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Today's News for Monday, May 04, 2015 
 
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NEWS FROM NASFAA

Did You See That?... Make Sure You're Not Missing Important Guidance from ED

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) provides guidance to the community in a variety of ways. While you might expect the most important guidance to be released in Dear Colleague Letters, that isn't always the case.

Trending @ NASFAA: Senators Push Bill Allowing Pell for Early College

Last Tuesday a pair of senators introduced legislation that would permit high school students to receive Pell Grant funds for completing college coursework. The Go to High School, Go to College Act of 2015 was introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH), with a companion bill expected to be introduced in the House by Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-OH and Chris Gibson (R-NY). Check out the lively discussion taking place amongst your colleagues in the comments section and weigh in with your own thoughts.

Last Week to Submit Your Big Idea and Make Your Mark on Reauthorization

Bigidea_tnHow would you change financial aid policy? Now’s your chance to share your vision! We've extended the deadline for submissions to May 8, so you've got until the end of the week to submit your proposal for The Big Idea: NASFAA’s Policy Challenge. Selected participants will compete in a game show-style event at the 2015 National Conference in New Orleans -- think of it as “Shark Tank” for the financial aid world! The winner will get to work with NASFAA staff to develop their idea, publish a white paper, and present it at NASFAA’s 50th Anniversary Conference in 2016.

Your Ethical Dilemmas Solved in Real Time

Compliance with NASFAA's Code of Conduct isn't just an expectation of NASFAA membership, it's an opportunity to signal to students and policymakers that we hold ourselves accountable first and foremost. In this webinar, held Wednesday, May 13 at 2:00 pm ET, participants will learn what NASFAA's Code of Conduct and Ethical Principles are, how they differ, how the standards impact daily work of administrators, and how they protect both schools and students. The webinar is offered at no additional cost to NASFAA members, but pre-registration for the live event is required.

AskRegs Knowledgebase Answers: Can Schools Require Entrance Counseling Every Year?

AskRegsTNLearn the answer to this question and learn how to instantly find credible and reliable solutions to your most pressing regulatory and compliance questions with NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase. The Knowledgebase guide and video tutorials highlight the many features of this tool.

THE D.C. DOCKET

NASFAA is here to help you stay up to date on the top policy events occurring throughout the week in Washington, D.C. and, when applicable, across the country. Make sure to check back in to Today's News each morning for coverage of some of the events, and email us at news@nasfaa.org if you're aware of upcoming policy events that could be of interest to the financial aid community.

Congress:

  • The House and Senate are in session the week of May 4.

Monday:

Wednesday:

U.S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

GEN-15-08: Citizenship and Immigration Status Documentation

This letter announces a process through which an institution and affected student may work to confirm the student’s citizenship or immigration status and, thus, eligibility for Title IV, HEA student financial assistance when the student is unable to appear in person at the institution.

5-01: Record Submission Due Date for 2013-2014 Direct Loan Program Year Closeout

The Department previously informed schools in a February 2, 2015 Electronic Announcement that the closeout deadline for the 2013-2014 Direct Loan Program Year is Friday, July 31, 2015.

5-01: OUTAGE ALERT - Federal Student Aid Website and System Outages Scheduled for May 9-10, 2015 for FSA ID Implementation

This announcement provides information about the specific systems and websites that will be affected during the implementation of the FSA ID. This work will be in addition to the regular maintenance that occurs each weekend.

5-01: COD Processing Update

The COD Processing Update provides information related to COD System processing and includes the following sections: COD News and Updates, Current Issues (with a subsection for All Programs, Direct Loans, and Grants), and Reminders.

HEADLINES

National News

Video: College Students Turn To Crowdfunding To Pay High Tuition Costs

"Rather than taking out huge loans some are finding creative new ways to own their futures," including using Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, NBC Nightly News reports. "A good rule of thumb for a student is they shouldn't take out more in loan debt over the course of their college career than they can make in their first year," NASFAA President and CEO Justin Draeger said.

Financial Aid: It's Not Too Late

"Some free aid still is up for grabs, including scholarships from nonprofits, banks and others. There also are lower-cost alternatives to traditional college loans, including payment plans that don't charge interest," The Wall Street Journal reports, in an article that quotes NASFAA Senior Policy Analyst Karen McCarthy.

Student Loan Facts They Wish They Had Known

"The problem with a lot of the advice that teenagers and their families get about higher education debt is that it's totally, utterly bloodless," according to The New York Times.

For-Profit Colleges Face A Loan Revolt By Thousands Claiming Trickery

"Brittany Prock of Merit, Tex., had a longstanding dream of becoming a detective. To pursue her ambition, she enrolled in the criminal justice program of Everest University Online, operated by Corinthian Colleges, one of the nation's largest for-profit education companies," according to The New York Times.

Pushing for Free

"Since President Obama proposed a national free community college initiative, many have wondered if the idea has a chance of becoming reality," Insider Higher Ed reports.

Marco Rubio Went to Bat for Corinthian Colleges

"Last summer, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida asked the U.S. Department of Education to 'demonstrate leniency' toward Corinthian Colleges by permitting the wealthy for-profit company to continue accessing millions of dollars in federal financial aid while it was cooperating with a federal investigation," Bloomberg reports.

State News

Performance-Funding Bill Advances In Texas

"The Texas Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would require public colleges to meet several performance standards in order to increase tuition rates beyond the rate of inflation," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Pennsylvania: Cheyney University Failed To Track $50 Million In Student Aid

"When the federal government awards college students grants and loans, campuses that hold the money in trust are required to verify that each recipient is aid-eligible and that the money is not misused," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Jury Rules CSU's 2009 Tuition Hike Was Proper, Rejects Class-Action Lawsuit

"The Long Beach-based California State University system acted properly when it hiked tuition in 2009, despite claims by students that they were unfairly double-billed, a jury ruled Thursday," The Daily Breeze reports.

Opinions

Opinion: Things They Wish They'd Known About Student Loans

"The problem with a lot of the advice that teenagers and their families get about higher education debt is that it's totally, utterly bloodless," Ron Lieber writes in The New York Times.

Blogs and Think Tanks

You Can Lower Your Student Loan Payments, But Is It A Good Idea?

"If you're one of the millions of Americans with federal student-loan debt, your monthly payment can be an unwelcome burden, and the low-payment options on offer may seem tempting," according to The Motley Fool.

STATE AND REGIONAL NEWS

New Edition of the MASFAP Monitor Now Available

Check it out to see what your colleagues in Missouri have been up to over the last few months.

INDUSTRY NEWS

NASFAA UNIVERSITY

NASFAA CAREER CENTER

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