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Today's News for Friday, August 01, 2014 
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NASFAA Member Ken Kocer Advocates for Private Loan Certification Before Senate Committee

Kenneth Kocer, director of student financial assistance at Mount Marty College and president of the South Dakota Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SDASFAA), provided U.S. senators with several recommendations for federal and private student loans during a hearing Thursday. At the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs' "Financial Products For Students: Issues And Challenges" hearing, Kocer advocated for several NASFAA-backed policy changes, including a universal student loan portal where borrowers could track federal and private loans, and the ability for financial aid administrators to limit federal loan borrowing for broad categories of students.

Behind the Scenes with Blondeen: Are We There Yet?

Indeed we are! Everything has finally come together with the NASFAA National Profile, an annually released primer that provides information on federal student aid programs and the students that they serve. Read on to learn more about what I've been up to over the past week or have a look back at past issues of Behind the Scenes with Blondeen.

Financial Aid Scenario: A Parent Has Only A Couple Of Days To Get Signed Verification Documentation In To You Before Your Deadline. Can You Accept It Electronically?

Is this something you’ve grappled with in your aid office? NASFAA's Student Aid Index can help! If you look under Verification, the list of subtopics includes "Electronic signatures. Below that, under "Program Integrity Information Page on Verification, DOC-Q&A12," you will find a link to the related Department of Education Program Integrity Q&A that addresses this issue. Want to learn more about the Index? Visit

Looking For New Job Opportunities?

NASFAA's Career Center is the definitive career resource for financial aid professionals! The Center offers free job searching and resume posting, as well as discounted job posting rates and special offers for NASFAA members. Features include easy navigation with quick links to jobs by state or function and links to current NASFAA Career Center promotions. Get more visibility when you upgrade your job posting to Preferred status - your posting will appear on the Career Center home page as featured job in addition to appearing at the top of the job listings!

Find A Highly Qualified Financial Aid Professional To Speak At Financial Aid Nights Or To Mentor Your Staff

Nearly 400 of your peers have already signed up to volunteer as mentors for new aid administrators, mentors to high school guidance counselors, or speakers for financial aid. Now NASFAA’s online Speaker and Mentor Directory allows you to refine your search by name, state, keyword or region to help find a volunteer in your local area! To offer your own services, simply log in to your myNASFAA profile, scroll down to click “Edit,” navigate to the Demographic Information tab, and scroll down to the “Speaker/Mentor Directory Listing.” Once you complete your profile, you can update it any time.


7-31: Loan Servicing Information - Need Financial Aid Community's Assistance in Stopping Misdirected Loan Payments to Discontinued ACS (Xerox) Payment Mailbox

Payments sent to the discontinued Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) payment mailbox are now being returned. Returned payments can lead to a borrower’s account becoming delinquent.

7-31: 2015-2016 Application Processing System Specifications for Software Developers (August 2014 Draft)

The draft Application Processing System Specifications for Software Developers for the 2015-2016 cycle has been posted.

7-31: 2014-2015 Federal School Code List of Participating Schools (August 2014)

The updated 2014-2015 Federal School Code (FSC) List of Participating Schools is now available on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

7-31: 2014 FSA Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals

Registration and lodging for the 2014 FSA Training Conference is now open.


National News

Paul Ryan And The Emerging Conservative Reform Agenda In Higher Education

"Paul Ryan's 73-page blueprint for expanding opportunity is chock full of ideas for higher education and job training reform," Forbes reports.

New Benefit For Vets

"In passing a compromise piece of legislation aimed at reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Senate on Thursday also approved a new benefit for student veterans and their families," Inside Higher Ed reports.

State News

California: Merced College To Stick With Financial Aid Firm - For Now

"Merced College will continue to offer its financial aid through an outside agency despite some complaints. However, the school is lining up a survey to gather student opinion on the service," the Merced Sun-Star reports.

Illinois: Financial Aid Fraud Targeted Joliet Junior College And Other Colleges

"Four men have been charged with trying to use other people's identities to register as Joliet Junior College students and receive financial aid loans," The Herald-News reports.


Opinion: To Keep Grads Solvent, Take The Middleman Out Of Student Loans

"The mounting student debt crisis could cause serious economic damage to the United States. Rising college costs and declining financial aid at both state and federal levels have significantly contributed to the problem. A good deal of responsibility, however, belongs to the financial institutions that service federal student loans, according to a new report," Chris Hicks writes for Reuters.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Adjuncts Would Qualify For Loan Forgiveness Under Proposed Bill

"Adjunct professors would become eligible for a federal student loan forgiveness plan available to public servants under the terms of a bill introduced on Thursday by Sen. Richard A. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker reports.



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