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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

Financial aid can be an extremely complex process for many students and families. As higher education access expands and more low-income students, first-generation students, students of color, and students whose first language is not English make up larger portions of the college-going population, some institutions are finding it challenging to meet the unique needs of all students and their families. But one institution — Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) — has found a way to bridge the gap and help make financial aid more digestible for broader groups of students.  

The Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Inspector General (OIG) plans to audit the Office of Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) effectiveness as a performance-based organization (PBO), and institutions' policies for using professional judgment to make changes to students’ financial information in 2020, according to its annual plan. Specifically, OIG wrote it would look at “whether selected schools applied, documented, and reported the use of professional judgment in accordance with applicable requirements and guidance,” and that new work for 2020 also includes monitoring ED’s transition into the Next Generation (NextGen) Financial Services Environment, and reviewing requests to “investigate the possibility of fraud, waste, or abuse of federal funds” by institutions and programs. OIG’s plan comes out soon after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced new developments for NextGen and suggested that FSA operate as a stand-alone agency.

AskRegs

Wondering whether legal custody is the same as legal guardianship? What about how you complete verification if the only parent on the FAFSA dies after the FAFSA is filed? Take a look back at last month's most viewed AskRegs Q&As. If you have a question that's not on the list, you can find a credible and reliable answer in the AskRegs Knowledgebase by browsing or searching the answers provided by our training and regulatory assistance staff. If you can't find the answer, you may submit your question by clicking the "Ask a New Question" button.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Blue Icon

Looking to establish your personal brand as a financial aid leader, or wondering whether it should be a priority? Blue Icon Advisors, NASFAA's consulting service, will be answering your pressing questions on Facebook Live on Tuesday, December 17, at 1:00 p.m. ET about why formulating and maintaining a personal brand is crucial to effective leadership. Be sure to send us your questions about building your personal brand via email and tune in during your lunch break to hear from Blue Icon Advisors' Tony Erwin about best practices for positioning yourself a successful financial aid leader.

Using grant funding, NASFAA has hired Robert Kelchen to model the possibility of a negative Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and its impact on students. To test the idea, we are seeking data used to calculate an EFC for a set of students over one award year. The deadline for data submission will be Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Institutional data shared as part of this project will be used for a forthcoming report to be published by NASFAA in June 2020. If you are interested in having your institution participate you may read more details on our website or email NASFAA’s Assistant Director of Research and Grants, Charlotte Etier.

Webinar Logo

Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. ET for the What the Pell Am I Supposed to Do With These Enrollment Status Changes? webinar. Do you know when a student's Pell Grant must be recalculated? What if they drop a class, add a class, or change from one module to another? Does it matter if you have one or multiple Pell recalculation dates? Join NASFAA's Susan Shogren and David Tolman as they explore scenarios where changes in a student's enrollment may — or may not — affect the student's Pell Grant. Register now.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) School Relations Center will allow for COD School Testing for the 2020–21 award year from Jan. 2, 2020 through Dec. 18, 2020.

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