today’s news for Monday, March 12, 2018

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Great Lakes. Student loan debt letters are being mandated in a growing number of states. College Cost Meter™ is an affordable and versatile solution to send customizable student debt letters or emails, when it’s required or part of a student success program. Contact your Great Lakes representative or visit for more information.


The Department of Education (ED) reiterated that it has sole authority over federal loan servicers in an unofficial notice today, following several months of debate between attorneys general and loan servicers on whether states can regulate servicers operating in their borders.

NASFAA on Friday sent a letter to the Senate and House appropriations committees urging them to include a provision in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus spending bill that would allow students to provide schools written consent to release FAFSA information to entities that need the information to grant financial awards, following Department of Education (ED) verbal guidance last year which prohibited it. NAFSAA has repeatedly tried to address the issue with ED, but the Department has said it is bound by Higher Education Act (HEA) protections. NASFAA's letter pushes lawmakers to include language in their bill that will allow students and schools to revert to their previous data-sharing processes.

The Department of Education (ED) on Friday announced that it will expand the window of time for which former Charlotte School of Law students can apply to have their federal student loans discharged, in the wake of the school's abrupt August 2017 closure.


We saved the best for last. The final course of the season blends these two topics to provide financial aid administrators with the skills and insight into making the best decisions in the interests of their students. NASFAA U faculty are joined by Brad Barnett, director of financial aid at James Madison University, to teach the concepts—and application of those concepts—in a practical setting. Participants in the course will learn from each other, from NASFAA U materials and course videos, and from live interactive sessions. Don't miss out on this excellent opportunity. Register now.


This letter announces the renewal of the Third Party Servicer Data Form for use by entities that perform Title IV functions or services on behalf of eligible institutions. 

The COD Processing Update provides information related to COD System processing and includes the following sections: COD News and Updates, Current Issues (with a subsection for All Programs, Direct Loans, and Grants), and Reminders.


Recently, several States have enacted regulatory regimes that impose new regulatory requirements on servicers of loans under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan Program). States also impose disclosure requirements on loan servicers with respect to loans made under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). Finally, State regulations impact Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program servicing. The Department believes such regulation is preempted by Federal law. The Department issues this notice to clarify further the Federal interests in this area.

This program was designed to recognize current HBCU students for their dedication to academics, leadership and civic engagement. Nominees were asked to submit a nomination package containing a signed nomination form, unofficial transcripts, short essay, resume, and endorsement letter. Items in this package provide the tools necessary to select current HBCU students who are excelling academically and making differences in their community.


National News

"Student loan borrowers could get some wiggle room when it comes to repaying private loans, thanks to two new proposals in the Senate banking bill. The provisions in the bill would adjust how private student loan lenders treat the death or bankruptcy of co-signers, as well as how defaults are reported on a borrower's credit report," CNBC reports. 

"Less than three months after an overhaul of the nation’s tax code was signed into law, a pair of federal lawmakers has introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal a provision that was roundly opposed by higher education," according to The Chronicle of Higher Education

State News

"Before students at Iowa’s three public universities embark on earning a bachelor’s degree, they should know how much student loan debt they could leave school with and how much money they could earn in their field of study after they graduate, some Iowa lawmakers said Wednesday," the Des Moines Register reports. 

Blogs & Think Tanks

"In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education ruled that one of the country’s largest college watchdogs had been so derelict in its duty that it could no longer be trusted to grant access to federal financial aid. This agency—the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)—had repeatedly honored institutions facing legal challenges, set weak standards for student outcomes, and faced a host of other problems...Now, ACICS is trying to get back into U.S. federal aid programs," Ben Miller and Antionette Flores write for the Center for American Progress. 

"The Higher Education Act (HEA) originally became a law in 1965; it was seen as a way to give all Americans greater access to higher education...The HEA has been reauthorized eight times since its inception, which means that major and minor changes have been made to the bill. And now, the House and the Senate have committed to reauthorizing the HEA for the ninth time in 2018," according to The Student Loan Report.




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