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Today's News for Thursday, April 24, 2014 
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NASFAA Event Highlights Benefits And Challenges Of Prior-Prior Year Shift

Moving to prior-prior year (PPY) tax data in need analysis would benefit both students and financial aid administrators-and momentum is building for the shift, presenters concluded Wednesday at an event hosted by NASFAA on Capitol Hill.

Third Round of Neg Reg Starts With State Authorization Of Distance Ed

Negotiators reconvened Wednesday for the third session of the Department of Education's 2013-14 Program Integrity and Improvement negotiated rulemaking, where state authorization of distance education programs dominated the conversation.

Need More Information On Constructing An Award Letter? The Student Aid Index Can Help!

NASFAA's Student Aid Index, now available in beta form, provides links directly to the statutory authority, regulations, and relevant Federal Student Aid handbook volumes and chapters -- including those on awarding campus-based aid and packaging aid. A number of links to related NASFAA publications and articles are also provided, including a link to the AskRegs Knowledgebase (where you can search or browse for answers to regulatory and compliance questions), CORE instructional materials, an Award Letter How-to Guide, and a resources guide for assessing regulatory requirements. Want to learn more about the Index? Visit to view the 1.5 minute video and read testimonials from your colleagues.

Seats Are Going Fast! Register Today For NASFAA U's Cost of Attendance And Professional Judgment Online Courses

NASFAA University offers a 100 percent online collaborative learning environment -- which makes it easy to share ideas and information with your classmates all over the country. These online courses can help you become more proficient, more knowledgeable, and more valuable to your organization. Course participants should reserve four to eight hours per week for each course. All courses are facilitated by NASFAA's training and regulatory staff. For more details about the Cost of Attendance and Professional Judgment courses, visit NASFAA University.


National News

Colleges Share Strategies That Help Disadvantaged Students Succeed

"For one student, the difference was a financial-aid officer who took the time to draw him out about personal problems that were derailing his studies. The strategies that their small, private colleges took to help those low-income students succeed took center stage on Wednesday at a three-day conference highlighting a group that isn't used to being in the spotlight," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Upstart's New Student Loan Aims To Crack Underserved Market

"[W]hile crowdfunding is still a radically new idea in student finance, Upstart's new product announced today is fairly traditional: A short-term, medium-interest loan that young people can use for class, or even to refinance credit card debt or finance special projects," the Silicone Valley Business Journal reports.

How Some Colleges Are Offering Free Textbooks

"Instead of asking students to buy a textbook from a major publishing company, [South Florida Community College student Caitlin] Ryen's professor assigned a free digital textbook that he customized for the class. Ryen's professor, Erik Christensen, began exploring the format in 2007, when a student asked to borrow a textbook because he couldn't afford one," CNN reports.

Proportion Of Americans With College Degrees Grows

"The proportion of Americans with college and university degrees continues to rise slowly, according to new figures, and young adults in particular are picking up the pace of earning academic degrees," Diverse: Issues In Higher Education reports.

State News

New York: Davis College To Assist With Student Loan Repayment

"Davis College will introduce a program this fall to help incoming students pay off their loans after graduation. The Christian college in Johnson City will introduce FLEX - Financial Liberty Exercised - for incoming students. FLEX provides assistance to students and parents and will help with loan repayment after graduation if students do not meet specified income thresholds," Press Connects reports.

Students Can Continue To DREAM In Utah

"Language in the [DREAM Act] regarding out-of-state tuition exemptions for students meeting certain requirements has been removed from bill proposals, but there are several states throughout the country that have adopted and passed their own versions with nonresident tuition exemptions. Utah is one of them," The Park Record reports.

Missouri: Senate Weighs Student Loan Bill

"Missouri lawmakers have only a few weeks to decide whether to expand a college scholarship for top students in an effort to employ them in the state after graduation," the Columbia Daily Tribune reports.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Reducing Tuition, Not Offering More Loans, Will Make College Affordable

"U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is one half of the legislative duo who recently introduced a bill designed to ease the pain of repaying college costs by bringing in Wall Street. Yet, this is another typical Beltway response -- treat the symptom with a legislative Band Aid when what is needed is a major surgery on the entire structure of higher education to cut the exorbitant cost of higher education," Munir Moon, author of The Beltway Beast, writes in The Huffington Post's The Blog.

How Has Mich.'s Ban on Affirmative Action Affected Minority Enrollment?

"Although the decision didn't directly address the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions policies, the dissenting opinion, written by Justice Sonia M. Sotomayor, cited student-demographic data as proof that the ban, which went into effect in 2008, has adversely affected minority enrollment and diversity at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor," The Chronicle of Higher Education's Data Points reports.


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