Today's News

Today's News for Friday, November 21, 2014 
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The 2015 awarding season is just around the corner! Get started now to elevate the impact of your award letter next year.  Our full-service solution transforms the traditional "facts and figures" into a demonstration of value and affordability. Contact Student Aid Services to see how you can improve the presentation and yield of your award letter.


Senate HELP Committee Introduces Final Higher Education Affordability Act Reauthorization Bill

Yesterday Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), introduced a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization bill. The Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA) was originally released in the form of a discussion draft in late June and includes several provisions for which NASFAA has been advocating, including using prior-prior year (PPY) income in need analysis, reinstating year-round Pell, and revising the campus-based aid allocation formula. It marks the HELP Committee’s first official step toward reauthorization and focuses on four major themes and goals: increasing college affordability, helping struggling borrowers, strengthening accountability, and improving transparency.

Report: Restricted Access, Lower Academic Standards Common Impacts of State Performance Funding Policies

State performance funding polices often result in unintended impacts on higher education institutions, including restrictions on admissions and weakened academic standards, according to a recent study from the Community College Research Center.

New From The JFSA: Institutional Characteristics and CDRs

One of the new Journal of Student Financial Aid (JSFA) articles digs in to mostly-unexplored territory, according to authors Karen L. Webber and Sharon L. Rogers. While many studies have examined the relationship between student characteristics and student loan debt and repayment, few have looked at institutional characteristics and cohort default rates, the authors write. Webber and Rogers correct that in "Student Loan Default: Do Characteristics of Four-Year Institutions Contribute to the Puzzle?" -- a study of 1,399 four-year, nonprofit institutions. Read their results and the implications for financial aid professionals in the latest edition of the Journal.

2014-15 Application Process Self-Study Guide Now Available Through NASFAA University

Updated in November 2014 for the 2014-15 program year, this self-study guide reviews the formats of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information needed to complete the FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) Worksheet, application output, and changing application data. Written for the independent learner, this self-study guide includes multiple lessons with a variety of exercises to reinforce each lesson. If you are a Value Plus member, you can download this updated guide from the NASFAA store as part of your membership package; the price will be reduced to $0 in your shopping cart. Check out the Application Process Self-Study Guide (PDF only) today!

Volunteer For NASFAA's 2015 National Conference Local Arrangements Task Force

Members of this task force will help solicit volunteers for packet stuffing and registration, help manage the conference registration counter and information desk, provide local information for posting to the NASFAA website and for inclusion in Today’s News, and assist with on-site performers, as needed, in New Orleans. Task force members will serve January 2015 through July 2015 and will be expected to attend the NASFAA Conference. Please review the task force charter on the volunteer information page and complete the volunteer form if interested. Priority will be given to those living in close proximity to New Orleans, LA.


Notice: Comment Request; Personal Authentication Service (PAS) for FSA ID

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a new information collection.


National News

Obama's Immigration Shift

"President Obama formally announced Thursday evening a series of controversial executive actions he plans to take to reform a 'broken' immigration system -- policies that have implications for undocumented college students as well as international students who study at American universities," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Corinthian's Nonprofit Buyer

"The ECMC Group, a nonprofit organization that runs one of the largest student-loan guaranty agencies, announced today that it will purchase 56 campuses from Corinthian Colleges, a crumbling, controversial for-profit chain," Inside Higher Ed reports.

What's Wrong With The Government's College-Cost Information-And How To Fix It

"The federal government has made a big push to help prospective students understand what college might cost them. But there have been unintended consequences," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Wells Fargo And Discover To Offer Student Loan Modifications

"If you're having a hard time paying off your private students loans, you could catch a break soon as two of the biggest private lenders are gearing up to relax repayment terms," The Washington Post reports.

Promise Goes Grassroots

"A group that wants the federal government to pay for in-state tuition for the nation's lower- and middle-income students has a new pitch, and a new name," Inside Higher Ed  reports.

Identity Thieves Used College Student Accounts To Defraud IRS: Prosecutors

"U.S. law-enforcement officials on Tuesday arrested 17 people accused of trying to collect almost $2 million in bogus tax refunds using college student accounts, the latest identity scam to defraud the Internal Revenue Service," Reuters reports.

State News

California: UC Regents Approve Tuition Hikes Amid Angry Protests

"Over the din of students chanting their protest, the University of California regents voted 14-7 on Thursday to approve tuition increases of as much as 5% for each of the next five years," The Los Angeles Times reports.

Indiana: Colleges Seeing Students In Need Of Food Help

"Many college students in Vigo County face food insecurity, and that has prompted United Campus Ministries to open a food pantry to serve them," the Tribune-Star reports.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Student Debt: A Calculator Focused On College Majors

"[I]t's a good time for an interactive calculator that the Hamilton Project is releasing Thursday, meant to give more detailed information about loan burdens," according to The New York Times' The Upshot




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