today’s news for Thursday, September 17, 2020

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With the onset of the fall semester and the prevalence of the coronavirus continuing to take a toll on students’ fiscal well-being, a number of peer-led groups are aiming to fill those gaps through fundraising efforts to support those struggling through this new economic reality. Throughout the pandemic, many students and their families have faced gaps in incomes and struggled to meet basic needs that the pandemic has made especially challenging for first generation and economically disadvantaged groups, further entrenching them with barriers to pursuing higher education.

A bipartisan House caucus on Tuesday released what it’s billing as the “March To Common Ground” plan to serve as a possible COVID-19 relief package as Congress is locked in a stalemate over another piece of legislation to respond to the ongoing pandemic. The House Problem Solvers Caucus — made up of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats — released the framework, which calls for up to $2 trillion to address a variety of needs, with $30 billion to be directed toward higher education.


NASFAA's Administrative Capability Task Force convened in September 2019 to deliver a report containing recommendations that could provide better support for financial aid offices, ensuring they are able to meet administrative capability standards — including the creation of an Administrative Capability Toolkit. The toolkit, released today, repackages existing products and resources to create a one-stop shop to assist an institution in assessing its administrative capability. The following resources may help ensure that your campus is compliant with such tenants as being adequately resourced, adhering to the separation of functions, information sharing electronic processes, recordkeeping, and contingency planning. Check out the toolkit and share it with others at your institution.

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Do you find yourself asking what the differences are between standard terms, nonstandard terms, and programs without terms? How do these different types of academic calendars impact the packaging and disbursement of Title IV aid? How do modules, summer terms, and intersessions fit in? As academic departments continue to explore new ways to deliver academic programs, it is essential to understand how those decisions can affect the Title IV programs you offer and impact your students. Join NASFAA's Joe Massman at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 23 to explore basic concepts that will help inform your conversations and choices about program structure. Due to the complex nature of this webinar topic, we are allowing extra time for Q&A. As always, all NASFAA webinars are recorded for on-demand viewing should you have to log off early. Register now.

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The Policies and Procedures (P&P) Builder is updated with new resources for the 2020-21 award year, including COVID-19 flexibilities. Older versions of your P&P manual will be archived, but remain accessible. Schools will be prompted to roll over existing information to the new template the when existing version is accessed. Changes in guidance which may affect your P&P manual can also be found here. Access to the P&P Builder is included with Value Plus membership, and it is only $99 for all other membership levels. Head to the Compliance Engine page to start your subscription of the P&P Builder today.


Sure to be a sellout, the NASFAA U Return of Title IV Funds online course begins next month, on October 27. During this four-week interactive online course, you’ll receive an overview of the return of Title IV funds (R2T4) regulations and take a deeper dive into topics like what happens to Title IV funds when a student withdraws before completing the period of enrollment, withdrawal from programs offered in modules, and how to apply the R2T4 formula in order to calculate the amount the school must return to the Title IV programs, or the amounts the student could receive as post-withdrawal disbursement. Register now. This course will fill quickly.


The Department of Education announced the availability of the 2021–22 Application and Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) test files as well as the 2021–22 comment code text to aid users as they prepare for testing of their mainframe systems with the Central Processing System (CPS).


The Department of Education (ED) is seeking a revision of the OMB approval of a Third Party Servicer Data Form. This form collects information from third party servicers. This form is used to validate the information reported to the Department by higher education institutions about the third-party servicers that administer one or more aspects of the administration of the Title IV, HEA programs on an institution's behalf. This form also collects additional information required for effective oversight of these entities. There has been no change to the supporting regulatory language. ED has reevaluated the usage of the form and there is a resulting decrease in the number of respondents and burden hours.





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