Today's News

Today's News for Friday, July 25, 2014 
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House Passes Additional Higher Ed Bill

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an additional bill related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, joining two bills passed on Wednesday. HR 4984 Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act was originally introduced in June, and was marked-up and passed out of committee in the second week of July. The bill was passed by a vote of 405-11.

Members of Congress: Title IV Disbursement Rulemaking Could Go Too Far

As Department of Education (ED) officials draft new rules on cash management and the release of Title IV credit balances, members of Congress are alerting them of possible unintended consequences for higher education institutions and the students they serve. In the past week, both Republican and Democrat members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have penned letters to ED, applauding its scrutiny of financial products' safety while cautioning against overreaching rules that could negatively affect colleges and students.

Senators: HEA Reauthorization Offers Chance To Examine States’ Role In Higher Ed

States must play a pivotal role in supporting their higher education institutions, increasing college affordability, and improving degree attainment – and the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) will create an opportunity to examine their position within the sector, senators said during a hearing Thursday.

Behind the Scenes with Blondeen: Back To The Basics

This past week has proven to be the one of the most rewarding times as the DME intern thus far. In closing out on the NASFAA National Profile and putting the finishing touches on the presentation for the National Profile Briefing, which will occur next Wednesday, I'm reminded of my first course in graduate school. 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.


7-24: 2015-2016 EDE Technical Reference (Summer Draft)

The draft 2015-2016 Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) Technical Reference, including the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) Record Layout and ISIR Cross-Reference table, has been posted.

GEN-14-14: Additional Guidance on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Its Implications for the Title IV Student Financial Assistance Programs

This letter provides information on how the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision affects the eligibility of stepparents to receive Direct PLUS Loans. It also provides information on the treatment of same-sex married borrowers under the Title IV income-driven repayment plans.

GEN-14-15: Additional Guidance on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act

This letter provides information on how the Supreme Court’s Windsor decision affects the eligibility of spouses of certain members of the armed forces to receive in-State tuition at public institutions of higher education.



National News


U.S. House Votes To Change College Tax Breaks, Boost Student Loan Counseling

"The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved an overhaul of higher education tax breaks and passed legislation changing how federal student loan counseling works," Inside Higher Ed.

Key Republican In House Proposes Broad Student-Aid Reforms

"As the U.S. House of Representatives takes its first steps toward reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the Budget Committee's chairman, is offering his own vision of student-aid reform," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

At 50, Upward Bound Still Opens Pathway To College

"This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Upward Bound. It served 2,061 participants at 17 locations in 1965; last year it served about 76,000 students at more than 1,000 locations in 50 states," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports.

Higher Calling, Lower Wages: The Vanishing Of The Middle-Class Clergy

"[S]eminary students are taking on ballooning debt for a career that may not exist by the time they graduate," The Atlantic reports.

State News

California: Bryman College Owner With San Jose, Hayward Schools Files For Bankruptcy

"The owner of California's Bryman College chain -- with campuses in San Jose, Hayward, San Francisco and Los Angeles -- is in financial trouble and could close," the San Jose Mercury News reports.


Commentary: Inspector Bucket's Plan For Student Recruitment

"Most colleges tend to say, 'You're a swell kid, we're a swell place, come join us.' What if, instead, we were to say, 'We know who you are and what particularly interests you, and we have an opportunity for you, starting as soon as you get here'?" Robert Weisbuch writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Blogs and Think Tanks

How An App Could Help Low-Income College Students Graduate

"Nearly 90 percent of the 5 million people striving to be the first in their family to earn a college degree will never graduate. Many of those students rely on student loans so they end up with a crippling debt and nothing to show for it. Can a mobile application help?" Margo Wright asks in The Huffington Post's The Blog.

Private Organizations Take The Reins On Decreasing Student Debt

"This year, the Economic Policy Institute reported that approximately 8.5 percent of college graduates between the ages of 21 and 24 are unemployed - a fact that presents the dilemma of graduates lacking any opportunity to repay this staggering debt," Leslie Tolf writes for The Hill's Congress Blog.

Why Easing Education Debt Won't Necessarily Help The Economy

"Student loan debt has become the scapegoat for nearly all that ails the U.S. economy, from depressed home ownership, to lower rates of entrepreneurship, and even the sluggish recovery from the great recession. The problem with all of this blame is that the accusations are difficult to substantiate," according to The Brookings Institution's Brown Center Chalkboard.



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