the listed order.

Bill to Repeal Loan Origination Fees Reintroduced

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) has reintroduced legislation that would end the practice of charging origination fees on student loans. Initially offered last September, the Eliminating the Hidden Student Loan Tax Act repeals the authorization to charge origination fees on all Direct Loans for undergraduate students, graduate students, and parents, with a proposed implementation date of July 1, 2015. NASFAA has been calling for an end to origination fees for years, and included such a recommendation in our proposals for reauthorization to Congress submitted last year. NASFAA President Justin Draeger previously joined Rep. Davis in publishing an op-ed in support of this important policy initiative.

Connie McCormick Retires After 20 Years with NASFAA

Please join us in congratulating Connie McCormick, NASFAA's former Chief Training Officer, on her retirement. With more than three decades in financial aid, Connie held jobs at East Texas State University, Texas Tech University, Tarrant County Junior College, and Texas Wesleyan before joining NASFAA. She has been an asset to the association and we will miss her dearly. Have a look the slideshow we put together in Connie's honor and leave your best wishes for her in the comments section.

Learn Best Practices, Strategic Advice In Voices From the Aid Office

Are you struggling to communicate difficult financial aid information? Wondering how to best promote financial literacy on your campus? In Voices From the Aid Office, an occasional Today's News series, we feature best practices from NASFAA members on common issues facing financial aid offices. Explore our Voices From the Aid Office Center to read anecdotes, advice, and innovative ideas on a variety of topics from colleagues across the country. If you would like to suggest a topic for a future Voices From the Aid Office article, please email us at

Submit Your Nominations For Awards By Noon EST Today

Every year, NASFAA recognizes outstanding members and other higher education stakeholders for their achievements and contributions to financial aid. Starting this year, members can nominate individuals to receive the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for their contribution to financial aid literature. Also, be sure to submit your project for a Gold Star Award, which recognizes innovations in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency. Award winners will be announced at the 2015 NASFAA Conference, July 19-22, in New Orleans, LA.


National News

Republican Governors' Shared Goals For Higher Ed: Accountability And Work-Force Preparation

"... Judging from their budget proposals, GOP governors are all over the map on their levels of support for higher education. But look past the conflicting budget numbers, and a more-unified approach to higher-ed policy begins to emerge," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. 

Americans Have A Record $248 Billion In 529 College Savings Accounts

"More Americans are saving money for college using 529 accounts," CNN Money reports.

158 Private Colleges Fail Government's Financial-Responsibility Test

"By one measure at least, the 2013 fiscal year was a healthier year financially for private colleges than 2012 was. Fewer degree-granting colleges missed the passing mark on the Department of Education's financial-responsibility test that year, according to a Chronicle analysis of data the department released Thursday night," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Supporting First-gen College Students

"Thirty percent of higher ed students today are the first in their family to attend college, while 24 percent-4.5 million-are both first-generation and low-income," University Business reports.

For 529 College-Savings Plans, A Big Challenge Is Setting The Record Straight

"For years, advocates of 529 college-savings plans have struggled to persuade people that they're more than just tax shelters for the rich," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

State News

Arizona: Killing All State Support

"Arizona has a reputation for frugality with regard to state support for higher education, but a deal reached this week between Governor Doug Ducey and legislative leaders is leaving educators in the state stunned," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Kansas: Former Pittsburg State Professor Pleads Guilty To Fraud

"A former Pittsburg State University professor has admitted defrauding a Nigerian graduate student exchange program he led at the university out of more than $140,000," The Associated Press reports.

Connecticut: Hartford Consortium Gets $200K Grant To Support Student Programs

"The Hartford Consortium for Higher Education has been awarded $200,000 from Bank of America to expand its efforts preparing and mentoring students for college and the workforce, officials said," the Hartford Courant reports.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Members Of Congress Owe Up To $4.6 Million On Student Loans

"More members of Congress than ever have student loan debt - 47, or 8 percent of Congress, according to OpenSecrets," Vox reports.




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