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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

Upon being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday will call on the Department of Education (ED) to extend the federal student loan administrative forbearance period, the pause in interest accrual, and the suspension of collections activity — currently set to expire in less than two weeks — through at least Sept. 30, 2021.

President-elect Joe Biden released his administration’s pandemic relief package last week, calling for $170 billion to be directed toward education with $35 billion set aside for higher education. But noticeably absent from the proposal was any mention of canceling some amount of federal student loan debt for each borrower. The proposal released Thursday was Biden’s first pitch to Congress and will likely set the terms for negotiations for when he takes office and lawmakers begin hammering out another federal relief package. The absence of any form of debt forgiveness struck a chord with consumer advocates, though, particularly because the policy proposal had become part of Biden’s election platform.

In a webinar hosted by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice on Tuesday, a group of higher education leaders provided insight into their institutions’ efforts to equitably allocate emergency funding for students throughout the ongoing pandemic. The discussion featured leaders from Compton, California; Montgomery, Alabama; Dallas; and Amarillo, Texas offering perspectives on how the crisis has impacted the higher education sector across the country.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

AskRegs

This AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A was updated on Jan. 19, 2021 to point out that the Jan. 15, 2021 Electronic Announcement retains the Aug. 21, 2020 Electronic Announcement timeframe for schools to transfer unspent Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds into Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) at any time through the end of the payment period that includes the end date for the federally declared emergency related to COVID-19. This is different than NASFAA's understanding of informal guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in mid-December. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

Every year, NASFAA recognizes outstanding members and other higher education stakeholders for their achievements and contributions to financial aid, students, and/or NASFAA. Nominate your colleagues for awards such as the Gold Star Award, the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award, and the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award, among others. Award winners will be announced this summer at the NASFAA 2021 national conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Nominations are due Feb. 15, 2021 — submit yours today!

SOE

Student consumer information is a regulatory issue that involves many different areas on campus, so it can be difficult to identify any one person who should be responsible for complying with requirements. One financial aid director requested NASFAA's Consumer Information Assessment "so she could get outside help in showing her campus how seriously other parts of her school should be paying attention to these rules." If you feel the same about the importance of consumer information at your institution, and want some help conveying that message, contact NASFAA today!

NASFAA U

For the only time in 2021, NASFAA U is offering the Federal Pell Grant & IASG online course, starting February 9. NASFAA U instructors will bring participants an overview of the federal Pell Grant and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG) programs. You'll learn how to select the appropriate formula for term-based and non-term-based programs, how to calculate remaining eligibility, the ground rules for required and optional Pell Grant recalculations, and how to determine eligibility for "year-round" Pell Grant. This course is the perfect learning tool for all levels of financial aid professionals, designed to provide the necessary tools and subject matter expertise to the Pell Grant and IASG programs. Upon passing the course, you will receive complimentary access to the credential test. Register now.

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FEDERAL REGISTER

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