today’s news for Monday, November 30, 2015

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How do you Engage an Audience of ONE? Cegment’s Student Engagement Solutions are designed to help institutions convey their unique value and understand affordability with each communication tailored to the individual student’s circumstances. Learn more about how to increase engagement with students at every stage of the financial and enrollment process. Learn more.



Learn the answer to this question and learn how to instantly find credible and reliable solutions to your most pressing regulatory and compliance questions with NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase. The Knowledgebase guide and video tutorials highlight the many features of this tool.

In an essay in the special edition of NASFAA's Journal of Student Financial Aid, Judith Scott-Clayton writes about what we've learned about the effectiveness of financial aid since the Higher Education Act was signed into law in 1965. Scott-Clayton, an associate professor of economics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, also discusses ways to improve federal financial aid – such as by simplifying the FAFSA application process – in order to better expand college access to those who need it most.

Members of this task force will help solicit volunteers for packet stuffing and registration, help manage the conference registration counter and information desk, provide local information for posting to the NASFAA website and for inclusion in Today's News, and assist with on-site performers, as needed, in Washington, D.C. Task force members will serve January 2016 through July 2016 and will be expected to attend the NASFAA Conference. Please review the task force charter on the volunteer information page and complete the volunteer form by Friday, December 4 at 3:00 pm ET, if interested. Priority will be given to those living in close proximity to Washington, D.C.

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you for all you do for your students and for the profession. Please enjoy this video featuring NASFAA staff members and share your own holiday messages with your colleagues in the comments section.

NASFAA is here to help you stay up to date on the top policy events occurring throughout the week in Washington, D.C. and, when applicable, across the country. The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session the week of November 30, but there are no known financial aid related events at this time. Keep an eye out for next week's D.C. Docket for policy events and email us at if you're aware of upcoming policy events that could be of interest to the financial aid community.


On October 29, 2010, the Department of Education published in the Federal Register final regulations for improving integrity in the programs authorized under title IV of the HigherEducation Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) (October 29, 2010, final regulations). The preamble to those regulations was revised in a Federal Register notice of March 22, 2013. This document clarifies and provides additional information about the October 29, 2010, final regulations.


National News

"After two lawsuits by for-profit colleges, the Obama administration is backing down from its ban on colleges paying recruiters bonuses based on graduation rates," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"After years of unprecedented financial and enrollment gains, the for-profit college industry is in a tailspin as once-mighty firms are shuttering or agreeing to large legal payments to settle cases in which they were accused of misleading students," The Atlantic reports.

"Is a high discount rate a guaranteed trouble sign for colleges? Not necessarily, experts say -- sometimes colleges can leverage discounts to increase revenue, at least if they are increasing enrollment. But maintaining very high discount rates can be a risky strategy and an indicator a college is in distress," Inside Higher Ed reports.

State News

"In an effort to help borrowers struggling to repay student debt, Attorney General Maura Healey on Tuesday announced a new student loan assistance unit and a crackdown on unlawful debt relief companies," State House News Service reports.


"Universities in the United States are the best in the world, but the cost of attending them is rising faster than the cost of almost anything else," Steven Pearlstein writes in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.

"These days, politicians on both the left and the right are very critical of higher education, especially the cost of attending college and the related debt that students and their families incur. But there is more to college affordability than lower prices," Catharine Hill, president and professor of economics at Vassar College, writes in an opinion piece for The New York Times.

Blogs & Think Tanks

"The American student loan crisis is often seen as a problem of profligacy and predation. Wasteful colleges raise tuition every year, we are told, even as middle-class wages stagnate and unscrupulous for-profit colleges bilk the unwary. The result is mounting unmanageable debt," according to The New York Times' The Upshot.

"The latest data from the U.S. Department of Education show that more student debt is now being repaid through the Income-Based Repayment Plan (also called the Pay as You Earn plan, or PAYE) than any other repayment plan. Nearly one in three dollars in repayment is enrolled, totaling $188 billion out of $586 billion in repayment," Jason Delisle writes in New America's EdCentral blog.

"As someone who has long believed in the importance of private-sector education, I read with interest the announcement that one of the sector's leaders, Education Management Corporation (EDMC), has settled with both the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and attorneys general from 39 states and the District of Columbia. Private-sector opponents position the agreements as a victory for students. I agree — but for reasons that are very different from the sector's critics," Harry Alford, co-founder, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, writes for The Hill.

"Even for the most academically gifted students from low-income families, applying for college can be an arduous process of self-education and overcoming common myths about affordability," Sara Urquidez, executive director of the Academic Success Program Dallas, writes for The Washington Post's Grade Point blog.

"When someone thinks about Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programs thoughts of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton come to mind. For most, I imagine, the image of a young man or woman in a smart suit and perhaps carrying a laptop to class is standard. This is not one of those types of stories," Christopher Zoukis writes for The Huffington Post.



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