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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Thursday, August 6, 2020

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

Since last week’s unveiling of Senate Republicans’ counter proposal to House Democrats' coronavirus relief package, few policy differences have been resolved, but negotiators appear to be coming to a consensus on a timeline as Congress continues to watch its August recess wane. While the self-imposed timeline does not force negotiators to come to an agreement, it offers a framework into how talks might develop in the coming days and whether additional aid will be agreed to before the end of August, or instead begin to bleed into September when Congress will be forced to confront the annual fiscal deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

The ongoing pandemic has had an outsized impact on low- and moderate-income student loan borrowers, with twice as many borrowers from that group falling behind on payments compared to their middle- and higher-income counterparts, a new national survey found. Notably, the report from researchers at the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis found that borrowers’ student loan payments were one of the first financial expenditures impacted by the pandemic and were greatly affected by job or income loss.

AskRegs

Wondering whether the COVID-19 verification flexibilities apply to the 2020-21 award year? How about if there are alternatives if the IRS cannot mail copies of tax transcripts due to the coronavirus? Take a look back at last month's most viewed AskRegs Q&As. If you have a question that's not on the list, you can find a credible and reliable answer in the AskRegs Knowledgebase by browsing or searching the answers provided by our training and regulatory assistance staff. If you can't find the answer, you may submit your question by clicking the "Ask a New Question" button.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

NASFAA's 2020-21 Self-Study Guides are now available as downloadable PDF documents. Written for the independent learner, each Self-Study Guide includes multiple lessons with a variety of exercises to reinforce each lesson. You'll study independently and take quizzes in a traditional paper format (not online). Then you can qualify to take the related credential test and potentially earn a NASFAA Professional Credential. Each purchase grants everybody on your roster access to download that topic. Additionally, all Self-Study Guides are included in Value Plus memberships, and Value memberships include six specific Self-Study Guide topics. Any available item is indicated with an "Access" button throughout the site. Be sure you're logged in, and that your NASFAA membership is paid in full so "Access" displays for included items; review your membership invoice online.

Webinar Logo

The 2020-21 NASFAA webinar series gets underway on September 16 at 2:00 p.m. ET with 2021-22 Verification Basics. Verification can be a very complicated and time-consuming task. If you are a new financial aid administrator who has never completed verification, or perhaps an experienced financial aid administrator who has not completed verification in a while, this webinar will provide you with the tools you need to build your knowledge. Join NASFAA's Tiffany Gibbs and Kochie Vaughan as they discuss the basic elements of verification and what is required. Register now.

FEDERAL REGISTER

The Department of Education (ED) announced waivers that the department granted, within the last 30 days, under the CARES Act. In the last 30 days the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) granted two waivers to state educational agencies (SEAs).

ED is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the International Research and Studies (IRS) program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) that would aim to promote research and studies to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields.

This information collection includes application instructions and forms for the National Resource Centers (NRC) Program and the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships Program, authorized under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. Section 1122). The type of collection is an extension of a previously-approved information collection (application). The NRC Program provides grants to institutions of higher education (IHE) or consortia of IHEs to establish, strengthen, and operate comprehensive and undergraduate foreign language and area or international studies centers.

ED is requesting a revision to the information collection regarding the adverse credit history regulations in relation to eligibility requirements in receiving a Federal PLUS Loan under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the burden these changes create for Federal PLUS loan borrowers, both parent and graduate/professional students.

ED is waiving requirements which prohibit project periods exceeding five years, and the requirements which limit the extension of a project period if the extension involves the obligation of additional federal funds. The waivers and extension would enable the project under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) to receive funding for an additional one year period, not to exceed September 25, 2021.

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