today’s news for Thursday, October 27, 2016

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NASFAA is reminding schools of the draft GE Debt to Earnings (D/E) rates, which are now available for review. See Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #93 for additional details. Also, refer to Gainful Employment Electronic Announcement #92 for guidance on how to determine data to be challenged and the 45-day challenge period.

ED Announces Procurement Requirements for Revamped Federal Loan Servicing System

The Department of Education (ED) on Wednesday announced the procurement requirements for a future contractor to create a single loan servicing platform. Among the requirements are improved oversight of vendors, uniform ED branding, the collection and release of data to the public, and other requirements related to communication and feedback processing. ED said three firms are currently participating in Phase II of the procurement, and expects the contract will be awarded by February 2017.

The Compliance Engine Policies & Procedures Manual Builder module was released in preview format in July 2016. In January 2017, much of the functionality pertaining to this manual will be released and members will be able to create, export, and maintain a full Policies & Procedures Manual using this tool. NASFAA is currently seeking volunteers to help review, test, and provide feedback on P&P Manual functionality, user-friendliness, content, and similar factors, pre- and post-rollout to the larger member audience. The group will communicate primarily through calls, emails, and a collaborative file-sharing environment. Review the task force charter for more details and, if interested, complete the volunteer form by Monday, October 31.

Authorized Event

NASFAA Authorized Events provide a suite of materials (study guide, instructor guide, slide deck and slide handout) for each available topic. If events are utilizing instructors who have earned a NASFAA Credential in the respective topic, participants have access to test for the credential as well, at no additional cost beyond the event they are attending. Look for NASFAA Authorized Events at a state or regional conference or training opportunity near you.


As part of the Gainful Employment (GE) regulations, an institution may submit an alternate earnings appeal if it has a GE program with a final Debt-to-Earnings (D/E) rate that is failing or in the zone. While final D/E rates will not be issued until January 2017, institutions may submit their Notice of Intent to appeal upon receipt of their draft D/E rates. The sections below provide further information about the alternate earnings appeals process.

The Department's federal offices as well as some of its Title IV processors and contact centers will be closed on Friday, November 11, 2016 to observe the Veterans Day federal holiday.


The Department of Education (the Department) is submitting the Lender's Interest and Special Allowance Request & Report, ED Form 799 for approval.

The Department of Education is making this request is for an extension of the current approval of the policies and procedures for determining satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as required in Section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).


National News

"Colleges are putting the brakes on hefty price increases, but tuition and fees are still rising at a faster rate than the financial aid and family income needed to cover costs, according to two reports released Wednesday by the College Board," The Washington Post reports. "'The intense focus on the idea of a national student debt crisis distracts from a more important discussion about the students who actually are in crisis and keeps the struggle of these students in the shadows,' said Justin Draeger, president and chief executive of the National Association of Student Aid Administrators. 'We should be targeting our resources toward finding solutions for the students who need it most.'"

"More than 50 national and state organizations signed a letter to the White House urging changes to the complaint system for student loan borrowers launched over the summer," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"Hillary Clinton has reached out to younger voters and parents with a plan to allow most Americans to attend state colleges tuition-free, arguing it would remove one of the fastest-growing costs for households while boosting the nation’s workforce. But a growing chorus of policy experts, economists and some college officials say the plan would deliver hundreds of billions of additional dollars to schools with no guarantee that they spend it wisely and keep costs in check," The Wall Street Journal reports.



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Related Content

NASFAA Policy Update


Gainful Employment


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