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Today's News for Wednesday, May 06, 2015 
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Your Thoughts: Our Best Practices For Direct Loan Reconciliation Are...

With the start of summer comes the beginning of many tasks within the financial aid office, including the annual Direct Loan reconciliation. Every office handles this process differently, and we'd like to know: what are the best practices used in your office? Share your thoughts in the comments section and take a look at what your colleagues suggest!

In Case You Missed It: FSA ID Guide Released

In anticipation of its switch from the Federal Student Aid PIN to the FSA ID on May 10, the Department of Education has released a one-page guide for students, parents, and borrowers. The guide walks users through a six-step process to create an FSA ID, which they will need to sign in to certain ED websites. In an Electronic Announcement Monday, ED recommended sharing the guide with your audiences after the May 10 implementation date, when users can create an ID.

Poll the Pros: Use of Borrower Based Academic Year For Summer Term

As detailed in the Federal Student Aid Handbook, for Federal Direct loans "a school must use either a Scheduled Academic Year (SAY) or a Borrower Based Academic Year (BBAY) to determine when a student is eligible for a new annual loan limit." While SAYs normally begin and end at the same time each year, BBAYs change with the student’s enrollment. If your school uses a SAY to process Direct Loans, take this poll to tell us more about your use of the optional BBAY for the summer term and see how your colleagues responded. Want more polls? Peruse past Poll the Pros columns for other questions and results.

Earlier Exhibit Hall Hours Include Continental Breakfast Monday and Tuesday

NOLA TNAs you plan ahead to make the most of your time at the conference, please note we have new, earlier hours for the exhibit hall where the continental breakfast will be served on Monday and Tuesday mornings starting at 8:00 am. If you haven’t checked it out yet, see the full schedule of activities, posted on the conference website under the Learn tab. Using the Search Schedule link, you can search for sessions by typing keywords, a presenter's name, or the title. Looking for a favorite speaker? Search the alphabetical Speaker List. The conference is again packed with "must attend" sessions. Register now! 

CORE 2015-16 Materials Now Available; Included In Value And Value Plus Upgrade Packages

CORE is a comprehensive set of instructional materials for teaching financial aid fundamentals to individuals with less than two years experience. CORE’s 14 modules cover financial aid administration from A to Z and its flexible design allows you to use it for teaching small or large groups. If you have never tried CORE, purchase and download one module at a time to see if it meets your staff training needs. If you are a Value or Value Plus member, CORE is included in your membership package, so there is no additional cost for you to download it.


5-05: 2013-2014 Federal Perkins Loan Service Cancellation Reimbursement

Subpart D of the Federal Perkins Loan Program regulations sets forth the conditions for service-based cancellation of borrowers’ Federal Perkins Loans.


National News

U.S. Eyes New Path To Debt Relief

"The unprecedented collapse and now bankruptcy of Corinthian Colleges has left in its wake a large political battle over student debt relief," according to Inside Higher Ed.

Corinthian Appeals $30 Million Fine, Requests Hearing

"Corinthian Colleges on Tuesday formally asked the U.S. Department of Education to reconsider its nearly $30 million fine of the defunct for-profit college chain, which officials accused of misrepresenting job placement rates," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Higher Ed Lobby Quietly Joins For-Profit Schools To Roll Back Tighter Rules

"The Obama administration is set to achieve one of its top domestic policy goals after years of wrangling," ProPublica reports.

Sweet Briar's Demise Puts New Pressure On College Trustees

"'Before I came on the board,' says Lee D. Ardell, a trustee at Austin College, 'I thought, It can't be that hard.' She soon realized her mistake," according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Study Fills Void On Wage Data For Community College Grads

"Many career technical education programs show 'substantial, positive earnings effects,' but a more granular look at the programs - and the characteristics and motives of students who enroll in them - is needed in order to determine which programs yield the best results," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports.

Profit And Competency

"Kaplan University will now offer personalized 'competency reports' to its 45,000 students," Inside Higher Ed reports.

State News

Texas: Senate Passes Bill To Rein In Tuition Growth

"Universities that want to hike tuition would have to meet a series of accountability benchmarks under a bill approved by the Senate Thursday, April 30," the Cleveland Advocate reports.

Illinois Sues 5 Companies For Student Loan Repayment Scams

"Illinois' attorney general has filed lawsuits against five companies and is accusing them of scamming people who need to repay student loan debt," The Associated Press reports.

U. Of Illinois To Offer A Lower-Cost M.B.A., Thanks To MOOCs

"The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign plans to start a low-cost online M.B.A. program in partnership with Coursera, the Silicon Valley-based MOOC provider, hoping to meet its land-grant mission of improving access and also to create a new stream of revenue at a time of shrinking state support for higher education," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

The Textbook Dilemma: Georgia's University System Looking For Cheaper Books To Help Offset The Rising Cost Of Tuition

"The Board of Regents may be boosting tuition by 9 percent this year at the state's major universities while the overall economy's inflation rate is essentially zero, but the University System of Georgia is trying to find less expensive textbooks," The Florida Times-Union reports.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Schools Spend Nearly 1,000,000 Hours Complying With IPEDS. Let's Cut That By 2/3!

"Tomorrow Senator Alexander will be holding an HEA reauthorization hearing on The Role of Consumer Information in College Choice. ... One issue that is bound to come up is one near and dear to Senator Alexander's heart-reducing institutional reporting burden," according to EdCentral.




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