Today's News

Today's News for Thursday, November 20, 2014 
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Watch The Policy Brief To Get NASFAA's Take On The Congressional Election Results

The Policy Brief, an occasional video series, gives members a quick glimpse into what NASFAA’s policy team is working on. In this installment Assistant Director of Federal Relations Jesse O’Connell discusses the recent Congressional elections and how the Republican takeover of Congress might impact the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Your Thoughts: Student Loan Mistakes - And How You Help

Several consumer media outlets examined the spectrum of student loan borrowing decisions this week. CNBC, quoting NASFAA President Justin Draeger, offered readers "7 Ways To Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life. " Over at Forbes, writer Robert Farrington released his take on "The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make With Student Loans," including going to college without a plan and using debt refunds for extracurricular activities. Let us know what you consider the biggest borrowing mistakes and share the ways you help students to avoid them in the comments section.

A Home for the Holidays

Most homeless students and students from foster care don't have families to return to during academic breaks. Instead of enjoying the warmth of home and family, they scramble for a place to stay, often hiding their situation due to embarrassment. Join the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), the National Center for Housing & Child Welfare (NCHCW), the National Network for Youth (NN4Y), and Covenant House in the Home for the Holidays campaign and be a part of the solution by helping your community develop a plan for assisting these vulnerable youth with housing over breaks.

Only 12 Days Left To Register For NASFAA U’s Overview Of The Financial Aid Programs Course

With less than two weeks remaining, register today for NASFAA University’s Online Course Overview of the Financial Aid Programs and reserve your spot! NASFAA University’s most popular online course introduces attendees to basic financial aid concepts, categories and types of financial aid, the Title IV aid programs, and other federal sources of assistance to students. This course is not only an effective training tool for new financial aid staff, it also offers your institution's non-financial aid staff a basic understanding of financial aid programs and requirements.


Notice: Comment Request: 2015-2016 Federal Student Aid Application, Second Review

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


National News

On College Accountability, Will Education Dept. Blink Again?

"With President Obama promising to release his controversial college-rating plan this fall, college leaders are on high alert. They worry that they'll look bad, that they'll be judged unfairly, and that the plan will have a host of unintended consequences," The Chronicle of Higher Ed  reports.

Rep. Kline Will Again Lead House Education Committee

"U.S. Representative John Kline of Minnesota, the Republican who leads the House education committee, will keep that post in the next Congress," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Moody's: Colleges Charging More, Keeping Less

"Forced to keep discounting their prices as enrollment stagnates, U.S. universities and colleges expect their slowest growth in revenue in 10 years, the bond-rating company Moody's reports," according to The Hechinger Report.

State News

Education Officials Vie For Millions In Nebraska Lottery Proceeds

"It's a rare pot of gold - about $17 million in annual lottery proceeds which the state constitution says must be used for education - and school districts and other educators are jousting for a share," The Journal Star reports. "Opportunity grants - which are given to students who qualify or come close to qualifying for federal Pell grants - are an 'integral part' of ensuring access to higher education, said Craig Munier, director of scholarships and financial aid at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln [and former NASFAA National Chair]."

E. Texas Woman Must Repay $564K In Fraudulent Student Loans

"Mindy Ritch pleaded guilty on May 5, 2014, to student financial aid fraud and was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider. Ritch was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $564,447.72," KLTV 7 reports.


Opinion: Origination Fees: A Hidden Student Tax

"Congress has hijacked the discussions around federal student loans, asserting that they are somehow a burden to the government. Considering they generate more than $50 billion in revenue annually, nothing could be further from the truth," Arthur F. Kirk Jr., president of Saint Leo University, and Melinda S. Clark, assistant vice president of financial aid at Saint Leo University, write in an opinion piece for The Hill. "In fact, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has been calling for an end to loan origination fees for several years, and renewed that message to Congress last summer in its proposals for student financial aid reauthorization."

Editorial: A Battle For UC's Soul

"The current tension over proposed tuition hikes at the University of California - as much as 5% each year for the next five years - shouldn't be mistaken for just another debate about how much students can or should pay. It's nothing less than a battle for UC's soul," according to the Los Angeles Times' editorial board.

Opinion: There's A Better Way Than Tuition Hikes To Fund UC

"University of California President Janet Napolitano has proposed a tuition increase that could ultimately boost tuition costs at UC by as much as 25 percent over five years. That's unacceptable," Toni Atkins writes for The Sacramento Bee.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Uber Wants To Be In Charge Of Your Student Loan Debt

"Uber is already pushing subprime car loans onto their drivers. Now the ... on demand car service wants to manage their drivers' student loan debt too," Valleywag reports.


UConn Foundation To Double Amount Raised For Scholarships

"The UConn Foundation has agreed on a five-year, $150 million fundraising initiative that will double the amount of money the foundation usually raises each year for scholarships," the Hartford Courant reports.




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