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Today's News for Tuesday, November 25, 2014 
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New From The JFSA: Do You Know What You Owe? Students' Understanding of Their Student Loans

In this new Journal of Student Financial Aid (JSFA) article, authors Emily A. Andruska, Jeanne M. Hogarth, Cynthia Needles Fletcher, Gregory R. Forbes, and Darin R. Wohlgemuth pose two questions: Do students know whether they have student loans? And, do they know how much of their loans is still outstanding? Their results suggest that although most students are aware that they owe on student loans, they often underestimate the amount they owe. Read the full article for more on their results and a discussion of the roles that counselors, educators, and policymakers can play in improving students’ understanding of their student loan debt.

NASFAA Board Approves Dues for 2015-16

The NASFAA Board of Directors recently approved a $5 increase to the base dues fee for the 2015-16 year, increasing the base fee from $825 to $830, and a .004 increase to the FTE multiplier from .085 to .089. This increase is less than average historical dues increases. It is being announced nearly eight months prior to the start of the fiscal year (July 1, 2015) to give schools sufficient time to plan accordingly.

Only 10 Seats Left For NASFAA U’s Overview Of The Financial Aid Programs Course; Register Today!

With only one week remaining, register now for NASFAA University’s Online Course Overview of the Financial Aid Programs and reserve your spot! NASFAA University’s most popular online course introduces attendees to basic financial aid concepts, categories and types of financial aid, the Title IV aid programs, and other federal sources of assistance to students. This course is not only an effective training tool for new financial aid staff, it also offers your institution's non-financial aid staff a basic understanding of financial aid programs and requirements.


11-24: COD School Testing for the 2015-2016 Award Year

The Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) School Relations Center will conduct Common Record Manual Verification and Structured Application Testing for the 2015-2016 Award Year from January 2, 2015 through November 6, 2015. Optional Unstructured Testing will be available April 20, 2015 through December 18, 2015.

11-24: 2015-2016 Verification-Suggested Text and Availability of 2014 IRS Tax Information

This Electronic Announcement provides suggested text in APPENDIX A for each of the required 2015-2016 verification items that were identified in the June 25, 2014, Federal Register notice.

11-24: 2015-2016 Summary of Changes for the Application Processing System Guide

The Department announces the posting of the 2015-2016 Summary of Changes for the Application Processing System guide.


National News

Why 2 States Have Poured Money Into Public Higher Education

"In a time of frantic calls to raise the number of Americans with university degrees who will be needed to feed the globally competitive knowledge economy, only two states - North Dakota and Alaska - have increased spending per student on higher education, when adjusted for inflation, since the economic downturn, according to the independent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities," according to The Hechinger Report.

Sen. Alexander Wants To Shorten 10-Page College Aid FAFSA Form To Two-Question Postcard

"Dianne Cox knows people who'd rather do their income taxes than fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a 108-question form that needs to be filed annually for college students to get most kinds of financial aid," The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

State News

Nebraska: Students Learn To Manage Their Finances In The Face Of Rising Debt

"Patrick Wright is $32,000 in debt despite a Regents Scholarship that pays for his tuition," the Daily Nebraskan reports. "The average debt for UNL undergraduates post-graduation is $20,567. But the average indebtedness data can be misleading, said Craig Munier, director of the UNL Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid [and former NASFAA National Chair]."


Opinion: Student Debt Vs. Car Loans

"If you listen to all the commotion, you would think that the level of college debt in the U.S. today is a crisis of epic proportion-hundreds of thousands of unfortunate young people leaving college with crushing loan debt. The facts might surprise you," Lucie Lapovsky writes in a Forbes opinion piece.

Editorial: Colorado: Can The Poor Get Into Top Colleges?

"Not every college education is created equal, and it should come as no surprise that Colorado children from the lowest-income families are the least likely to go to the best colleges," according to an editorial from The Denver Post.

Blogs and Think Tanks

FAFSA Simplification: Be Careful What You Wish For

"For years Senator [Lamar] Alexander has literally held up the current ten-page FAFSA taped together, arguing that such undue complexity reduces college access," New America's EdCentral reports.

Comparing College Costs The Easy Way

"If you're a shoestring start-up trying to get noticed in an enormous industry, there's nothing that helps more than having big players try to ban you. But from financial services to airlines, the pattern repeats itself again and again, as the lumbering giants seek to destroy rather than cooperate," The New York TimesYour Money reports.

Student Loan Borrowers: Can You Pass My Repayment Test?

"I fear many student loan borrowers are flunking out when it comes to choosing the right repayment plan. Here's a quick quiz to test your repayment smarts," Suze Orman writes on her show's MSNBC blog.



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