Today's News

Today's News for Monday, March 02, 2015 
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FATV: Educating students and supporting staff for over 10 years! Over 4 million online videos watched this past year via our award-winning GetAnswers service. Plug and play technology that is easy to customize and simple for schools to implement. Available 24/7. For a school demo or estimate, visit or call 888-704-9090.


NASFAA's Leadership and Legislative Conference and Expo Kicks Off

NASFAA's 2015 Leadership and Legislative Conference and Expo kicked off on Sunday with sessions focused on what to expect when leading a financial aid office in the first year and how to effectively lead change within a state or regional association.

College Goal Sunday To Get New Leader, New Strategic Plan

With the National College Access Network (NCAN) at the helm, College Goal Sunday will undertake a new FAFSA completion campaign in 2017. NASFAA will collaborate with NCAN and serve in an advisory capacity on its new steering committee.

NASFAA to Partner with Congressman Davis on #TaxBreaks4Students Campaign

NASFAA, along with several other higher education associations, will join Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) next week in spreading the word about education tax breaks. Each year millions of families save more than $1,000, on average, through higher education tax breaks—but many others needlessly miss out. Using the hashtag #TaxBreaks4Students, the campaign will seek to encourage students to look into IRS resources to see whether they qualify. Colleges, universities, education associations, and student advocacy groups, are also being called upon to help students to better understand these benefits and the value they hold.

Getting to Know You: NASFAA's Operational Support Team

Meet NASFAA's Operational Support team! Though they largely operate behind the scenes, this team makes sure NASFAA is up and running, handling everything from meetings and travel to accounting and human resources.

AskRegs Knowledgebase Answers: How Does Severe Weather Impact the Length of the Payment Period or Period of Enrollment?

Learn the answer to this question and learn how to instantly find credible and reliable solutions to your most pressing regulatory and compliance questions with NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase. The Knowledgebase guide and video tutorials highlight the many features of this tool.


NASFAA is here to help you stay up to date on the top policy events occurring throughout the week in Washington, D.C. and, when applicable, across the country. Make sure to check back in to Today's News each morning for coverage of some of the events, and email us at if you're aware of upcoming policy events that could be of interest to the financial aid community.


  • The House and Senate are in session the week of March 2.






2-27: Notice to Guaranty Agencies Regarding Modifications to Overpayment Layout Portion of Loan Consolidation Adjustment Payoff Manifests

Adjustment Payoff Manifests are used by loan holders to notify consolidation servicers of overpayments or underpayments of loan payoffs in the loan consolidation process.

2-27: Direct PLUS Loan Changes - COD System Changes for PLUS Counseling to be Implemented March 27-29, 2015

This is the second in a series of announcements that will provide operational information about the changes to the Direct PLUS Loan adverse credit history provisions. In two attachments to this announcement, the Department highlights the COD System changes we will make specific to the new mandatory PLUS Counseling for parent and graduate/professional student Direct PLUS Loan applicants who are determined to have an adverse credit history, but qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser or documenting extenuating circumstances.

2-27: Direct PLUS Loan Changes - System Changes for the Determination of Adverse Credit History and the Duration of a Credit Check (from 90 Days to 180 Days) to be Implemented March 27-29, 2015

This is the third in a series of announcements that will provide operational information about the changes to the Direct PLUS Loan adverse credit history provisions. In an attachment to this announcement, the Department highlights the COD System changes we will make to determine when an applicant has an adverse credit history and to allow a credit check to remain valid for 180 days instead of the current 90 days.

2-27: 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

Feds Fire 5 Debt Collectors

"The U.S. Department of Education said Friday it will end contracts with five companies that collect defaulted federal student loans after finding they made 'materially inaccurate representations' to struggling borrowers," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Should The U.S. Make Billions From Student Loans?

"A group of Senate Democrats, led by Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, urged the government to offer relief to distressed borrowers this week, even if that dampens the profit it makes from collecting on people with outstanding loans," Bloomberg reports.

'College for All' Report Goes All In On Plans to Provide Access to College

"Income inequality will be a hot button issue as the 2016 election approaches. ...The new Center for American Progress (CAP) study, 'College for All,' is the first installment of a study that will propose ways to bring people into higher ed that have been shut out-the first step toward income equality," MainStreet reports.

Navigating The FAFSA Is Worth The Effort For College Aid

"A mid-winter ritual is on millions of families' calendars this month, and it wasn't about asking a large rodent named Phil for a weather forecast," The Deseret News reports.

State News

New York: Living Up To The Hype

"President Obama recently praised a City University of New York experiment to help more students graduate from community college. So did faculty unions, which have pushed back hard on other ideas that emanate from CUNY's central office," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Wyoming Catholic College Drops Out Of Federal Student-Aid Programs

"Wyoming Catholic College has announced that it will quit participating in the federal student-aid programs in order to avoid having to comply with federal regulations that it describes as burdensome and 'clearly troubling for faith-based institutions,'" The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker reports.


Opinion: A Strike Against Student Debt

"This week a group of former students calling themselves the Corinthian 15 announced that they were committing a new kind of civil disobedience: a debt strike. They are refusing to make any more payments on their federal student loans," Astra Taylor writes in an opinion piece for The New York Times.

Opinion: Skipping College Could Cost You Half A Million Dollars

"The past 15 years has been economic rough going and we've all read alarming news about jobless, indebted college graduates," Phoebe Venable writes in an opinion piece in The Tennessean.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Soon Student Loans Will Look Like The Tax Code

"As our higher education system gets costlier, taking on student debt gets easier," Bob Hildreth, founder and executive director of FUEL Education, writes in The Huffington Post's The Blog.




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