today’s news for Thursday, September 3, 2015

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A NASFAA task force on the Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) released its report today concluding that the current Return of Title IV laws and regulations have run their course. The report said that R2T4 "is most confusing and damaging to the very students financial aid is designed to help," and added “it is time to revisit the law and find a better way to attend to the needs of students who completely withdraw, in a way that is fair to all financial aid recipients." The report was presented to NASFAA's Board of Directors in July and will be used to continue NASFAA's reauthorization-related discussions on R2T4. Read the full report here.

With the September 30 expiration looming, the Perkins Loan Program received some support on Wednesday from a letter signed by nearly 100 members of Congress led by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). The momentum in the House on both the Slaughter letter and the bipartisan resolution introduced by Reps. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) is encouraging to advocates of Perkins, but the Senate has not publicly expressed similar support. With only 10 work days left for the House of Representatives and 21 for the Senate in September,  time is running out. NASFAA continues to make the case in public and behind-the-scenes for the continuation of Perkins.

In a recent blog post, Ben Castleman of The Brookings Institution puts forth several proposals about helping students make informed decisions when it comes to student loans that tie in closely with NASFAA’s own recommendations.


With less than one week remaining, register now for NASFAA University’s Online Course Cost of Attendance and reserve your spot. This course focuses on the process of COA construction, selecting appropriate methods of research to use for determining student budget expenses, identifying and describing the COA components, and identifying when a student's COA must be recalculated. Passing this online course provides a NASFAA University Professional Credential.

Find out how other schools help students re-establish Title IV eligibility during NASFAA’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals webinar, September 30, 2-3:30 pm ET. School panelists will share how their schools manage the appeal process and develop academic plans to best help students achieve their academic goals. The webinar is offered at a cost of $120 for members and $240 for non-members. There is no additional cost for webinar package purchasers, however advanced registration is still required. Register today.


This letter announces the availability of Federal Student Aid's recording of an August 2015 webinar that provided detailed operational updates for software developers.


This is a request for an extension of the current information collection #1845-0114 since there has been no change to the collection.


National News

"Colleges and universities are ramping up their efforts to preserve a federal student loan program that some congressional Republicans are eyeing for elimination in the next several weeks," Inside Higher Ed reports. "The Perkins loan programs gives colleges 'flexibility to fill the gaps of needy students,' said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."

"GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush talked school vouchers, college affordability, and immigration Tuesday morning at a town hall meeting with high school students at La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Miami," Education Week reports.

"Do you remember Trump University? Probably not — it didn’t really catch on," Money reports. "And one big reason it didn’t catch on is because it was a total scam, say a slew of former students in complaints that were filed to the Federal Trade Commission and were recently unearthed by a Freedom of Information Act recently requested by Gizmodo."

State News

"It’s rare for an M.B.A. program -- where after all there are pricing experts on the faculty -- to admit that it’s charging too much," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"University of Guam President Robert Underwood on Tuesday said students weren’t opposed to the school’s latest increase in tuition rates — the first increase for the institution in about six years," according to the Pacific Daily News.

"Gabriel Ramos remembers the first time he felt out of place at Vassar College. He was in his dorm, talking to a fellow student about high school. When the student had been assigned a project about the Holocaust, his family flew to Europe to visit Holocaust museums," MarketPlace reports. "... Gabe did not grow up in the kind of family that could just jet off to Europe to do field research. His mom worked as a bus driver. His dad moved from job to job. Neither parent went to college."

"Ohio legislators introduced a bill Monday to make college textbooks tax-free," the Dayton Business Journal reports. "The bill, introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives by State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, and two Columbus-area legislators, would exempt all college textbooks from sales tax if passed. Students would be required to be enrolled in an Ohio college or university and the textbook must be required by a course the student is enrolled in."


"So if you add up all the college costs that students and parents probably didn't plan for — the stuff that isn't tuition and room and board — how big is that number? The National Retail Federation estimates that, this year, it will total $43 billion. That's a hard number to grasp, so let's break it down to one family — mine," Claudio Sanchez writes for NPR

"The Denver College Affordability program will lead the nation and place Denver at the frontier of economic development by completing our education pipeline that starts with the highly effective Denver Preschool Program. The goal is to increase the number of Denver's homegrown post-secondary degree holders," Barbara Grogan, former chair of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, writes for The Denver Post

"Despite Silicon Valley billionaires’ remarkable track record of innovation, it appears they have decided to throw in the towel on higher education. Each year, many donate millions to old-line American colleges and universities that, together, graduate the same number of engineers as we did 25 years ago," Daniel Pianko writes for TechCrunch.

"A working group of Republican lawmakers in the Assembly is examining whether the state’s technical college system should be merged with the University of Wisconsin’s two-year campus network, mainly as a way to save money," Tom Still writes for Kenosha News

Blogs & Think Tanks

"One in five high school students does not graduate, not every high school graduate goes to college, and not every college student completes his or her degree," Martha Ross writes for the Brookings Institution's The Avenue.

"When Congress comes back from its sleepy summer recess next week, it will have just a few weeks to decide whether to save or let die a loan program beloved by some of the nation's most elite colleges. ... There's a rare opportunity to modernize the way over $1 billion in federal financial aid gets spent and Congress should not let it go to waste," Ben Miller writes in U.S. News & World Report's Knowledge Bank blog.




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