today’s news for Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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NASFAA Wishes You a Very Happy Thanksgiving

The NASFAA office will be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 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 The NASFAA website and other online services will still be available, but NASFAA's Today's News will not be published and technical and membership support will not be available until the office reopens on Monday, November 27. Thank you for all you do for your students and for the profession.

With the leading edge of student loan borrowers who could be eligible for public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) based on years of repayment upon us, increasing attention on the already-controversial program over the past year has revealed confusion, insufficient data, misinformation, and misunderstanding. One area of confusion and misunderstanding concerns the choice of repayment plan that would qualify a borrower for eventual forgiveness. A bipartisan bill introduced in the House on November 15, and a parallel Senate version, seek to ensure that borrowers who chose a repayment plan that would not otherwise qualify them for PSLF do not lose their chance at loan forgiveness.

Consumers with student loan debt are more likely to take out personal loans to finance their holiday shopping and spend more money on gifts than those without debt, according to a new survey by Student Loan Hero.

A bill that would revamp the Plain Language Disclosure Form, another that would create a loan refinancing program with private capital, and one that would require colleges with high Cohort Default Rates to pay a certain percentage of defaults highlight this month's Capitol Recap. This past month in the House and Senate, members of Congress introduced 13 pieces of legislation with implications for student aid. NASFAA's Capitol Recap provides summaries of each bill introduced in October, while the NASFAA Legislative Tracker provides a comprehensive list of all student aid-related bills introduced so far this session.

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Regulations on disbursing Title IV funds cover a wide array of issues. Early disbursements, late disbursements, retroactive disbursements, prior-year disbursements ... you get the idea. Join us Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. ET for our Cash Management: Disbursements webinar. Presentation and Content Development Specialist Lissa Powell will discuss the different types of disbursements, the rules and timelines that apply to each, and how schools put these into practice. Register now.


The Department of Education announced the posting of the 2018-2019 Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) Technical Reference.


National News

"The movement to make college free may continue to grow, but a recent study by economists at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, has found that students benefit far more when schools spend to improve their academics rather than lower their prices," according to The 74.

State News

"Free community college for all Mississippians would be an ambitious and easy-to-explain goal. What Gov. Phil Bryant again proposed last week in his budget recommendation appears more limited, aimed at producing more technical graduates from community colleges," The Associated Press reports. 


"The tax reform bill passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives on Thursday contains a provision that would, according to various news outlets and op-ed writers, 'bankrupt graduate students,' 'be a disaster for PhD students,' and 'hit grad students with a massive tax hike.' To modify a saying dubiously attributed to Mark Twain, predictions of the death of graduate education have been greatly exaggerated," Preston Cooper writes in an opinion article for Forbes.

"Since his controversial recess appointment to CFPB by former President Barack Obama in 2012, Cordray has made a name for himself targeting unpopular industries such as payday lenders and for-profit colleges — the perfect political fodder to spin a campaign narrative about 'looking out for the little guy.' The truth, however, is that Cordray as CFPB director has a history of facilitating deals that lack transparency and neglect due process," Shannon Watkins writes in an opinion article for the Washington Examiner

"America has a deep pool of strong, financially needy students for colleges to recruit," Daniel Porterfield writes in an opinion article for The Hechinger Report. "These exceptional students are qualified to go almost anywhere, but more than half (53 percent) do not apply to even a single college with high graduation rates. And they represent just a portion of the available lower-income talent –– if we would just lower the barriers to enrollment."

"Every month, in addition to writing a check for my mortgage and utilities, I write out a payment on my student loans. Although I graduated with a maste's degree more than ten years ago, I still owe over $40,000 in student loans. And, I am not alone," Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) writes for The Hill




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