today’s news for Friday, March 24, 2017

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 Off the Cuff

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team dives into the details of President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal, and whether any of the plans contained in the "skinny budget" have legs to come to fruition. Megan gives an update on developments with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool outage, and Allie and Stephen discuss NASFAA's new "Fight for Financial Aid" campaign. Plus, which government official has recently taken an interest in student government politics, and what in the world is the Washington Wizards mascot?

College affordability is not a new issue for discussion among higher education stakeholders. But a new, first-of-its-kind analysis from the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) uses net price data from thousands of institutions to show just how unaffordable college is for most low- and middle-income students.


Professional Judgment decisions continue to be a confusing topic in the world of federal student aid. This collaborative facilitated online course provides attendees an overview of the requirements, and how to use Professional Judgment in Need Analysis, when originating Direct Loans, and evaluating Satisfactory Academic Progress. This is the last time the course will be offered this season and seating is limited - Register Now.

Looking for fun things to do during your down time at the 2017 NASFAA National Conference? Check out San Diego's Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the largest oceanographic museum in the US. With more than 60 habitats to explore, Birch Aquarium offers everything from seahorses to leopard sharks to the new Infinity Cube, an immersive installation that explores bioluminescence (opening April 7). Register today for the 2017 NASFAA National Conference - early-bird rates end April 28.


National News

"Last week, the Trump administration issued its first policy on student loans. As a result, loan guarantee agencies that collect on defaulted debt can charge borrowers who have defaulted on their federal student loans fees up to 16% on their student loan balances - even when these borrowers promise to make good on their student loans within 60 days," according to Forbes.

"To obtain an associate degree in medical assisting at McCann School of Business & Technology in Pennsylvania, students can expect to pay $30,860 for a program that runs a little over a year. Nearly all students borrow to cover the costs and wind up with more than $26,000 in debt, but only 7 percent of them graduate on time. Of those who complete the program, barely half find work and typically earn around $20,300," according to The Washington Post.

"There are 13 million college savings accounts in this country, and more than half received at least one deposit in 2016. Those are decent numbers, and growing—but they cover just a tiny fraction of the country’s college-bound population," Money reports.

Blogs & Think Tanks

"Late last week, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, and the U.S. Department of Education announced they had disabled a key web-based tool that helps millions of students. By suddenly shutting down this critical resource, these agencies have created a wave of disruption for students, families, and institutions across the country," Ben Miller, senior director for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, writes in a blog post.




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