Today's News

Today's News for Wednesday, May 27, 2015 
 
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Inceptia/NSLP is a nonprofit organization providing premier expertise in higher education access, student loan repayment, analytics, default prevention and financial education. Since 1986, our mission has been to support schools as they arm students with the knowledge needed to become financially responsible adults. More information available at www.inceptia.org.


NEWS FROM NASFAA

NASFAA Provides Summary on ED ATB Guidance, Some Questions Remain

On Friday May 22, the Department of Education (ED) posted its guidance regarding Title IV eligibility for students without a high school diploma who demonstrate an ability to benefit from postsecondary education, in Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) GEN-15-09. The guidance is in response to a change in the law made last December that reinstated student eligibility under a modified ability-to-benefit (ATB) provision. The reinstatement comes after the total loss of the ability-to-benefit provision, except for grandfathered students, in the fiscal year (FY) 2012 final appropriations bill.

Register Today for NASFAA's June 10 Webinar on Summer Aid Issues

For financial aid offices around the country, summer sessions can bring a whole new set of challenges and complications. This webinar will provide an overview of some of the basic concepts related to awarding and disbursing Title IV aid for summer. The topics discussed will include: important issues to consider first when awarding summer aid, selecting summer program formats, selecting the award year EFC, prorating summer EFCs, calculating summer COAs, and determining enrollment status. The webinar is offered at no additional cost to NASFAA members, but pre-registration must be completed by Monday, June 8 at 3:00 pm ET.

Sign Up Today to Play ScanTrivia in New Orleans

NOLA TNNew Orleans is a fun city and we are making it even MORE fun! Sign up for our ScanTrivia game today and start earning points right away. Answer trivia questions about NASFAA, New Orleans, and conference exhibitors to earn points. Using your mobile device, scan the first QR Code right now on the website to earn your first 25 points. You have to play to win. Rewards will be given throughout the conference and the final reward will be handed out Tuesday at the Awards Lunch. Save $100 by registering for the conference before June 5.

Volunteers Needed For JSFA Editorial Board

NASFAA’s Journal of Student Financial Aid (JSFA) is looking for financial aid administrators to serve as peer reviewers to assess the quality of articles and their practical implications before they are published. Think you’ve got what it takes to be a peer reviewer? Apply by May 29 for a one-year term and help us keep the JSFA informative, timely, and enjoyable to read!

NASFAA’s 2015-16 CORE Materials Can Help with Your Training Needs

CORE is a comprehensive set of instructional materials for teaching financial aid fundamentals to individuals with less than two years experience. CORE’s 14 modules cover financial aid administration from A to Z and its flexible design allows you to use it for teaching small or large groups. If you have never tried CORE, purchase and download one module at a time to see if it meets your staff training needs. If you are a Value or Value Plus member, CORE is included in your membership package, so there is no additional cost for you to download it.

HEADLINES

National News

3 Myths About 529 Benefit Plans

"...Many myths circulate about the impact of 529 savings plans on a person's ability to receive financial aid or attend certain colleges," Employee Benefit News reports. "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators attempts to debunk three myths surrounding the 529 plan."

529 Plans Can Help You Save For College, So Let's Get Started With The Basics

"There is a lot you need to know about your finances. So, I'm giving you a pass if you don't know what a 529 plan is. And many of you don't, according to a recent survey by Edward Jones Investments," Michelle Singletary writes for The Washington Post's Color of Money column. "[Y]ou should also be aware that with prepaid tuition plans, if your child chooses an out-of-state school, you may have to make up any difference in tuition prices, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators points out."

Breach Exposes I.R.S. Tax Returns

"Criminals used stolen data to gain access to past tax returns of more than 100,000 people through an application on the Internal Revenue Service’s website, the agency said on Tuesday," The New York Times reports.

Education Dept. Finds Little Evidence Servicers Are Failing Troops

"The Education Department has cleared the companies that manage its student-loan payments of wrongdoing in a yearlong investigation into their treatment of military borrowers," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

How Student Debt Became A Presidential Campaign Issue

"The $1.3 trillion burden of student debt is becoming an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign as candidates court the millions of Americans grappling with the high cost of college," The Washington Post reports.

Looking For Money For College? Check Out This App

"Six years ago, as a high school junior, Christopher Gray, 22, took one look at the exorbitant cost of college and decided he'd better line up as much scholarship money as he could. The trouble was, finding it was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack," Fortune reports.

State News

Rhode Island: A New College For Old Credits

"A program aimed at helping adults finish incomplete degrees will be Rhode Island's newest college," Inside Higher Ed reports.

Minnesota Pilot Project Offers Free Ride To Technical College

"It started out as an ambitious proposal: Make community college free. Instead, Minnesota lawmakers settled on something markedly less expensive. Starting next year, the state will offer a free ride to an estimated 1,600 students in high-demand technical college programs as part of a two-year pilot project," the Star Tribune reports.

Pay-as-you-go Tuition Option Expanding At Georgia Public Colleges

"Students at more of Georgia's public colleges and universities will be able to spread out their tuition and fee payments under expanded installment plans available in the fall," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

One Man's Millions Turn A Community In Florida Around

"Two decades ago, Harris Rosen, who grew up poor on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and became wealthy in the Florida hotel business, decided to shepherd part of his fortune into a troubled community with the melodious sounding name of Tangelo Park," The New York Times reports.

Opinions

Commentary: Bullish On 2040

"Economists tend to be overly optimistic about growth and prosperity, while education experts tend toward unjustified pessimism. There's no question that more and more people are arguing that, even if American higher education has had a golden age, by 2040 it will be long gone," Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro write for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Blogs and Think Tanks

House Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To End The College Blackout

"...[Thursday], the House introduced a bill with high-profile bi-partisan cosponsors that would 'Free up information that currently exists, but is not currently accessible' in order to provide students, families, taxpayers, and policy makers with answers to critical questions about college outcomes and value," EdCentral reports.

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