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This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discusses whether House Speaker Paul Ryan's resignation means the end of his political career and what his final moves may be, and analyzes Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent testimony before Congress. Justin, Stephen, and Allie delve into what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected regarding student loans over the next decade, and Allie breaks down a new report on raising the income threshold for calculating the automatic zero EFC. The team also talks about the much anticipated release of the Pell Grant schedules and a letter that Democratic senators sent to the Department of Education (ED) related to implementing changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Plus, the team discusses some of the swag to be given out at the NASFAA National Conference.
Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of NASFAA’s daily newsletter and website? How about the podcast, or various other NASFAA projects? NASFAA’s new video series has all your answers — meet the communications team over the next few weeks and discover how each member keeps NASFAA up and running everyday. Discover how NASFAA reporter Joelle Fredman stays on top of the news and what she loves about covering higher education policy. Learn more about Joelle and the team here.
Several different offices on college campuses work to find ways to help improve student success. Student affairs, IT, and institutional research (IR) offices each have their own methods for collecting and analyzing data. But a new report from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) found that "while institutions could do more to use data strategically across these siloed functions, institutions are well-positioned to make bolder moves in the years ahead." The report recommends that institutions work to improve communication across these offices, prioritize measuring student outcomes, increase the use of qualitative data, and expand the process by which these offices collaborate to include new responsibilities. Read the full report.
By and large, schools struggle with consumer information requirements. There are a ton of disclosures. They require coordination across campus. And how do you know what must be directly sent versus what just needs to be posted online? A peer review can provide you a friendly, non-punative way to identify issues in your compliance with these requirements. (We even have a stand-alone review just for consumer info!) Complete our simple information request form to learn more about NASFAA’s peer review services.
The attachments contain the quarterly special allowance rates computed pursuant to section 438, and the bond equivalent rates of the 91-day Treasury Bills auctioned during the quarter.
"Congress continues to consider various education reform policies as the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act draws closer, leading the Committee on Education and the Workforce to debate the College Transparency Act," according to The Daily Tar Heel. "...More than 130 organizations have signed in support of the CTA, such as the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, saying they are widely in favor as it would make the reporting of data much easier due to the student-level data network."
"How do college students spend their valuable financial aid once tuition, housing and books are covered?" Inside Higher Ed reports. "Recent survey findings suggest that perhaps hundreds of thousands of students pour that extra money into trendy yet risky cryptocurrencies, offering an odd counternarrative to that of the vulnerable undergraduate, at risk of hunger or homelessness."
"If you wanted to get mad or guffaw about the way college students are spending their money, this survey is for you," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "The website 'The Student Loan Report' conducted a survey that found a little more than one in five students use extra money from their student loans to invest in cryptocurrency. ... Stories of people buying virtual currency for a low price and then selling high have sparked widespread interest in, and skepticism about, currencies like Bitcoin, the value of which has fluctuated widely in recent months."
"As a high-school senior in Hampton, Va., Aidan Cary applied last year to prestigious universities like Dartmouth, Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia," according to The Wall Street Journal. "Then he clicked on the website for a one-year-old school called MissionU and quickly decided that's where he wanted to go."
"New Jersey lawmakers, who were disturbed in the last legislative session by the practices of the agency that writes student loans, are signaling that they have not forgotten about the problems facing borrowers, moving several bills designed to make it easier to pay off those loans," according to NJ Spotlight.
"President Barack Obama, in his 2013 State of the Union Address, boldly claimed that the College Scorecard -- the now three-year-old U.S. Department of Education internet portal -- would help parents and students 'compare schools based on a simple criteria -- where you can get the most for your additional educational buck.' Fundamentally, what you get for your educational dollar depends on what price you pay and the earnings you receive," Doug Williams writes for Inside Higher Ed. "The Scorecard's net price information (i.e., the price net of aid) is a significant step forward in helping families understand what they have to pay. In contrast, the Scorecard earnings information -- median graduate earnings 10 years after enrolling -- is seriously flawed."