Today's News

Today's News for Thursday, July 24, 2014 
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House Passes Pair of Higher Ed Bills

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed two bills related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act- HR 4983 Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act and HR 3136 Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act of 2013. Originally introduced in June, the bills were marked-up and passed out of committee in the second week of July.

ED's Expanded Experimental Sites Initiative Aims To Help Nontraditional Students With College Completion

The Department of Education (ED) announced Tuesday a new round of "experimental sites" that will test new and innovative practices to help students in achieving academic and career success. Under the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended, the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI) permits ED to waive specific statutory or regulatory requirements at participating postsecondary institutions. In keeping with the college affordability agenda President Obama rolled out last summer, the experimental site schools will be able to offer aid for competency-based programs where students are able to progress at their own pace, and for prior-learning assessments, which may be particularly helpful for nontraditional or adult learners.

Community Colleges Share Loan Program, CDR Experiences During NASFAA Webinar

During a NASFAA-hosted webinar on Wednesday, financial aid administrators shared their experiences with managing default rates at their community colleges and their decisions on whether or not to participate in the federal student loan programs.


7-23: Availability of the New NSLDS Enrollment Spreadsheet Submittal Format and Updated NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide (July 2014)

The New National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Enrollment Spreadsheet Submittal Format is now available on the Federal Student Aid Download (FSAdownload) Web site.

7-23: TPD Discharge Information - SAIG Service for Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Loan Holder Notification File Delivery Now Available for FFEL Program Guaranty Agencies

Beginning July 21, 2014, FFEL Program guaranty agencies can enroll for the new Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Loan Holder Notification service via the SAIG Enrollment Web site.

7-23: Foreign School Information Web Page Updates - SAIG Enrollment Information and Forms

Updated setup information for the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) has been posted on the Foreign School Information Web page.

7-23: NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide (July 2014)

The NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide (July 2014) is attached in Portable Document Format (PDF).


National News

Baby Steps For Higher Ed Act

"The U.S. House on Wednesday unanimously passed legislation boosting competency-based education and overwhelmingly approved an overhaul of how the Education Department discloses college data," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Record Student-Loan Debt Prompts Treasury Push To Stem Defaults

"The U.S. Treasury, which finances more than 90 percent of new student loans, is exploring ways to make repayment more affordable as defaults by almost 7 million Americans and other strapped borrowers restrain economic growth," Bloomberg reports.

Because Of Application Mistake, Some Pell Grant Recipients Might Not Be Eligible After All

"Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form," the Associated Press reports. "'Students who have questions should definitely look at their financial aid report or check in with their financial aid office if they think there may have been an error,' said Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]."

Historically Black Colleges Face Uncertain Future

"For generations, [historically black] colleges and universities have played a key role in educating young African-Americans ... But facing often steep declines in enrollment, these schools are struggling to survive," The Washington Post reports.

Renewed Push On Job Training

"President Obama took steps to overhaul federal job training programs on Tuesday, announcing new executive actions and signing new workforce investment legislation," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Are 'Micro-Scholarships' The Key To The Financial Aid Lock?

"The University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) hosts an annual joint business plan competition with the Milken Family Foundation to identify and reward ed tech startups which challenge the status quo surrounding modern curriculum. In 2013, Raise [with its revolutionary approach to financial aid] was the big winner," Forbes reports.

Enrollment Yields Becoming Ever Harder To Meet

"A decline in high school graduates and students applying to more institutions are what one expert sees as the two main reasons more colleges and universities are struggling to meet their admission yield targets," University Business reports.

Legislation To Close Loophole In GI Bill College Aid Dies In Minutes

"Legislation designed to prevent for-profit colleges from gaming the federal aid system and exploiting veterans died within 15 minutes of being introduced this month," according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Discover Profit Rises On Loan Growth

"Discover Financial Services said its second-quarter profit rose 7%, driven by widespread loan growth and strong credit performance," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Blogs and Think Tanks

A Hefty Price To Pay To Simplify Tax-Based Student Aid

"Legislation that the U.S. House of Representatives is considering this week would significantly simplify higher education tax breaks for students and their families - but would do so at an exorbitant price," The New America Foundation's EdCentral reports.


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