Today's News

Today's News for Wednesday, July 30, 2014 
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Senate Democrats Propose Changes to Counseling and Loan Servicing

Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), introduced a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization bill on June 25. The Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA), which includes several provisions for which NASFAA has been advocating, takes the form of a discussion draft and marks the HELP Committee’s first step toward reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. This article is the sixth in a series that examines various provisions proposed by this bill.

10 Questions With NASFAA's New National Chair, Eileen O'Leary!

As she begins her tenure as 2014-15 National Chair, Eileen O'Leary took some time to discuss with Today's News her goals for the next year and what inspires her as a financial aid professional. Be sure to check out Eileen's address to NASFAA members at the 2014 National Conference in Nashville!

Members Invited To Give Input on Professional Diversity Issues

NASFAA's Professional Diversity Caucus has begun developing a long-range plan that will identify diversity within NASFAA and provide suggestions to the association about how to best meet the needs of a diverse membership. Caucus members will be actively seeking input from their respective regional and state financial aid organizations, but contributions from individual members are also greatly valued. Please submit any comments related to diversity in financial aid administration, training tools or programs, professional development issues or other suggestions for the caucus to The committee looks forward to serving you-- the membership-- and is excited for this opportunity to celebrate diversity in our organization!

Check Out NASFAA's Newly Updated Policies & Procedures Toolkit

NASFAA's Policies & Procedures Tools are a set of integrated resources to help you improve your regulatory compliance, administrative consistency, and staff training. This essential management toolkit provides expert guidance and an organized approach to developing and maintaining policies and procedures. Want to gain a better understanding of the issues that should be taken into consideration when formulating policies, determine what policies and procedures are required, and navigate complex and ever-changing laws and regulations? The toolkit can help.


National News

Financial Aid For Seniors Going Back To School

"The number of graduate and postgraduate students ages 50 to 64 has been climbing steadily, from 625,000 in 2007 to as many as 750,000 in 2011 - a 20 percent increase, according to the National Center for Education Statistics," AARP The Magazine reports. "For most types of federal financial aid, you need to be enrolled at least half time in a degree or academic program. 'You can't just go back and enroll in continuing education or take one class at a time,' says Karen McCarthy, senior policy analyst with [NASFAA]."

Driving College Loan Defaults Down

"Outsourcing delinquent borrower outreach to a company focused on default prevention is an aggressive defensive approach that can have a real impact on loan payment rates," University Business reports. "'Default prevention is a laborious process that requires a lot of time and people,' says Karen McCarthy, a senior policy analyst for [NASFAA]. 'These companies know what efforts are fruitful, so time won't be wasted on tactics that don't work.'"

The Default Trap

"Advocates for community colleges are pressing federal lawmakers to make adjustments to a student loan law they say is a 'blunt tool' that could unfairly penalize colleges where only a small portion of students default on their federal loans," Inside Higher Ed reports.

For-Profit Colleges Still Cash In On Post-9/11 GI Bill, Harkin Reports Says

"Eight big for-profit-college companies received nearly a quarter of all the money spent on Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits in 2012-13, says a report released on Wednesday by Sen. Tom Harkin and the Senate education committee's Democratic majority," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Grieving Parents Hit With $200,000 In Student Loans

"When his 27-year old daughter Lisa died suddenly of liver failure five years ago, Steve Mason was as devastated as any father would be. Then the student loan bills started coming," CNNMoney reports.

More Than A Third Of Americans Reported To Collection Agencies For Unpaid Bills And Debts

"More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute," the Associated Press reports.

Med Schools Criticize Report On Financing Medical Education

"A new report by the Institute of Medicine, issued Tuesday, called for an overhaul of federal financing of physician training and residency programs," Inside Higher Ed reports.

State News

New Data On Decline Of State Support, 2001-11

"New data from the Delta Cost Project, for the American Institutes of Research, show how much the states withdrew support from public higher education during the decade that ended in 2011," Inside Higher Ed reports.

California's New Middle Class Scholarship Awards Delayed

"UC and Cal State students anticipating financial aid from the state's new Middle Class Scholarship program are going to have to wait until September to learn how much they will receive, a top administrator said Tuesday," The Los Angeles Times reports.

Pennsylvania: PHEAA Warns Of Scams Promising Grant Money

"Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is encouraging students and families to watch out for scams promising a State Grant award or offering assistance in completing applications in exchange for a fee," Public Opinion reports.

Blogs and Think Tanks

How The Government Exaggerates The Cost Of College

"The government's official statistic for college-tuition inflation has become somewhat infamous. It appears frequently in the news media, and policy makers lament what it shows," The New York TimesThe Upshot reports.

Becoming Intentional About College Retention

"One of the biggest concerns at colleges and universities is how best to improve retention," Brian C. Mitchell writes for The Huffington Post's The Blog.


At Purdue, A Case Study In Cost Cuts

"A year and a half into his tenure, Mr. [Mitch] Daniels has frozen tuition (for the first time in 36 years), cut the cost of student food by 10% and introduced volume purchasing to take advantage of economies of scale," The Wall Street Journal reports.


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