Today's News

Today's News for Friday, April 18, 2014 
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Federal Loan Data Should Focus More on Overall Impact Of Debt, White Paper Says

A new white paper, released Tuesday by American Student Assistance (ASA), calls for better data on the number of students negatively impacted by student loan debt. The paper posits that in order to get more loans in repayment and out of delinquency and default, the federal government must start reporting student loan repayments in way that reflects how well borrowers are eliminating their debt, rather than just whether borrowers have gone into default within two or three years of entering repayment.

NASFAA Holds Advocacy Pipeline Event On Capitol Hill

Nick Prewett, of the University of Missouri, and Tony Lubbers, from Friends University in Kansas, joined NASFAA’s policy team yesterday in visiting with staff members who work for Sens. Roberts and McCaskill and Reps. Takano and Davis to advocate for federal aid policies designed to benefit our nation’s neediest college students. The groups discussed Pell Grant proposals, consumer information disclosures, student loan indebtedness, and the benefits of using prior-prior year income when performing needs analysis. Learn more about the Advocacy Pipeline and explore ways you can get involved, too.

NASFAA Seeks Volunteers by April 30 To Serve On Professional Diversity Caucus Task Force

This task force, chaired by Wayne Harewood of Kingsborough Community College, will help identify and provide suggestions to the NASFAA Board of Directors on how the association can best meet the needs of our diverse membership. Expected tasks include submitting multiple conference sessions for NASFAA's National Conference and producing a report for the NASFAA Board of Directors that recommends a diversity policy. Members will serve June 2014 through January 2015 and will be required to attend one meeting at the conference and one meeting in the fall in Washington, D.C. Conference calls and emails will round out the extent of the work. Please view the task force charter and complete the volunteer form by April 30 if interested.

Quickly Access Information With The Student Aid Index's Financial Aid Topic Sections

NASFAA's Student Aid Index, now available in beta form, compiles important financial aid topics into sections for each term, so you have the information you need in one convenient, mobile-friendly tool. Each high-level term is divided into standard sections, including related regulations, legislation, and synonyms. Navigate through terms on the left side of the tool, or use the search function to quickly locate a topic. Want to learn more about the Index? Visit to view the 1.5 minute video and read testimonials from your colleagues.

Nashville Friday Fun Fact – Visit The Home of Andrew Jackson

Did you know... The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, boasts a driveway in the shape of a guitar? Legend says that the driveway was so shaped to please his daughter-in-law, Emily. Nashvillians like to think it was a good sign of things to come. Highlights of a visit to The Hermitage include President Jackson’s mansion, spectacular gardens, and a museum filled with historical information. The Hermitage is located 20 minutes from downtown Nashville. Register now for the 2014 NASFAA National Conference. Early-bird registration ends May 30.


4-17: 2014-2015 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix

Attached to this Electronic Announcement is the 2014-2015 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix. The matrix will help financial aid administrators map 2013 IRS Tax Return Transcript information to FAFSA/ISIR data, as the IRS Transcript does not have line or item numbers and uses wording that may be different from what is used on the FAFSA.

4-17: COD Processing Update

The COD Processing Update provides information related to COD System processing and includes the following sections: COD News and Updates, Current Issues (with a subsection for All Programs, Direct Loans, and Grants), and Reminders.


National News

Education Department Proposes Easing Eligibility Criteria For PLUS Loans

"The Education Department, which has been roundly criticized by historically black colleges over changes in the underwriting criteria of its PLUS-loan program, is considering softening its standards for awarding the loans," The Chronicle of HIgher Education reports. 

Why Americans' Trillion-Dollar College Debt Burden Is Still Rising

"Americans needing federally subsidized student loans for undergraduate or graduate programs at colleges and universities will pay a higher interest rate in the coming academic year, according to new projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). And the cost of borrowing money to finance a college education will continue to rise in the coming years as a result of a bipartisan deal on Capitol Hill - despite President Barack Obama's 2012 pledge to fight against raising the debt burden on graduates," Al Jazeera America reports.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Student Debit Card Provider Facing Investigation Over Hidden Fees

"The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is investigating Higher One, the leading issuer of campus debit cards, and one of its former bank partners for potentially engaging in unfair or deceptive practices,"'s Blog reports.

Study: Obama's College Rating Plan May Not Reach Low-Income Students

"A new study from a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association concludes that it's misplaced for the federal college ratings plan, announced last year by President Barack Obama, to try to enhance consumer access and institutional accountability through one tool," U.S. News and World Report's Morse Code reports.

Are Millennials Laying Groundwork For A Third Political Party?

"Washington has failed young Americans for too long. Millennials struck out with Congress and the White House, winning nothing but minor concessions as their financial and job fortunes continue to stagnate. Now they're striking back," Brad Chase of Capitol Media Partners writes in The Huffington Post's The Blog.


FSU Launches Premier Undergraduate Scholarship Program

A select group of up to 25 Florida State University freshmen this fall will make up the first class of Presidential Scholars and benefit from exceptional support and experiences.



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