today’s news for Wednesday, May 23, 2018

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appeared before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for the first time since she took office on Tuesday, for a hearing during which committee Democrats pressed her for answers about the Department of Education's (ED) position on legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA), oversight of for-profit colleges, the rollback and re-writing of several regulations, and more issues related to higher education and student aid.

The former Secretary and Under Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama weighed in on the discussion surrounding accountability in higher education Tuesday, and argued that moving forward, Congress must support institutions implementing innovative policies that increase access to education and improve students’ outcomes.

 Getting to Know You

You may know NASFAA’s policy & federal relations team as NASFAA’s 'first responders.' They always have an ear to the ground to keep up with what's happening on Capitol Hill, in the Department of Education (ED), and at the White House regarding federal student aid policy. NASFAA's new photo series gives NASFAA members a glimpse at team members' day-to-day lives. Find out how Assistant Director of Research Development & Grants Charlotte Etier contributes to her Old Louisville neighborhood, and learn more about the rest of the team here.

You've determined that your school needs either a Standards of Excellence (SOE) or Consumer Information (CI) Assessment peer review. Take a minute to go behind the scenes so you can learn what to expect before, during, and after a NASFAA peer review.

 Austin 2018

The NASFAA National Conference is a team effort! When we convene in Austin, please help us thank our platinum level sponsors—Discover Student Loans, Sallie Mae, Inceptia, College Ave, Oracle, and CommonBond—for their financial support and on-site participation that makes our conference so valuable to you, our attendees. Our sponsors are a key piece of the puzzle as they help make it possible for NASFAA to provide financial aid training, networking opportunities, and professional development at the conference. Check the schedule for all the special events in the Exhibit Hall. See you in Austin, Texas. Register now.


National News

"Despite colleges routinely bragging about their efforts to serve low-income and first-generation students as well as students of color, the reality is that our higher education system — and particularly elite, selective schools — serve a very small proportion of these students, in part because these top schools serve such a small share of college students overall. But over the past decade, some schools have found a handy trick to boost the number of underrepresented students in their ranks: Simply getting bigger," according to MarketWatch

"Student loan assistance, which started as a niche offering by a handful of companies, is finding its way into the mainstream menu of workplace benefits," CNBC reports. 

"The biggest chain of for-profit colleges that is still overseen by an accreditation group axed by the Obama administration -- and given a second chance by Betsy DeVos -- failed this month in its initial bid to get recognition elsewhere," Inside Higher Ed reports. "Virginia College, which operates campuses across 11 states, has already said it will appeal the decision from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training."

Blogs & Think Tanks

"Jonathan Ngowaki was halfway through getting his undergraduate degree at DeVry University when he got a letter saying he was $15,000 in debt. The letter confused him not only because he’d told the school he didn’t want any loans, but also because his post-9/11 veteran status meant his education should have been fully paid for by federal grants," Emily Wilkins writes for Bloomberg Government. NASFAA policy analyst Jill Desjean is quoted in the article.  

"When total student debt passed total credit card debt in America in 2014, it was headline news. But it turns student debt has just exceeded one-and-a-half times total credit card debt! Have you heard a peep?" Paul Solman writes for PBS NewsHour

"Twice a year, a body of accreditation experts known as NACIQI--the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity--gathers in a windowless conference space to debate the finer points of accreditation. And for the last two years, NACIQI members have come prepared with data on student outcomes to ask accreditors why some of their institutions are poor-performing and what they’re doing about it. This week, when NACIQI gathers for its Spring 2018 meeting, they’ll have even better information to guide their discussion--and accreditors will have fewer excuses to ignore problems at the institutions they oversee," Michael Itzkowitz, Emily Bouck and Clare McCann write for New America. 


FATV announced that Shannon Sheaff, former associate dean of financial aid at Mohave Community College, has joined the organization as Director of School Partnerships. In this new position, Sheaff will coordinate School Partnership programs and initiatives and integrate FATV’s multi-platform service into school partners’ customer service, outreach and retention strategies.



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