today’s news for Friday, December 1, 2017

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 Off the Cuff

This week, on an extended episode of "Off The Cuff," Justin, Megan, and Allie go over the biggest announcements coming out of FSA's Training Conference in Orlando. The team also discusses news that House Republicans may soon release a sweeping reauthorization bill for the Higher Education Act, and what changes might be included in the bill. Justin shares his experience testifying at a Senate education committee hearing on simplifying the FAFSA and what direction senators might take in their own reauthorization bill. Plus, negotiated rulemaking for gainful employment kicks off next week – Justin, Megan, and Allie dive into what issues might come up during this first session.

Financial Aid Administrators Request Better Guidance on Overlapping Academic Years

Officials at the Department of Education's (ED) Federal Student Aid Training Conference yesterday confirmed that, when students transfer between schools, an overlap in academic years of even one day mandates that the school factor in any Direct Loan funds borrowed during the overlapping academic year at the prior school. Currently, there is no exception, even when the overlap is very short. Several financial aid administrators yesterday asked ED officials to provide clearer written guidance on this issue.

Too often policymakers neglect to read academic journals and papers because they are lengthy, littered with jargon, and lack obvious political implications. In the newest issue of the Journal of Student Financial Aid (JSFA), Donald Heller makes recommendations on how to ensure that academic research has an impact on policy. Read the full article, which includes several strategies for revamping academic papers, and others in the latest issue of JSFA.

The financial aid community was thrown for a loop last spring when the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and IRS deactivated the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) without warning. While the ED responded to NASFAA's request to help applicants by allowing institutions to accept signed paper copies of the 2015 IRS tax return as verification, there is no telling how many students missed financial aid deadlines due to the outage. NASFAA Now, our annual impact report, is filled with association data, accomplishments, and compelling original content that can't be found anywhere else. Read more about the outage on pages 32 and 33.


National News

"What was once a challenge of quantity in American undergraduate education is increasingly a challenge of educational quality. In other words, getting as many students as possible to attend college means little if they’re not learning what they need to and -- crucially -- if they don’t graduate," Inside Higher Ed reports. 

State News

"California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, sued Ashford University on Wednesday, alleging that the major for-profit college had misled prospective students and engaged in other illegal practices. 'No school should ever steal the American Dream from its students, but that is exactly what Ashford University did,' Mr. Becerra said in a news release," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. 

"Fretting over what job you may get following college is one of the biggest fears of many college students. Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of Education and the Florida Chamber Foundation are trying to change that," according to the News Service of Florida. 


"You wouldn’t want to be caught between colliding curling rocks. But this is where Millennials have been for the past decade: caught between the rock of declining college affordability, and the hard place of declining employment outcomes," Ryan Craig writes in an opinion article for Forbes.





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