Today's News

Today's News for Monday, November 24, 2014 
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NASFAA Sends Letter of Support for HEAA

NASFAA sent a letter to Chairman Harkin on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee expressing support for many of the provisions in the Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA) that was introduced officially last week.

Clearinghouse No Longer Providing Weekly Enrollment Status Updates on Direct Loan Borrowers

The National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) will no longer be providing weekly enrollment status change updates for Direct Loan borrowers to Federal Student Aid (FSA), according to an email sent to NSC school clients last week. FSA believes that in recent years, the accuracy and frequency of enrollment reporting in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) has improved to the point that FSA feels that they now receive sufficient reporting on Direct Loan borrowers through the federally mandated roster/Student Status Confirmation Report (SSCR) process.

7 Reasons We Are Thankful For You

This Thanksgiving season, NASFAA staff weighed in on why we are thankful for you, our members - this week and every other day of the year.

AskRegs Knowledgebase Answers: Can an Institution Backdate a Student's Enrollment to Allow an Increase to a Federal Pell Grant Award?

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. The House and Senate are scheduled to be on recess the week of November 24. Keep an eye out for next week's D.C. Docket for policy events following the Thanksgiving holiday and email us at if you're aware of upcoming policy events that could be of interest to the financial aid community.


11-21: 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limit: Electronic Announcement #16 - Important Reminders About COD Reporting Responsibilities for 150% Calculations

This Electronic Announcement reminds schools participating in the Direct Loan Program of the importance of accurate and timely reporting of a student’s Direct Loan (Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and Direct PLUS Loan) information to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System to ensure that the Subsidized Usage Period can be calculated correctly.

11-21: COD Common Record XML Schema Version 4.0b Now Available

In spring 2015, the Department of Education plans to implement Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System functionality that will support the processing of Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant), Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) awards for the 2015-2016 Award Year. In conjunction with this implementation, it will begin using a new version of the COD Common Record Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema.

11-21: 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.

11-21: William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program Reconciliation

In this announcement, the Department of Education provides specific information to assist your school with reconciling the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. The information provided below should be viewed by both the Financial Aid Office and Business Office.

11-21: Draft 2015-2016 FAFSA® Form/Instructions

The updated draft of the 2015-2016 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is available for comment.


National News

Good News: There's A New Way To Get Out From Under Student Debt

"Two of the biggest private student loan providers have welcome news for struggling grads: Soon, some distressed borrowers will be eligible for lower interest rates and lower monthly payments," Time reports. "'With federal loans, you have built-in insurance in case of job loss or disability or death,' says Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]. 'These are protections provided to every borrower. Those protections don't always exist in the private student loan market.'"

Advocates Want Public Benefits For Low-Income Students On Table

"When it comes to advocating for greater reliance on public benefits for low-income individuals, the idea is already a tough political sell among anti-entitlement elected officials and segments of the electorate that view the benefits as handouts," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports.

State News

Board Approves Tuition Increases At R.I. Public Colleges

"Students at Rhode Island's three public colleges could see their first tuition hike in three years under a budget unanimously approved Wednesday night by the Council on Postsecondary Education," the Providence Journal reports.

After UC Regents OK Tuition Plan, Eyes Turn To Gov. Jerry Brown, State Funding

"The votes were cast and the protesters' chanting died down. Now months of political wrangling and budget negotiations are ahead before UC students know for sure how much next year's tuition will be," the Los Angeles Times reports.


Commentary: Make Admissions At Elite Colleges 'Access Aware'

"Recent news coverage has highlighted the fact that many colleges with great wealth are not enrolling many needy students, while a number of relatively nonwealthy colleges are," Raynard S. Kington writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Commentary: 'Whither Thou Goest, I Will Go'

"There is a large group of students - often overlooked - whose completion of college we need to better track and encourage: transfer students," Alexandra W. Logue writes for Inside Higher Ed.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Why A College Degree Shouldn't Be A Commodity

"In its latest Survey of Young Workers, the Federal Reserve said educational programs should be aligned with the needs of the labor market for students to get the most out of their education," The Washington Post reports.

82% Of Americans Want Congress To Make Student Loans Cheaper, But It's A Bad Idea

"The Wall Street Journal and NBC are out with a new post-election poll, and the most popular policy idea for the next Congress is… cheaper student loans," Vox reports.


NYU Will Offer Financial Aid To Illegal Immigrants

"New York University just opened its doors—and scholarship coffers—a little bit wider," The Wall Street Journal reports.




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