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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Thursday, May 21, 2020

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ELM Resources. ELM's National Service Center has over twenty-five years of experience in the student lending industry, including the transition from FFELP to Direct Lending. We were there for you then, and we are here for you now as you prepare your institutions for unpredictable events this fall. Our team members are ready to assist you, at no cost and with no bias. We stand ready to help. NSC@elmresources.com or (866) 524-8198.

NEWS FROM NASFAA

William Burke

Meet William R. Burke. William is the director of financial aid at the University of Scranton, where he has worked for over 35 years in various financial aid roles. He was first introduced to the world of financial aid as an intern during his senior year of college. At the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) State Grant Program in Harrisburg, William gained valuable experience that he attributes to helping him land his first full-time job as coordinator of financial aid at Lackawanna College. From there, he went on to serve as assistant director of financial aid at Wilkes University alongside 2000-01 NASFAA National Chair Rachael Lohman. He then became associate director at the University of Scranton, his first role at the school. "I'm celebrating my 41st year as a financial aid professional, in a year that has been my most challenging due to COVID-19," he said.

In a webinar hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center on Wednesday, a group of higher education experts outlined approaches to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on state higher education budgets, and highlighted potential policy options as well as concerns about how the ongoing pandemic is shaping the industry. Prior to the pandemic, a number of states were in a position to start preparing budgets with the ideas of saving for the next economic downturn in mind and reinvesting in a number of sectors, but because of the immediate economic impact of the health crisis states have had to completely reassess their financial outlook.

COVID-19 ASKREGS

AskRegs

It depends on whether there was an interruption of instruction or campus operations due to COVID-19. According to the Electronic Announcement, the covered period is a payment period or period of enrollment that begins on or includes March 13, 2020, during which the student began attendance and did not complete the payment period/period of enrollment. This guidance does not apply to payment periods that begin after March 13, 2020, although NASFAA is asking ED if the guidance can be extended to subsequent payment periods. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

AskRegs

Yes. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), neither the student nor the school is required to return unearned Title IV funds resulting from the return of Title IV funds (R2T4) calculation when the student's withdrawal was related to the COVID-19 qualifying emergency. The May 15, 2020 Electronic Announcement narrowly defines the payment period or period of enrollment to which this CARES Act waiver applies — that is only a payment period or period of enrollment that begins on or includes March 13, 2020. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Attention: Renew Your Membership by June 30

NASFAA seeks to provide exceptional professional support and development to build an engaged and diverse community through accurate information sharing. As a membership association, NASFAA relies on the dues of its members to support its training initiatives, research and advocacy efforts, and myriad other projects. If you have not yet submitted your payment, you may pay online at this time to ensure everyone at your institution/organization will receive continued access to NASFAA's many tools and resources. Please direct questions to membership@nasfaa.org or (202) 785-0453 ext. 1. Thank you for supporting NASFAA.

NASFAA U

Brand new to the NASFAA U schedule, Fundamentals of Student Financial Aid is a four-week interactive online course beginning July 7, which will focus on the fundamentals of financial aid including applying, financial aid concepts, categories and types of financial aid, the Title IV aid programs, other federal sources of student assistance, and comparing financial aid offers. This course is the perfect learning tool for new financial aid professionals, admissions or enrollment representatives, and high school counselors. Upon passing the course, you will receive a completion certificate. Register now to reserve your seat.

The distribution of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act emergency grants does not require an application to disburse funds. However, NASFAA is aware that many schools are choosing to use some form of application to document selection and allocation of funds. NASFAA encourages schools that are considering the use of an application to require the least amount of information necessary to provide grants as easily as possible to students. Recognizing that some schools are looking for models, NASFAA asked members to share models being used on campus for this purpose. Head to NASFAA's Member-Generated Content Library to see samples of emergency grant applications provided by your peers and to get ideas for your own form.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Federal Student Aid released a series of quarterly updates to its portfolio reports on its FSA Data Center to include data as of March 31, 2020.  These reports provide a snapshot of the federal student loan portfolio as it existed in FSA systems on March 31, 2020, just four days after the passage of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020.  Changes to borrower accounts as a result of the administration’s executive action in late March, and provisions in the CARES ACT are underrepresented in these reports due to the timing of this snapshot.

Starting the week of May 18, 2020, Federal Student Aid will begin sending emails and mobile app push notifications, when applicable, to 2019–20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) filers (and parents of dependent 2019–20 FAFSA filers) who have not yet submitted a 2020–21 FAFSA form. The goal of the campaign is to remind customers that the 2020–21 FAFSA form is available and should be completed soon for those going to school between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

NOTABLE HEADLINES

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