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Today's News for Thursday, March 05, 2015 
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Federal Government & NASFAA’s D.C. Office Closed Today Due To Weather

The NASFAA headquarters will be closed today along with federal agencies due to a winter storm impacting the Washington, D.C. area. NASFAA staff who can telecommute are working to the extent they are able, but phone and email responses may be delayed. The NASFAA website and all other electronic services should continue uninterrupted.

President's Community College Proposal Under Microscope At Appropriations Hearing

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan defended the president's fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request in front of members of the Labor-HHS subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, several of whom expressed concerns about America's College Promise.

Registration Open For NASFAA U’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Online Course

For the first time ever, NASFAA University will offer a facilitated online course on Satisfactory Academic Progress. This advanced level course and credential test will provide an overview of the required and optional elements of an institutional satisfactory academic progress policy. Learning topics focus on calculating pace, student appeals, the impact of transfer credits, and the use of academic plans. A NASFAA Credential is provided after successfully completing and passing the credential test, which is available at the conclusion of the course and included in your course fee. Class begins April 6, 2015.

Submit Your Nominations For Awards By Noon EST Tomorrow

Every year, NASFAA recognizes outstanding members and other higher education stakeholders for their achievements and contributions to financial aid. Starting this year, members can nominate individuals to receive the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for their contribution to financial aid literature. Also, be sure to submit your project for a Gold Star Award, which recognizes innovations in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency. Award winners will be announced at the 2015 NASFAA Conference, July 19-22, in New Orleans, LA.

Did You Miss Our 'Consumer Information: Making Disclosures' Webinar? Watch It Now On Demand

Consumer information is a complex financial aid issue which often causes audit and program review findings. This webinar, taped on February 25, summarizes the consumer information requirements and focuses on how schools make disclosures. It can be purchased and watched on demand at a cost of just $115 for members, $230 for non-members, and at no additional fee for webinar package purchasers.


National News

The Magic Trick That Could Help Students Pay For College

"These days, lots of politicians are talking about shrinking the FAFSA. ... That raises the most important question: Is that even possible?" NPR asks. "'The answer is "No, it's not possible,"' says Justin Draeger of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 'The more you simplify the federal form, the more everybody tends to look needy.'"

Debt Relief For Corinthian Students?

"The Obama administration, under pressure from Congressional Democrats and consumer advocates, is deciding whether to relieve the debt of some federal student loan borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges," Inside Higher Ed reports.

What A Promise Of Financial Aid Might Mean To A Middle Schooler

"Aspiring college students are asked to take their future on faith. They're expected to strive to reach a higher-education experience many of them can hardly imagine, to trust they'll find a way to foot the bill for one of the most expensive purchases they'll ever make. That last part, in particular, can be a tough sell when your family earns less in a year than some colleges charge for one," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Is Sweet Briar's Closure a Warning Sign for Other Small Colleges?

"Tuesday's announcement that Sweet Briar College will close later this year despite still having $84-million in its endowment comes as a grim reality check for small liberal-arts colleges that have been facing enrollment and financial challenges in recent years-and particularly for the dwindling number of small women's colleges," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

SAT Thresholds and Student Success

"For those students on the cusp of meeting minimum SAT requirements to enter college, where they choose to enroll could determine their chance of eventually earning a bachelor's degree," Inside Higher Ed reports.

State News

District of Columbia: Students Find Howard University's Tuition Freeze 'Reassuring'

"Howard University recently announced that it will freeze tuition for students and offer them money back for graduating in four years or less, beginning next fall," NBC News reports.

Oklahoma: Free Community College: It Works

"President Obama's free community college proposal has a direct ancestor in a program Tulsa Community College began in 2007. And Tulsa's free-tuition experiment is working, with the college's leaders calling it a 'battle-tested' recipe for increasing degree production," Inside Higher Ed reports.


Opinion: Diverse Conversations: Obama And Diversity On College Campuses

"With less than two years left in office, President Barack Obama still has a lofty agenda when it comes to education in America," Matthew Lynch, an associate professor of Education at Virginia Union University, writes in an opinion piece for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Fed's Dudley: Student Loans May Not Be For Everyone

"Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley warned Wednesday that borrowing to finance higher education may not be for everyone," The Wall Street Journal's Real Time Economics reports.

Thousands Of Veterans Have Filed Complaints Against Colleges In New U.S. System

"Thousands of veterans and active-duty members of the armed services have filed complaints against colleges through an online system created just over a year ago, officials in the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs said on Tuesday," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker reports.

529-Plan Withdrawals Can Cost Families A Tax Credit

"Millions of parents get a state-tax break for contributing to a 529 college-savings plan. But when it's time to pay tuition bills, some parents may find that the tax-smart move is to not pay the full tab with cash they pull out of that plan," The Wall Street Journal's Total Return reports.




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