today’s news for Friday, February 24, 2017

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On Thursday, FSA published an Electronic Announcement stating that IRS Form 13873 is now considered acceptable documentation of nonfiling, provided that it clearly states that the form is provided to the individual as verification of nonfiling or that the IRS has no record of a tax return. Previous ED guidance did not permit use of Form 13873 as acceptable verification documentation under any circumstances. Accompanying the EA is a summary chart of IRS transcript requests and uses. The chart indicates that transcripts will be sent from the IRS within 10 business days from receipt of the Form 4506-T request. Send us your feedback at

 Off the Cuff

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discusses new developments for DACA-eligible recipients from the Trump administration, and makes predictions for what we'll see in President Donald Trump's State of the Union address and federal budget. Allie fills us in on research on state investments in higher education and whether college is "the great equalizer." Plus, have Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell stumbled on a new way to pay for college?

Take the Mic

NASFAA’s leadership team and elected officers are frequently out and about, speaking on the issues that matter to our members at key events in both the Washington, DC policy community and at state and regional conferences. Next week much of the NASFAA staff will be in DC at the Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo. Then, in March, NASFAA's Stephen Payne will speak at Michigan Advocacy Day in Lansing, MI and 2016-17 National Chair Lisa Blazer will speak at NeASFAA's 50th Anniversary and Spring Conference in Lincoln, NE. Head to the Events Calendar to see what's on tap for the next couple of months and check back frequently for updates.


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. Class begins in two weeks and seating is limited, Register Now.

NASFAA’s Advocacy Pipeline is an ongoing advocacy effort designed to bring NASFAA members to D.C. to share on-the-ground perspectives with policymakers on Capitol Hill. Throughout the year, small groups of NASFAA members come to Washington to participate in direct advocacy with Congressional offices. If you are interested in participating, please complete this form. For more information about NASFAA’s congressional outreach efforts, check out the NASFAA Advocacy page.

NASFAA is looking for a student to fill a 12-week paid internship with NASFAA’s Policy and Federal Relations staff. The intern will help develop advocacy materials; attend and report on hearings, events, and meetings; analyze and summarize legislation and regulations; and much more. Those students studying in fields related to higher education, public policy, political science, and history may benefit most from this internship. If you know graduate or undergraduate students who may be interested, please encourage them to apply. This internship is supported by the Dallas Martin Endowment for Public Policy and Student Aid. Priority will be given to applicants who apply by COB today.


Attached to this Electronic Announcement is a chart that shows the methods by which a taxfiler can request and receive verification documents from the IRS. The chart provides information about the verification documents that can be requested from the IRS, the IRS document or response that will result from each request, where the response will be sent, and an estimate of the time for the IRS to respond to the request.

As explained in earlier communications, we plan to implement a new version of the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Common Record XML Schema in March 2017. The new version is 4.0c.


The DHSI Program provides grants to assist Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students.


National News

"Liz Graznak runs an organic farm in Jamestown, Missouri, which she calls Happy Hollow Farm. ... But eight years ago, after falling in love with the idea of growing her own local produce, the farm she runs today looked like a near-impossible dream," according to NPR.

"Harvard Law School's Project on Predatory Student Lending has sued the federal government in an effort to access documents from the Education Management Corporation, an operator of for-profit colleges that settled a case with the U.S. Department of Justice in November 2015," The Harvard Crimson reports.

State News

"Fears about heightened enforcement of federal immigration laws combined with confusion and anti-immigrant rhetoric might be causing thousands of California students who came to the United States without legal papers to forgo valuable college aid," the Los Angeles Times reports.

"The University of Iowa on Wednesday notified 2,440 students receiving scholarships they won’t be getting the money they’re expecting in the next academic year," The Gazette reports.


"Recently, Republican Senators Mike Lee and Ben Sasse called on President Trump to fire Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Rich Cordray, yet another salvo in an ongoing effort to undermine the agency’s effectiveness since its creation in 2010. Meanwhile, the U.S. Court of Appeals, which had decided that the CFPB’s single-director structure was unconstitutional, recently reversed that decision and has decided to review the case again, in May," Christine Lindstrom, the higher education program director for U.S. Public Interest Research Group student chapters, writes in an opinion piece for Inside Higher Ed.

"Over the next two months, high school seniors will find out which colleges on their wish lists came through with acceptances. But the tensions won't end when the admission letters arrive," Andrew J. Policano, a former dean at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, writes in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times.

Blogs & Think Tanks

"March 1: To most, this date seems benign. Payday. Rent is due. But for college advisers in North Carolina, starting in January, our hands started to sweat as March 1 loomed," Rachel Worsham and Rachel Gentry, college advisers with Carolina College Advising Corps, write in a blog entry for the National College Access Network (NCAN).


Have you registered and reserved your room for the College: May Access Be With You2017 WASFAA Conference yet? You can look forward to sessions from some of your favorite Feds, NASFAA President Justin Draeger, NASFAA National Chair Lisa Blazer, and many WASFAA colleagues representing almost every state in the region. The cutoff date to reserve your room at our conference rate at The Westin Seattle is March 5, 2017, at 5:00 pm PST.




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