today’s news for Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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The NASFAA office will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 for the Thanksgiving federal holiday. The NASFAA website and other online services will still be available, but NASFAA's Today's News will not be published and technical and membership support will not be available until the office reopens on Monday, November 30. 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.

ED Publishes Revised Perkins Q&As

The Department of Education announced yesterday that it revised the Perkins Loan Questions and Answers document available on IFAP. NASFAA policy staff is reviewing the new guidance and will update our Today’s News article on Perkins Loans that discusses grandfathering criteria, close out, and the future of the program. We plan to publish the update early next week.

School XYZ met the deadline of July 31, 2015 for reporting its gainful employment data from 2008-09 through 2013-14 award years and the October 1, 2015 deadline for 2014-15 award year. Recently a financial aid administrator noticed an electronic announcement regarding a December 31, 2015 transitional certification deadline. Is this a deadline school XYZ needs to meet?

As state funding for higher education has declined, colleges and universities have become more reliant on student enrollment to stay financially viable, and financial aid is one tool to enroll more students, or certain types of students. But have changes in federal financial aid programs had more of an impact on the way schools allocate their institutional aid than the economy or demographic changes? A study in the special edition of the Journal of Student Financial Aid explores the question by looking back over the last 50 years. 


NASFAA University's Federal Direct Student Loan Program Online Course is a perfect collaborative learning tool for financial aid professionals, and has been designed with the necessary tools, equipment, and subject matter expertise to guide you through the process. This engaging course focuses on the Direct Loan application process, eligibility criteria, annual and aggregate loan limits, loan periods, repayment plans, deferments, forbearance, discharges, and counseling requirements. A NASFAA Credential is provided after successfully passing the course.


A revised set of questions and answers about the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program has been posted to the “Hot Topics” area of the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site as well as on the Campus-Based Processing Information Page.

The COD Processing Update provides information related to COD System processing and includes the following sections: COD News and Updates, Current Issues (with a subsection for All Programs, Direct Loans, and Grants), and Reminders.

The Department is announcing the availability of the updated National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Transfer Student Monitoring (TSM)/ Financial Aid History (FAH) User Guide and Batch File Layouts.

The Department announced the posting of the 2016-2017 ISIR Guide.


The purpose of this collection is to determine the extent to which there are natural circumstances that approximate random assignment among a group of college- and career-focused schools that belong to one or more school reform networks.


National News

"Jamienne S. Studley, who with Under Secretary Ted Mitchell engineered the Obama administration's surprisingly ambitious second-term higher education agenda, will leave her job this month, the department said Tuesday," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"Low-income high school graduates were far less likely to enroll in higher education in 2013 than in 2008, a downward trend that came at the same time the Obama administration was pushing to boost college access and completion, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data," The Washington Post reports.

"In May, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) made news by announcing it would offer all employees free tuition at Strayer University. On Monday it is taking the program a step further, expanding it to include employees’ spouses and children," Money reports.

State News

"Prospective out-of-state students might find UC campuses less accessible than most Ivies next year after Thursday’s approval of a new UC budget plan," The Daily Californian reports.

"In his 2016-17 budget proposal the Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott wants to continue holding the line on tuition for Florida's 12 public universities and 28 state colleges, while also devoting $120 million more toward performance-based funding for those institutions," the Tampa Bay Times reports.

"In Tennessee, officials now have a clearer picture of the impact of the country's first statewide, free two-year college program," Inside Higher Ed reports.


"... Economists say that 60% of working-age Americans will need high-quality degrees, certificates or other postsecondary credentials if we are going to meet our workforce needs. But right now only about 40% of the population meets this threshold—well behind other developed countries. If America is going to compete in the global market for talent, it needs an affordable college system," Jamie Merisotis writes for TIME

Blogs & Think Tanks

"... As a 2015 graduate, I am fortunate to have found a full-time union job where I earn a fair salary and have benefits such as health insurance and paid sick days, which allow me to start making a dent in paying back my student loans. Unfortunately, many of my fellow graduates have not been so fortunate," Mariah Young writes in a blog post for AFL-CIO.

"After a decades-long battle over whether the federal government or the private sector should front the funds for federal student loans, the spotlight is finally shining on the part of the student loan process that really affects borrowers: repayment servicing. And the spotlight has been harsh. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau recently released a damning report about student loan servicing amid media story after media story detailing problems in the industry," Paul Combe, president and CEO of American Student Assistance, writes for The Hill.



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