today’s news for Monday, December 4, 2017

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Republican members of the House education committee on Friday introduced a 542-page bill that would significantly reshape how students apply for and receive federal financial aid. The much-anticipated bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) contains some proposals higher education advocates have pushed for, but others that would take a step backwards on higher education access. In the coming weeks, NASFAA’s policy & federal relations staff will be providing a series of more detailed analyses into Title IV issues contained in the bill.

While higher education professionals are still sifting through the House Republicans’ lengthy bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) released Friday, initial reactions focused heavily on condemning proposals to cut various grant and loan programs and eliminate the gainful employment regulations.


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Researchers often find themselves unsure of how to promote their work to be used by policymakers or funded by a foundation. In the latest issue of the Journal of Student Financial Aid (JSFA), Zakiya Smith tells researchers how to succeed in both markets. Smith suggests they make papers relevant by monitoring the political climate and pairing problems with solutions. Read the full article, which includes suggestions on how to restructure proposals, and others in the latest issue of JSFA.


National News

"House Republicans on Friday proposed a sweeping overhaul of a federal law that governs almost every aspect of higher education, a plan that would eliminate some popular student aid programs and impose restrictions on others," The Washington Post reports. NASFAA's Justin Draeger is quoted.

"Speaking at a training conference for financial aid professionals, Betsy DeVos called the current application experience unacceptable... she said the app will be part of an effort to improve the service offered by the Federal Student Aid office," Marketplace reports. NASFAA President Justin Draeger is quoted in the article.  

"Stanford Business School officials are admitting that for years they have given steep price breaks to preferred applicants while claiming the scholarships were only for needy students — and say they will close a glitch that allowed public access to thousands of confidential student financial aid records," The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

"U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is teaming up with two Senate Democrats to offer a proposal offering more transparency on the costs of higher education," according to the Sunshine State News. "The proposal would ensure potential college students are provided data about colleges and universities including graduation rates, costs, debts associated with attending the school and expected salaries of graduates."  


"Congressional plans to tax the endowments of wealthy private schools and the tuition benefits of graduate students have elicited outrage from universities and schadenfreude from Trump supporters. Missing in this outcry — and in the pending tax legislation — is a recognition of the long history of reciprocity between academia and government that has incalculably benefited society," Emily Levine and Mitchell Stevens write in an opinion article for The New York Times. 

"As lawmakers in Washington work to enact the most extensive tax reform in a generation, they must be wary of unintended consequences for the nation’s colleges and universities... I am deeply concerned by provisions in both the House and Senate tax-reform bills that threaten our nation’s students and the institutions that serve them," Margaret Spellings writes in an opinion article for The Chronicle of Higher Education

Blogs & Think Tanks

"For many adults, tuition and fees at community college already are effectively free—adults just don’t know it because we haven’t told them. Marketing and tailoring promise-type free college programs to this population could be a game-changer," Jesse O'Connell writes for Lumina Foundation.


"Addressing [Stanford's] GSB’s historical financial aid process, which has resulted in varying awards to students who demonstrate similar financial need, [GSB Dean Jonathan] Levin wrote that the student’s analysis raised issues to be addressed. In particular, he said, 'a preferable approach, going forward, is to be significantly more transparent about the principles and objectives being applied in making financial aid awards, and about how different awards are made,'" according to Stanford News.




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