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Today's News for Wednesday, January 28, 2015 
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Getting To Know You: NASFAA's Membership and Program Services Team

Meet the Membership and Program Services team! This busy group oversees a wide range of member services, ensuring members have access to and receive their NASFAA benefits and fielding questions about membership and event registrations - among many other projects. Learn more about the work they do and get to know each staff member.

Returning Students With Combined Enrollment More Likely To Complete Two-Year Degrees

Non-first-time students who combine full-time and part-time enrollment over the course of their academic careers are less likely to drop out and more likely to complete a two-year program, according to new data from a national initiative to benchmark persistence of this group of students.

2015 NASFAA Election Results

Congratulations to those elected by their colleagues to serve the association during the 2015-16 program year. Dr. Lisa Blazer was elected to serve as the National Chair for 2016-17 and will serve as National Chair-Elect for 2015-16. Angela K. Johnson, Ellen R. Neel, and Nick Prewett were elected to serve as Representatives-at-Large. We sincerely thank all candidates and members who voted in this year's election.

Select One of Five Great Conference Hotels for 2015 New Orleans

NOLA TNNASFAA members can choose among five hotels, after they register for the 2015 National Conference in New Orleans, ranging in price from $125 to $201 per night. All the hotels are within a 2-6 block walk from the Hyatt Regency New Orleans Hotel where all the conference activities will take place. And, for your convenience, you can hop on the FREE NASFAA Shuttle that will run between all hotels every day of the conference beginning Sunday, July 19th. Register now! 

2014-15 Annual Training Materials for States and Regions Focus On Need Analysis

The NASFAA Training and Professional Development Committee is pleased to provide the 2014-15 Training Materials for Regions and States. The materials review the history and evolution of need analysis, illustrate how to calculate the expected family contribution, compare Federal Methodology and Institutional Methodology, and discuss the impact of changes to the Defense of Marriage Act. Participant activities include discussion questions, hand calculations, and case studies which illustrate how to approach challenging situations. NASFAA members can download, complimentary, all materials from NASFAA's online store.


1-27: Early Implementation of Changes in Regulations on Adverse Credit History Under the Direct PLUS Loan Program

These Questions and Answers (Q&As) describe the impact of the new provisions on Direct PLUS Loan applicants.


National News

Obama Relents On Proposal To End '529' College Savings Plans

"President Obama, facing angry reprisals from parents and from lawmakers of both parties, will drop his proposal to effectively end the popular college savings accounts known as 529s, but will keep an expanded tuition tax credit at the center of his college access plan, White House officials said Tuesday," according to The New York Times.

Deep-Pocket Donors

"Charitable donations to colleges reached an all-time high of nearly $38 billion last year, according to an annual survey released today by the Council for Aid to Education," Inside Higher Ed  reports.

Here's What You Need To Know About The Financial Aid Program Obama Quietly Killed

"President Barack Obama wants more students to go to college. To make that happen, some higher education experts say, he should consider reviving the year-round Pell Grant-a shuttered federal financial aid program that helped precisely the low-income students the president is targeting in his college enrollment efforts," Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

State News

Texas: Lawmakers Push To Reclaim Control Over College Tuition Rates

"Some Texas lawmakers want to reclaim the right to set college tuition rates," Texas Public Radio reports.

Wisconsin: Walker Proposes 13% Cut, More Freedom For UW System

"The University of Wisconsin System will be given more autonomy, while having its state funding slashed by 13% over the next two years, under the budget Gov. Scott Walker will submit to the Legislature next week, the governor told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview on Monday," The Associated Press reports.

Maine Central Planning

"Officials at the University of Maine System are tightening the reins on their seven universities to avoid steep budget shortfalls, they announced Monday, calling their vision 'One university for all of Maine,'" Inside Higher Ed reports.


Opinion: Free Tuition At Community College Should Be Just The Start

"It's good that many Republicans have joined Democrats in declaring the growth of economic inequality a problem. And some are even looking to solutions beyond making the rich richer through tax cuts," Froma Harrop writes in an opinion piece for The Denver Post.

Blogs and Think Tanks

The Myth That Middle-Class Students Don't Get Financial Aid

"Paying for college is obviously expensive for middle-class families, just like it is for everyone who doesn't have thousands of free dollars to throw around each year," Slate's Moneybag reports.



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