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today’s news for Wednesday, July 27, 2016

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

"Thank you so much for making this opportunity possible," Janette said as she addressed attendees at the 2016 National Conference. As NASFAA's 2016 Dallas Martin Endowment (DME) policy intern, Janette is currently working with NASFAA’s policy and federal relations staff. In 2013, the DME reached its initial fundraising goal of $300,000, but there is still more work to be done. Learn more about the purposes, policies, and goals of the fund, and receive a special gift when you donate $50 or more to help cultivate the next generation of student aid advocates, like Janette.

During this conference session, Department of Education (ED) officials reminded schools that the rules for awarding Federal Perkins Loans have changed and that they should be following the guidance in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-05 and ED’s Federal Perkins Loan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) when awarding Federal Perkins Loans in 2016-17. Read on for the specific reminders offered during the session.

By now, you've likely heard of the new Compliance Engine, which combines the highly-valued Self-Evaluation Guide and the Policies & Procedures Toolkit into a next-generation online tool, but do you know about NASFAA's other resources that can help you stay in compliance? From professional practice tools—like the Student Aid Index, the AskRegs Knowledgebase, and the Standards of Excellence Review Program—to publications and training, NASFAA resources help you tackle compliance head on. Check out the Compliance Brochure for a glimpse of all the compliance-related services available to you.

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Institutions are responsible for conveying financial aid funds to their Title-IV eligible students in accordance with very detailed regulations, and for establishing accounting and recordkeeping systems that ensure proper handling of federal funds. Check out NASFAA's Student Aid Index for more on the statutory authority, regulations, ED references, and NASFAA resources, as well as information on related topics, including Cash Management and Recordkeeping.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

On June 7, 2016, the IRS announced the relaunch of its Get Transcript Online tool, which is available at www.irs.gov under the "Tools' tab by clicking "Get a tax transcript' and then "Get Transcript Online."

The Department announced the availability of several resources to help institutions administer the Recent Graduates Employment and Earnings Survey (RGEES).

HEADLINES

National News

"As state delegates read out the votes to give Hillary Clinton the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, the imprint of the Bernie Sanders campaign hovered over the first two days of the Democratic National Convention," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"The policy proposals of presidential campaigns aren’t often burdened by details or even realism. A candidate’s ideas are supposed to represent vision, ambitions, principles — all while taking on the latest American anxiety," according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"The U.S. Department of Education will cut off federal student-aid funds at three campuses of Medtech College—a for-profit school offering entry-level programs in medical assisting and nursing—at the end of the month," The Wall Street Journal reports.

"... After years of budget cuts and continuing austerity, universities and colleges collectively face a shortfall of a record $30 billion for what they variously call deferred maintenance or 'deferred renewal' to deteriorating buildings and other infrastructure, according to an estimate by the national association representing facilities officers," according to The Hechinger Report.

"College administrators are sending a message to their students: Hurry up," The Wall Street Journal reports. "Low graduation rates hurt a school's reputation, and staying enrolled for extra years adds to the tab for students. So dozens of schools and statewide systems are trying to cut back on the number of 'super seniors' milling about campus."

"School administrators are grappling with fundamental math problems as they nudge students toward a speedier graduation," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Opinions

"Riding my bike last fall, I started thinking about momentum. In physics, momentum is 'the product of the mass and velocity of an object,' and the greater that product, the more force is needed to stop the object. That certainly applies to my bike when I try to surmount hills by beginning them at high speed, but does the term also apply to students trying to finish their college degrees?" Alexandra Logue writes for Inside Higher Ed.

"This month Hillary Clinton said she will use 'executive action' to start a 3-month 'moratorium' on student loan payments. The plan is supposed to give borrowers time to talk to the Department of Education to help them 'save money on their loans.' But far from saving money, this plan will likely lead to an increase in delinquencies, increased debt for borrowers, and make a lot of very angry people," New America's Alexander Holt writes for The Hill.

"For too long, nobody in higher education has been watching the watchdogs. That's starting to change, thanks in part to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has applied pressure to decertify one of the shadiest accrediting bodies, whose approvals allowed exploitative for-profit colleges to grab federal aid dollars and exacerbated the nation's student-debt crisis," The Boston Globe writes in an editorial.

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