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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Friday, June 16, 2017

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

 Off the Cuff

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team dives into the details of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' recent announcement to rewrite the borrower defense and gainful employment regulations, and looks at what action schools should take with gainful employment disclosure deadlines approaching. The decision came amid criticism from some lawmakers and advocacy groups, and support from others – but it's still unclear exactly how the re-opening of negotiated rulemaking will impact students and schools. Allie also gives an update on lawmaker concerns over ED's plans to overhaul the federal student loan servicing system, particularly the plans to move to a single servicer. Megan outlines two letters NASFAA recently sent to ED on the 2018-19 draft FAFSA and the wind down of the Perkins Loan Program, while Stephen gives us a sneak peek of what's to come at the "Fight for Financial Aid" rally at the conference this month.

Brianna's Blog

My name is Brianna Hayes, and I am NASFAA’s Dallas Martin Endowment (DME) Policy Intern for Summer 2017. I currently am a student at the University of Oregon, and I am excited to join this fantastic team over the summer! Without your generous contributions, I would not be able to have the opportunity to work with NASFAA and gain first-hand experience about financial aid policy at the federal level. During this summer, I plan on taking the time to build my experience, knowledge, and skills. I am excited to participate in the upcoming events on Capitol Hill and the 2017 NASFAA National Conference.

If you are interested in being matched with a conference mentor, complete the online response form by Monday, June 19. Signing up for a conference mentor will ensure you have someone to on hand to assist you with selecting conference sessions and answer pressing questions. It will also give you a familiar face to look for during breaks or meals at the conference. The First-Time Conference Attendees Kick-off Network Event will take place Monday, June 26 at 2:00 pm (Room 8). You do not need a conference mentor to take part in any of the planned activities for first-time conference attendees. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

A school has a credit-hour program, with nonstandard terms that are not substantially equal in length, meaning it uses the nonterm rules for disbursing Direct Loans. A student registers for classes in modules 1-5 (all of Fall) and completes them successfully. The student registers for classes in Spring for modules 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11 and meets the school’s definition of full-time for both terms. The student attends and successfully completes module 6. Is it permissible to make a second Direct Loan disbursement during a module he or she is not attending (module 7 in this case)? Read on to see if you got the answer right.

This year NASFAA is pleased to offer a training for our graduate and professional members on how they may use data to answer questions related to important research topics on their student population. Based on a recommendation from our task force examining the lack of graduate-specific data, this session will share three online data analysis tools from the National Center for Education Statistics: QuickStats, PowerStats and TrendStats and teach members the basics of how to use them. The three tools allow users to interact with survey data through a graphic interface, and are able to quickly produce complex data tables and regressions.

FEDERAL REGISTER

The Department announces intention to establish two negotiated rulemaking committees to prepare proposed regulations for the Federal Student Aid programs authorized under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The Department also announces two public hearings at which interested parties may comment on the topics suggested by the Department and may suggest additional topics that should be considered for action by the negotiating committees. In addition, the Department announces that it will accept written comments on the topics suggested by the Department and suggestions for additional topics that should be considered for action by the negotiating committees.

In light of the existence and potential consequences of the pending litigation, the Department has concluded that justice requires it to postpone certain provisions of the final regulations pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), pending judicial review.

HEADLINES

National News

"Immediately after President Trump was elected, borrower advocates and lawmakers expressed concern about what would happen to the Obama-era regulations aimed at holding for-profit colleges accountable," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "On Tuesday, their concerns were validated. The Education Department announced that it would delay and renegotiate two of the previous administration’s signature regulations: the borrower 'defense to repayment' rule and the gainful-employment rule."

"President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered more money and a bigger role for private companies in designing apprenticeship programs meant to fill some of the 6 million open jobs in the U.S.," The Associated Press reports.

State News

"With a stroke of his veto pen, Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday wiped out most of the higher-education policy initiatives that had been advanced by Senate President Joe Negron during the 2017 legislative session," The Ledger reports.

Opinions

"During the Obama years, a pervasive negative attitude toward for-profit colleges prevailed. Headline after headline portrayed the acrimonious disposition of the administration toward the sector, pointing to for-profit universities as hotbeds of fraud, false promises (particularly about job placements) and low, if not nonexistent, academic standards. It was especially pilloried for its reputed exploitation of veterans and minorities," William G. Durden, president emeritus of Dickinson College and chief global engagement officer of the International University Alliance, writes for Inside Higher Ed.

Blogs & Think Tanks

"In a move that could reverberate through U.S. high schools, President Donald J. Trump is planning a major expansion of apprenticeship programs to help build a pipeline of skilled workers for a needy labor market, and calling for cutbacks to regulations that could hobble the plan," according to Education Week's High School & Beyond blog. NASFAA's Megan McClean Coval is quoted.

"President Trump is fond of negotiating, as can be evidenced through his long business career and many promises to renegotiate a whole host of international agreements," Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor at Seton Hall University, writes on his blog. "Federal higher education policy is also fond of negotiation, thanks to a process called negotiated rulemaking that brings a range of stakeholders together for an arduous series of negotiations regarding key changes to federal policies. Notably, if stakeholders do not come to an agreement, the Department of Education can write its own rules––something that the Obama administration did on multiple occasions."

"President Trump's 2018 budget proposal includes drastic cuts to the U.S. Department of Education (ED): $10.6 billion in reductions to federal education initiatives. Among them are the elimination of Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) as well as the Corporation for National and Community Service, including AmeriCorps; a $3.9 billion reduction from the Pell Grant program reserve fund, with the inflationary adjustment eliminated; $487 million, or almost half of funding, slashed from Federal Work-Study; and elimination of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)," according to the National College Access Network (NCAN).

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