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Today's News for Friday, September 12, 2014 
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Report: Geography An Overlooked Factor In PIRS Discussion

The impact of geography on students' institutional options and choices is an overlooked factor in recent policy discussions on consumer information and President Barack Obama's proposed ratings system, according to a new report by education researcher Dr. Nicholas Hillman. The research indicates using a ratings system to penalize colleges located in "education deserts" may have unintended consequences that could burden some communities.

Report Recommends Revisiting Year-Round Pell In College Affordability Efforts

Because students can shave thousands of dollars off their degrees if they continue their studies through the summer, policymakers should reconsider Year-Round Pell Grants, a right-leaning nonprofit organization urges in a new report. That's a stance NASFAA has taken as well.

Webinar Looks At Challenges In Recruiting, Enrolling Non-Traditional Students

The rising number of "non-traditional" students seeking higher education presents significant challenges for many U.S. colleges and universities aiming to recruit and enroll them, according to a webinar presented by Inside Higher Ed on Thursday.

Check Out NASFAA's Newly Updated Policies & Procedures Toolkit

NASFAA's Policies & Procedures Tools are a set of integrated resources to help you improve your regulatory compliance, administrative consistency, and staff training. This essential management toolkit provides expert guidance and an organized approach to developing and maintaining policies and procedures. Want to gain a better understanding of the issues that should be taken into consideration when formulating policies, determine what policies and procedures are required, and navigate complex and ever-changing laws and regulations? The toolkit can help.

NASFAA Webinar on Default Rates, Direct Loan Program Now Available On Demand!

Did you miss our June 23 webinar on institutional default rates and participation in the Direct Loan program? Watch it now on, free of charge! The webinar, "Tough Choices: Tackling Loan Indebtedness at Low-Cost Institutions," featured one institution that chose to leave the loan program and one institution that had considered doing so, but decided to stay in the program. In addition, NASFAA’s staff highlighted potential policy solutions and related advocacy work. The webinar is available free of charge until December 22, 2014. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from your colleagues on this important topic!


9-11: Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #50 - Release of the Updated Disclosure Template for Gainful Employment (GE) Programs

The Department announces the release of the updated GE Disclosure Template. Institutions must, no later than January 31, 2015, update the disclosures for each of their GE programs to reflect the 2013-2014 award year using this updated Disclosure Template.

9-11: Loan Servicing Information - Customer Service Performance Results and Allocation Information

Per its contractual agreement with each of our federal loan servicers, the Department will annually measure servicer performance in the areas of customer satisfaction and default prevention and will then use these results to determine each servicer’s allocation of future loan volume when applicable.


National News 

AmeriCorps At 20

"The last four U.S. presidents are joining together today to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps national service program, through which more than 900,000 volunteers have delivered more than 1.2 billion hours of service in thousands of communities," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Warren Blasts Education Dept. On Loan Servicing Contracts

"Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who has been a leading critic of how the U.S. Department of Education oversees the companies it hires to service federal student loans, indicated Wednesday that she is not satisfied with the department's effort to overhaul its agreements with those companies," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Umbrella Group Backs Unbundling

"In recent years the American Council on Education has experimented with issuing credit recommendations for online courses from non-college providers, sometimes sounding more like Silicon Valley than One Dupont -- the stodgy headquarters of the higher education lobby," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Student Loans Aren't 'Technically' Holding Back Homeownership, Report Suggests

Borrowers "loaded with student debt will have to earn 24 percent more than their peers without student debt in order to buy an equivalent home, according to a recent study," The Oregonian reports.

Why Your Massive Student Loan Debt Is Kind Of A Good Thing

"[C]ollege students can now look at the bright side of their debt burdens: Paying on time can boost a young person's credit rating," Main St. reports.

State News

Miss. Universities Grow, Community Colleges Shrink

"Enrollment rose slightly for the fall semester at Mississippi's eight public universities, but fell for the fourth straight year at the state's 15 community colleges," The Clarion-Ledger reports.


Opinion: California: Governor Should Approve California's Higher Education Funding

"In the final days before adjournment, the California Legislature addressed the shortfall in state higher education funding by restoring $100 million earmarked for the University of California and the California State University systems. Gov. Jerry Brown can ensure the higher education system gets this funding by signing Assembly Bill 1476," Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, write in a Sacramento Bee opinion piece.



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