today’s news for Thursday, June 20, 2019

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Ocelot. The virtual financial aid office is here. Learn how Financial Aid Director Mia Mwango at Santa Fe College is using AI chatbots, videos, and other online tools to provide students a fully virtual experience. Broaden access, support self-service 24/7/365, and improve outcomes. Download Mia's "how to guide" to learn more.


In its fifth and final bipartisan hearing covering topics for consideration when reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA), the House Committee on Education and Labor on Wednesday dove into issues around innovation and alternative pathways to a college degree.

Last Wednesday, the Department of Education (ED) published in the Federal Register the first Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to come out of the 2018-19 negotiated rulemaking session. While the negotiations covered a broad swath of topics, this first NPRM covers only accreditation, state authorization, and the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program. NASFAA published previous articles earlier this week on the provisions related to ED's recognition of accrediting agencies and on changes proposed to the student assistance general provisions, institutional eligibility, and the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program. This final article will focus on changes to state authorization.

House Passes 2020 Spending Bill With Large Increases for Student Aid

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a fiscal year 2020 (award year 2020-21) spending bill by a vote of 226-203. The bill includes a $150 increase to the maximum Pell Grant to $6,345 and record boosts for campus-based aid that, if enacted, would provide an additional $304 million for Federal Work-Study (FWS) and an additional $188 million for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program. The bill now awaits action from the Senate. The House, Senate, and White House have yet to agree on spending caps for the year, which must be settled before any meaningful appropriations work can be finalized.


 NASFAA 2019 Conference Logo

The Certified Financial Aid Administrator™ (CFAA) Program Commission—an independent certifying body of NASFAA—conferred the new designation of CFAA for the first time in May 2019. The inaugural group of qualified financial aid administrators passed the CFAA Exam and earned their place on the new Certified Financial Aid Administrator™ (CFAA) Registry. Join your peers! Learn more about the CFAA Program by reviewing the Candidate Handbook.

 Off the Cuff

The "Off The Cuff" team is busy making plans for the 2019 National Conference in Orlando next week. While there isn't a new episode this week, we'd love for you to join us for a live podcast recording in Orlando! We'll gather after sessions wrap up on Tuesday afternoon, at 3:15 p.m. Stop by for a fun and relaxed conversation on the latest happenings, some "Off The Cuff" swag, games, and more! In the meantime, be sure to download our latest episodes for your travel, and as always send any questions, comments, and suggestions to the team through our feedback form.


This letter announces the availability of Federal Student Aid's recording of a June 2019 webinar that provided information about new functionality in NSLDS that makes it easier for institutions to update and correct misreported or missing enrollment reporting data.


The Higher Education Amendments of 1998 established Federal Student Aid (FSA) as the first Performance-Based Organization (PBO). One purpose of the PBO is to improve service to student and other participants in the student financial assistance programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, including making those programs more understandable to students and their parents. To do that, FSA has committed to ensuring that all people receive service that matches or exceeds the best service available in the private sector. The legislation's requires establish an on-going need for FSA to be engaged in an interactive process of collecting information and using it to improve program services and processes. The use of customer surveys and focus groups allows FSA to gather that information from the affected parties in a timely manner so as to improve communications with our product users.





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