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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Friday, September 25, 2020

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CampusLogic. Financial barriers are the number one reason that college students don't stay committed to their degree program, or even enroll to begin. Join our virtual event to learn what you can do now to help more students feel confident in starting, and staying, with your school through graduation. Register now.

NEWS FROM NASFAA

 Off the Cuff

This week on "Off The Cuff," Allie, Megan, and Jill delve into what implications the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the upcoming SCOTUS confirmation process could have on higher education. Allie details a number of recent court cases and spells out how the ideological dynamics of the court could shift on a number of high profile decisions for the court's upcoming session. Megan provides an update on Congress' legislative agenda, highlighting the state of ongoing negotiations into additional COVID-19 relief efforts and what comes next for a continuing resolution that could prevent a government shutdown at the end of this month. Finally, Jill details the latest announcement from the Department of Education concerning Phase II of the Common Origination and Disbursement System implementation of the coronavirus indicator for return of Title IV funds waivers. Plus, the podcast turns four years old this weekend!

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

AskRegs

This AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A was updated on September 24, 2020 to indicate that the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has set a deadline for adding the Coronavirus Indicator to eligible disbursements in the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System — that is December 31, 2020. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

AskRegs

This AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A was updated on September 22, 2020 to inform schools that the Federal Work-Study (FWS) flexibilities under Section 3505 of the CARES Act also cover the 2020-21 academic year, but there are limitations. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

We're looking for a few great authors to write new chapters for the third edition of NASFAA's book, "You're the Director: A Guide to Leadership in Student Financial Aid." This is the book new, aspiring, and seasoned directors depend on for insights and inspiration on leadership in our field. Read on for the topics the authors will cover. Each author will work with the editor on content and style and will submit their completed chapter by Jan. 4, 2021. If you're interested in writing a chapter on any of these topics, please complete this form by Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. 

Webinar Logo

Financial concerns have been a longtime leading factor in students' decisions to enroll or continue their education. In today's challenging economic environment, monetary considerations are even more prevalent. As a result, higher education institutions need to prioritize awarding timely and accurate financial aid offers to incoming and returning students to drive enrollment decisions and student persistence rates. Using technology to enable data-driven strategies can help institutions achieve their enrollment and retention goals. Join in for a webinar on Thursday, October 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET to discover how innovative solutions can also empower students to understand their financial aid options and make the best decisions for their educational journey and long-term financial status. This 60-minute webinar, sponsored by Jenzabar, is free to NASFAA members, but you must register in advance.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Throughout September 2020, Federal Student Aid (FSA) has been reminding federal student loan borrowers that relief measures currently in place due to the COVID-19 emergency were extended until December 31, 2020. These reminders, emailed to cohorts of borrowers from the address noreply@studentaid.gov, encourage borrowers to start planning and accessing available resources. During the period of September 24–28, 2020, we will send customized emails to the cohort of borrowers who are still in school. 

This is a reminder of the upcoming deadline for submitting the Fiscal Operations Report for 2019–20 and the Application to Participate for 2021–22 (FISAP) for the Campus-Based Programs. As noted in the July 10, 2020 Electronic Announcement, the date by which a school must submit the FISAP and the required signature has been extended to Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.

FEDERAL REGISTER

Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, Public Law 116-136 (March 27, 2020), authorizes the Secretary of Education to allocate formula grant funds to participating institutions of higher educations (IHEs). Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act allows the IHEs to use up to one-half of the total funds received to cover any costs associated with the significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus (with specific exceptions). This information collection request includes the certification and agreement that must be submitted by an IHE in order to request institutional aid funds allocated under the CARES Act.

The Department of Education (the Department) is requesting clearance to allow for immediate outreach to institutions of higher educations (IHEs) to meet the requirements of the CARES Act. Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, Public Law 116-136 (March 27, 2020), authorizes the Secretary of Education (“Secretary”) to allocate formula grant funds to participating institutions of higher educations (IHEs). Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act requires the IHEs to use no less than fifty percent of the funds received to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.

Section 18004(a)(2) of the CARES Act, Public Law 116-136 (March 27, 2020), authorizes the Secretary to make awards under parts A and B of title III, parts A and B of title V, and subpart 4 of part A of title VII of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (“HEA”), to address needs directly related to the coronavirus. These awards are in addition to awards made in Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Section 18004(a)(3) of the CARES Act, Pub. authorizes the Secretary to allocate funds for part B of Title VII of the HEA, for institutions of higher education (IHEs) that the Secretary determines have the greatest unmet needs related to coronavirus. This information collection request (ICR) includes the certifications, and in some cases additional data, that IHEs must submit to request funds allocated under Sections 18004(a)(2) and 18004(a)(3) of the CARES Act. 

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