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Today's News for Wednesday, April 01, 2015 
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Since 2004, the month of April has been recognized as National Financial Literacy Month in an effort to highlight the importance of overall financial wellness. Great Lakes is committed to providing training and resources that you can share with your students so they know how to make sound financial choices.


ED Advances New Loan Repayment Plan At Second Negotiated Rulemaking Session

Despite negotiators' opposition to another repayment plan, ED has moved forward with draft regulations for REPAYE, an option for struggling Direct Loan student borrowers, regardless of when they received their Direct Loans.

ED Releases Customer Service Scores, Repayment Status Data For Loan Servicers

Customer service scores for federal loan servicers continued to be high for the first two quarters of fiscal year (FY) 2015, while the percentage of borrowers in repayment increased among several servicers, according to recent data from the Department of Education (ED).

Check Out The Brand-New Issue Of NASFAA's Journal Of Student Financial Aid

"That President Obama has elevated student aid as needing a bill of rights is indicative of the role aid plays in promoting education as well as democracy," Editor Jacob P. K. Gross writes in the brand-new issue of the Journal of Student Financial Aid. With articles that explore the nature of the relationship between institutions and the federal government, and bring to light the multifaceted roles that financial aid administrators play, this Journal issue is not to be missed! For full articles, Gross’ column, and a book review of “Privatization and the Public Good: Public Universities in the Balance,” explore Volume 45, Issue 1 of the Journal.

Network With Your Peers At Sector Caucus Meetings In New Orleans – RSVP Required

NOLA TNNASFAA will hold pre-conference caucus meetings for community colleges, proprietary institutions, four-year publics, and independent colleges at the NASFAA National Conference on Sunday, July 19, from 10:30 am - 11:45 am. On Monday, July 20, the Graduate & Professional Initiatives Committee (GPIC) will hold its sector networking breakfast from 8:00 am - 8:45 am. To attend any of these events, you must be registered for the conference, as full registrant or as a daily registrant for Sunday or Monday. To RSVP, complete this quick online form by 5:00 pm ET, Friday, June 19. NASFAA policy staff and representatives from other associations will facilitate the discussions and collect feedback.

NASFAA Seeks Volunteers By April 24 to Serve on National Conference Program Task Force

The goal of the National Conference Program Task Force is to ensure that quality educational sessions are offered at the 2016 NASFAA National Conference. The sessions must reach the various interests and sectors of NASFAA's diverse membership. Members will serve July 2015 through March 2016 and will be asked to attend two in-person meetings – one in New Orleans during the 2015 NASFAA National Conference and one in Washington, D.C. in the fall. Calls and emails will round out the extent of the work. Please view the task force charter and complete the volunteer form by April 24 if interested.


National News

'Risk Sharing' Is All The Rage. Is It A Good Idea?

"'Risk sharing' - the idea that colleges should bear some of the cost when their students default on federal loans - is catching on in Congress," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. NASFAA President Justin Draeger "said there's an easier way to shift more of the risk of student lending onto colleges: extend and expand the Perkins Loan program."

The Burgeoning Student Loan Strike

"A big red box of paperwork that activists delivered to federal officials here on Tuesday may hold the key to debt relief for large numbers of students who attended Corinthian Colleges," Inside Higher Ed reports.

The Decreasing Affordability Of Public Flagships, In One Chart

"Public flagship universities appear to have become less affordable over the past five years to the very people they were created to serve - the residents of their home states," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

A Revolt Is Growing As More People Refuse To Pay Back Student Loans

"Remember those 15 people who refused to repay their federal student loans? Their 'debt strike' has picked up 85 more disgruntled borrowers willing to jeopardize their financial future to pressure the government into forgiving their student loans," The Washington Post reports.


Opinion: The End of College? Not So Fast

"In his new book, 'The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere,' Kevin Carey lays out a dystopian future for American higher education as we know it," Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, writes in an opinion piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Opinion: End Tuition At Elite Colleges To Attract More Applicants

"Although Harvard is widely known as one of America's oldest and most prestigious colleges, that public image is outdated. ... An admissions process is flawed when a four-year total price tag approaching $250,000 probably deters many students from even applying," Ron Unz writes in an opinion piece for The New York Times.

Blogs and Think Tanks

Why More Education Won't Fix Economic Inequality

"Suppose you accept the persuasive data that inequality has been rising in the United States and most advanced nations in recent decades. But suppose you don't want to fight inequality through politically polarizing steps like higher taxes on the wealthy or a more generous social welfare system," The New York TimesThe Upshot reports.

Private Collection Agencies Provide Critical Service

"Over the last few weeks, there have been many news reports about private collection agencies (PCAs) who recover defaulted student loan debt on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education," James Bergeron, president of the National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER), writes in The Hill's Congress Blog.

Undocumented Students Deserve Greater Access To Higher Education

"Higher education is central to achieving individual economic success and to supporting the national economy. ... For the thousands of undocumented young people who graduate from American high schools each year, the path to a college degree or a postsecondary credential is overshadowed by the complex state, federal, and institutional policies that determine available education options," according to the Center for American Progress.

America's UnExcellence Initiatives

"The world is focused on improving their top universities in order to be more competitive in the global knowledge economy and to raise their numbers in the higher education rankings," Inside Higher Ed's World View reports.

How Congress Is Supporting Inequality In Its FY 2016 Budget Proposals

"Despite the fact that congressional leaders recently expressed concern regarding rising income inequality in the United States, some members of Congress continue to promote policies that would advance this economic trend," according to the Center for American Progress.

'Dear Colleges, You Are Doing This Wrong'

"This year has been a fantastic year for Science Leadership Academy college acceptances. We've seen our kids get into some of the most well respected schools in record numbers - and many of our kids are the first SLA-ers to ever get accepted into these schools. Whether or not they are able to go to is another question," Chris Lehmann, the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy, writes in The Washington Post's Answer Sheet.




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