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Today's News for Thursday, March 26, 2015 
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Senate Accepts Repayment Consolidation Amendment

The Senate on Wednesday accepted an amendment to its fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget bill to simplify the student loan repayment process. In Sen. Richard Burr's (R-NC) floor speech introducing the amendment he quoted a letter, written NASFAA President Justin Draeger in support of the Repay Act of 2015, which the amendment is based on.

Newly-Released Data Show Stark Lack Of Financial Literacy Among High School Students

Despite being one year away from college, many high school juniors surveyed did not know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or if they would qualify for financial aid, according to a new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). 

Join The New Conference Mentor Program!

If you'll be attending the 2015 NASFAA National Conference, consider volunteering for NASFAA's first-ever mentor program for first-time attendees! The steering committee will be tasked with fully developing the program, assigning mentors to attendees, developing and running ice breaker activities in the first-time attendees lounge, and identifying survey questions to determine how the conference mentor program was received. If you're interested in helping, read the charter and complete the volunteer form by the end of the day tomorrow.

Sneak Peek - Overview Of The Financial Aid Programs Self-Study Guide

View Lesson #1 from NASFAA’s Overview of the Financial Aid Programs Self-Study Guide by clicking on the image of the Self-Study Guide cover with the orange “Sneak Peek” banner. Designed for the independent learner, Self-Study Guides include multiple lessons with a variety of exercises to reinforce the learning process. NASFAA University Self-Study Guides are available for purchase in our online store, or you will receive unlimited free access when you sign up as a Value-Plus Member.


Annual Updates To The Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan Formula For 2015-William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

The Secretary announces the annual updates to the ICR plan formula for 2015 to give notice to Direct Loan borrowers and the public regarding how monthly ICR payment amounts will be calculated for the 2015-2016 year.


National News

U.S. Keeps Scrutiny Of Risky Colleges Secret

"The U.S. Department of Education is so concerned about the risk that dozens of colleges pose to students and taxpayers that it has curtailed access to federal money at those institutions -- but it won't say which ones," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Student-Loan Default Rates Are Easily Gamed. Here's A Better Measure.

"...The current measure of student-loan performance ignores what research shows is the most important indicator in determining whether students are able to avoid defaulting on their loans: whether they finished college," Ben Miller writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Student Loan Debt Load Keeps Rising Across All Income Levels

"The amount students are borrowing to pay for their four-year college degrees is rising across all income levels, increasing their debt burden before they have even landed a job," MainStreet reports.

Bill Would Assist Disabled Vets On Discharged Loans

"Reps. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) and Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), both freshman lawmakers and war veterans, teamed up to introduce a bill Tuesday that seeks to ensure disabled veterans and families of deceased veterans are not burdened by taxes on discharged loans," The Hill reports.

As Industry Changes, Some Liberal Arts Colleges Still Thrive

"More than two decades ago, long before the Great Recession wreaked havoc on higher education finances and tuition skyrocketed, David Breneman, currently a professor of economics in education at the University of Virginia, warned educators that liberal arts colleges were on their way out," according to U.S. News & World Report.

College For Convicts

"Twenty-five miles from Montgomery, Ala., in the middle of the tough-on-crime, fiscally conservative Deep South, sits an unusual place of learning," Inside Higher Ed reports.

No Expectation Of Privacy

"The Obama administration briefly considered but ultimately decided against expanding a new student privacy bill beyond K-12 education, according to sources with knowledge of the drafting process. The resulting draft is a 'missed opportunity' for the White House to address privacy in higher education, legal scholars say," Inside Higher Ed reports.

State News

Maine Plans To Offer Interest-free Loans To Draw More Science And Technology Students

"State officials are working on a plan to offer interest-free loans to students who study science or technology at a Maine college and go on to work in a related job in the state," the Portland Press Herald reports.

West Virginia: Tomblin Approves $7 Million In Higher Education Cuts

"Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the 2015-16 state budget bill Monday evening, but not before cutting roughly $2.8 million more from higher education than legislators had approved," the Charleston Gazette reports.

U-Va. Will Raise Tuition 11 Percent Next Fall, One Of Highest Increases In The Nation

"The home-state price of entry at the University of Virginia will rise 11 percent next fall - one of the highest college tuition-and-fee increases in the nation - under a plan approved Tuesday that also aims to slash the debt burden for students in need," The Washington Post reports.




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