today’s news for Monday, March 5, 2018

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Democratic lawmakers from Massachusetts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Katherine Clark, released a report last week outlining the ways in which they believe Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has failed students in her first year at the Department of Education (ED). 

"Due to statutory limitations, students and families are only privy to incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information on a college's performance, including how many students graduate or their post-enrollment earnings. ...[S]ystematically asking students to make one of the biggest financial investments of their lives without complete data is an absurd practice that can dramatically alter the trajectory of millions of students’ lives each year," Tamara Hiler, a senior policy advisor and higher education campaign manager at Third Way, writes for NASFAA's Student Aid Perspectives series.

In a Nov. 2, 2017 Electronic Announcement, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the IRS Get Transcript Online service was suspended for new users. Sometime over the winter, the IRS restored this service, which provides an immediate PDF version of a tax transcript. It is now available to new and returning users who establish an online account with the IRS to log in and use the service.


It's not too late to register for this NASFAA U course. Whether you are a director or a staff member who assists with maintaining compliant operations, the Administrative Capability course is for you. This course will help you learn the standards expected of a compliant Title IV operation. Learn from NASFAA U instructors and collaborate with practicing aid administrators. This course begins tomorrow. Register now.


The Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) regulations at 34 CFR 690.10 provide for an Administrative Cost Allowance (ACA) payment of $5.00 to each participating school for each student who receives a Pell Grant at that school for an award year. These funds may be used only to defray the costs of administering the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Perkins Loan programs.

As explained in earlier announcements, Federal Student Aid is transitioning Campus-Based business processes to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System in spring 2018. Implementation is planned for the period March 23–25, 2018.


National News

"The public conversation about college affordability tends to center on big, scary numbers, like the $50,000 some colleges now charge in tuition, or the $1.5 trillion Americans collectively owe in student loans. But college officials working to improve completion rates know that much smaller sums of money can play an outsize role in student success. The difference between graduating or dropping out could hinge on a student’s ability to come up with just a thousand dollars," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

"Applying to college can be an arduous process. But perhaps what's even more difficult is deciphering financial-aid offers. That's because there is no universally adopted standard format for award letters (although there are efforts under way to make this a reality), and there can be lots of confusing terms and unfamiliar concepts for people to digest. With May 1—college decision day—just around the corner, here's what students and families need to know to make informed choices about financial-aid offers," The Wall Street Journal reports. NASFAA is mentioned in this article.

"For the past four years, Nephtali Moreno, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, has been granted deportation protection and a work permit through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program," according to The Republic. "But the Phoenix resident's DACA permit expires on March 16. Like thousands of other 'dreamers,' he will lose his deportation protections and work permits—at least temporarily — despite a ruling Monday by the Supreme Court that essentially allows the DACA program to continue past a March 5 termination date set by the Trump administration."

"Student-loan debt has reached such formidable levels that it could hold back economic growth. That was the warning U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell gave to members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

State News

"The Higher Learning Commission's decision on Grand Canyon University's application to convert from a for-profit to a nonprofit is expected within days," Inside Higher Ed reports. "The Arizona-based Christian institution, which enrolls more than 19,000 students at its Phoenix campus and more than 70,000 online, announced in January that it would again attempt to change its tax status. The for-profit failed in a similar bid four years ago, when HLC -- the university's regional accreditor -- denied Grand Canyon's application."




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