NASFAA
TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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The College Board: Since helping to shape the field in 1954, the College Board and its member partners have collaborated to provide leadership, expertise, and a suite of reliable, consistent, and user-designed financial aid solutions including PowerFAIDS®, the Institutional Methodology, CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®, and others. Visit us at collegeboard.org.

NEWS FROM NASFAA

Americans rate the quality of a community college education at about equal to that received at a four-year institution, though they continue to consider an online education to be of lower quality, according to a recent poll by Gallup.

The Department of Education (ED) recently published the verification requirements and corresponding guidance for the 2016-17 processing year, eliminating the use of one verification tracking group and modifying some of the documentation requirements. Read on for a summary of the changes.

With less than three weeks before the start of the NASFAA National Conference, now is a great time to check out the NASFAA Conference mobile-optimized site. Whether you're on your phone, tablet, or other mobile device, the site allows you to search the conference schedule, view exhibitors, and get local travel and activity information in an on-the-go format. You can also access your schedule with the MySchedule tool, which stays in sync with your desktop view. Don’t forget to add a bookmark to your home screen for easy access to your information during the conference.

Reminder: NASFAA Encourages Members to Participate in College Board's Trends in Student Aid Report on Institutional Loans

If you are your institution's primary NASFAA contact, last week you should have received a direct email from us with a link to the College Board’s 5-minute survey on institutional loans. For the fifth year in a row, the College Board will report on institutional loan trends using information gleaned from this survey. The data will be published as part of the College Board's annual Trends in Student Aid report, released each fall. We encourage all primary contacts to complete the survey as requested. Data will be published in the aggregate and individual institutions will not be identified. Again, please refer to your email for the link to the survey.

NASFAA recently asked members if, as a result of the recent change in NCAA policy that has the potential of focusing increased attention on certain allowances that can now be included in the cost of attendance for athletes at NCAA Division I institutions, they have received an increase in inquiries. Of the 151 responses to our informal survey, 58 percent said they have not received increased inquiries over the past 6 months regarding the calculation of transportation or miscellaneous allowances in their COA from institutional or non-institutional sources. Forty percent said their school received increased inquiries about COA construction specifically for athletes over the past 6 months.

Volunteers are needed at various times July 19-21 to assist with local arrangement responsibilities at the 2015 National Conference in New Orleans. Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet and greet your colleagues from all over the nation! To select a volunteer opportunity, visit the conference website. Volunteers who work at the registration counter or information desk for 4.5+ hours will receive a complimentary, one-day pass to attend conference sessions on any day of their choosing. The one-day pass does not include meals or evening receptions and is not transferable. Thank you to those of you who have already signed up to volunteer!

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The Department announces the availability of an updated version of the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Gainful Employment User Guide, now available on the NSLDS User Documentation page on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site.

The attached charts show the variable interest rates applicable to the Federal Stafford, Federal SLS, Federal PLUS, and Federal Consolidation loan programs for the period July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.

FEDERAL REGISTER

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education (Department) is required by regulation to develop an earnings survey to support gainful employment (GE) program evaluations.

HEADLINES

National News

"On Wednesday, the Obama administration will begin choking off the financial lifeline of for-profit colleges whose graduates can’t find well-paying jobs — and the move is likely to accelerate a wave of shutdowns for an industry taking assaults from all sides," according to Politico.

"Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday lambasted congressional Republicans for their proposals to cut education funding across grade levels next year," The Hill reports.

"The University of Phoenix, losing profitability because of falling enrollments and high dropout rates, announced on Monday that it would eliminate most of its associate-degree programs, close even more of its physical campuses, and, for the first time, establish academic admissions requirements," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

"Most debt you can get out of—painful as it might be. Credit card debt can be cleared in bankruptcy. A mortgage can end in foreclosure. But student debt is more sticky, and it turns out it can have big consequences in retirement," according to Time.

Opinions

"The most important function of New York state government is to educate its citizens. It's so important, the state's obligation to provide 'a sound, basic education' is enshrined in the state Constitution," The Syracuse Post-Standard editorial board writes.

Blogs & Think Tanks

"The Agenda Project Action Fund, One Wisconsin Now and Wisconsin Jobs Now have launched 'HOLD YOUR BREATH,' a graphic ad depicting an individual drowning to symbolize the plight of Americans burdened by student debt," Erica Payne, Agenda Project founder and president, writes in The Huffington Post's The Blog.

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