today’s news for Friday, October 2, 2015

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Introducing GetSAP, a new service from FATV. GetSAP transforms your school's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy into a highly engaging, interactive, online video experience. Improve student learning outcomes. Connect SAP to retention objectives. Topics include SAP, Pell LEU, 150% Rule, and more. To learn more, visit or call 888-704-9090.


A final audit report found many weaknesses in the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Program Compliance division’s process for performing program reviews, including issues with maintaining required forms and documents and conducting appropriate reviews of distance education programs.

With both the cost of tuition and the average amount of student loan debt continuing to increase, students and families are constantly questioning whether it’s worth the financial investment to go to college. But the overwhelming answer from a Gallup survey released this week is no more satisfying than any previous research. Overall, it depends.


Wondering if you can update an independent student's marital status after they've filed the FAFSA? Have questions about how to accommodate requests for unequal loan disbursements? Curious about whether retirement income counts as untaxed income? Take a look back at last month's most viewed AskRegs Q&As. If you have a question that's not on the list, you can find a credible and reliable answer on the AskRegs Knowledgebase site by browsing or searching the answers provided by our Training and Regulatory Assistance staff. You may also submit your own question using the Request Support feature.

Join us for the NASFAA's Best Practices in Customer Service webinar, October 28, 2015, at 2:00 pm ET. Providing customer service is a big part of what you do every day. Whether your customers are students and their families or other staff at your institution, providing excellent customer service is the responsibility of everyone in your office. We will share best practices in customer service and how you can apply these skills in your office. Register today.

Leadership Conference

Attendees at the 2016 Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo will have their choice of three leadership pathways, including a brand-new Enrollment Management Pathway which will delve into how well-planned strategies and tactics can shape the enrollment of an institution to meet established goals. The Conference & Expo, to be held February 22-24, 2016, in Washington, D.C., includes two days of sessions on various leadership and professional development topics, followed by a day on Capitol Hill where participants can advocate on behalf of their students. View the draft agenda and mark the Conference & Expo on your calendar – registration opens October 15.

Do you know a former student who received financial aid and went on to graduate and do something special with his or her life? If so, please submit that story for possible inclusion in the next Student Aid Success Stories publication, which is being compiled as part of NASFAA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. One or two stories will be selected from every state for publication. Up to five individuals will be invited to speak at the 2016 NASFAA Conference to share their stories with conference attendees.


The Department's federal offices as well as some of its Title IV processors and contact centers will be closed on Monday, October 12, 2015 to observe the Columbus Day federal holiday.


National News

"A sharp drop in the number of college students who stop paying back their loans indicates that recent efforts to help students manage their debt are starting to pay off," according to The Hechinger Report. "...Megan McClean, director of policy and federal relations at [NASFAA], said that, overall, income-driven repayment plans are positive. 'Those programs are very important,' she said. 'They’re there to protect students from going into default. And that’s the most important part about it because default, especially on your federal student loans, can be extremely damaging.'"

"The burden of getting financial aid lessened for college students with the White House’s latest announcement," the University of San Diego's The Vista reports. "'The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), whose member institutions serve 90 percent of undergraduates, expects hundreds of colleges and universities to adjust their financial aid processes to align with prior-prior year before the 2017-18 academic year,' the press release states."

"The Obama administration is calling on Congress to make it easier for some student loan borrowers to erase their debt through bankruptcy, as part of a package of proposals aimed at helping Americans who are struggling with loan payments," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"When the U.S. Department of Education announced in June the creation of a formal process for students defrauded by their college or university to seek loan forgiveness, it was a victory for the activist group Debt Collective," Bloomberg Business reports. "The impact of the policy could be huge: Granting forgiveness to everyone who in the past five years attended Corinthian Colleges—the for-profit company that filed for bankruptcy in May amid charges of predatory behavior—would wipe out $3.2 billion in debt owed to the U.S. government."

"Changes to the federal student loan program to ensure better information for students, a broader definition of higher education, and more accountability for universities, can increase competition, transparency and innovation in higher education, according to new recommendations released by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Governors’ Council," eCampusNews reports.

State News

"Submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid will never be the same once the 2017-18 financial aid applications roll out late next year," according to the Indiana Daily Student. "The goal [of prior-prior year] is for fewer students to be left behind: according to a 2011 study referenced by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, an estimated 2.3 million students fail to file for financial aid each year, even though they would have qualified."

"A Boston startup comes out of the shadows with a program that allows companies to help their workers pay off student loans. One big client is already on board," WBZ News Radio reports.


"The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court’s ruling that the NCAA violated federal antitrust laws by barring colleges from offering athletic scholarships for more than the cost of tuition," Scott Martelle writes for the Los Angeles Times. "But it also struck down the same judge’s decision that schools could pay athletes up to $5,000 a year to be held in trust until they left school."

Blogs & Think Tanks

"Lost in the news of the demise of Perkins Loans on Thursday was another death: that of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker reports.

"​The Student Loan Ranger writes a lot about federal student loan programs, but tends to focus on the big ones, such as Stafford and PLUS loans. This week, we will shine the spotlight on a lesser known, but no less important, federal program – the Perkins loan," according to U.S. News & World Report's Student Loan Ranger.

"The fight to save a federal loan program for the neediest college students failed Wednesday as the Senate blocked legislation to extend the Federal Perkins Loan Program," The Washington Post's Grade Point reports.

"The U.S. Department of Education released new data this week on colleges’ cohort default rates (CDR)—reflecting the percentage of a college’s former students with federal student loans who entered repayment in Fiscal Year 2012 and defaulted by the end of Fiscal Year 2014," according to The Brookings Institute's Brown Center Chalkboard.




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