Advocacy in Action

NASFAA is regularly engaged in advocacy, public policy, and research to support our mission: promoting programs that remove financial barriers and ensure student access to postsecondary education. The association and its members regularly communicate with members of Congress and the Department of Education to advocate for financial aid policies that benefit students. Below are examples of NASFAA's advocacy efforts in action.

ASLA No Longer Required for Loan Disbursement, ED Announces
January 24, 2022 - The Department of Education (ED) on Friday posted guidance notifying financial aid offices that the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment (ASLA) will not be required for loan disbursement. The announcement from the department comes before the ASLA was set to be required for the 2022-23 award year.

A Year in Review: The Biggest Financial Aid News of 2021
January 3, 2022 - Throughout the year the pandemic continued to impact the higher education sector. And with the vaccine rollout and the return to in-person and hybrid operations for instruction, the financial aid community continued to address student needs in the ever-changing landscape imposed by the health crisis. Financial aid offices were once again impacted by a host of federal actions and altered guidance aimed at quelling the pandemic and bolstering resources for students to both begin and continue their higher education pursuits.

2021 Year in Review: NASFAA's Policy, Grant, and Advocacy Efforts
December 21, 2021 - NASFAA continued to adapt in a world upended by the coronavirus pandemic in its policy, research, and advocacy efforts in 2021. By continuing to hold virtual events, such as the Advocacy Pipeline with Capitol Hill staffers, the policy and federal relations team made strides in influencing key policy decisions regarding college access, affordability, simplification, transparency, and federal aid for higher education institutions and students amid the pandemic.

Senate Clears REMOTE Act, Amending Isakson-Roe Veterans Bill
December 17, 2021 - With little fanfare, the Senate cleared the Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act, a bipartisan measure seeking to ensure student veterans retain access to higher education benefits.

Biden Pitches Free Community College, Pell Grant Boost in Infrastructure Package
April 28, 2021 - President Joe Biden on Wednesday released the second part of his sweeping infrastructure proposal, calling for making two years of community college tuition-free for all, regardless of income, among other higher education investments. 

New Bills Push for Free College, Doubling of Pell Grant
April 26, 2021 - President Joe Biden’s focus on college affordability and higher education in general early in his term as a means to help the country recover from the impact of the ongoing pandemic has served as an opportunity for Democrats in Congress to champion tuition-free and debt-free college proposals. Just last week, two proposals surfaced, setting the stage for what could be incorporated in Biden’s upcoming sweeping infrastructure plan.

Bipartisan Senate Bill Calls for Creating a Single Income-Driven Repayment Plan
March 25, 2021 - A bipartisan piece of legislation introduced recently is seeking to significantly simplify the student loan repayment landscape by reducing the options available to borrowers down to two repayment plans. The bill, introduced by Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Angus King (I-Maine), would give new student loan borrowers the option between enrolling in a fixed, 10-year standard repayment plan and a single income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. 

Department of Education Provides Answers to Outstanding HEERF II Questions
March 1, 2021 - On Friday, the Department of Education (ED) provided written responses to several outstanding questions sent by the community related to the second round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF II) aid that was authorized under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA), which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020.

ED Reminds Financial Aid Administrators of Professional Judgment Authority Amid Pandemic
January 29, 2021 - The Department of Education (ED) published a Dear Colleague Letter Friday afternoon reminding financial aid administrators (FAA) about their authority to perform professional judgment (PJ) adjustments in the case of a student with a change in financial circumstances, particularly recently unemployed individuals. While FAAs already have authority under current statute to do this, this reminder comes at a timely moment as the coronavirus pandemic persists and many people have been left unemployed or with reduced work hours.

Biden to Direct ED to Extend Student Loan Relief Through September
January 20, 2021 - 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. 

Several NASFAA Recommendations Incorporated in FSA Long-Term Strategic Plan
January 19, 2021 - Federal Student Aid (FSA) last week published the final version of its long-term strategic plan and made several changes from its previous draft, including some revisions reflecting comments and suggestions NASFAA submitted. The strategic plan charts the course for FSA through 2024 and beyond, outlining many changes and improvements to its existing offerings as well as several new targets, thresholds, and objectives. 

Congress Releases Bipartisan Year-End Spending Deal, FAFSA Simplification, COVID Relief, and Other Student Aid Provisions
December 21, 2020 - In a marathon push before the end of the year, congressional leaders on Dec. 21, 2020, introduced the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, a massive package of legislation that would avert a government shutdown and fund the federal government for fiscal year (FY) 2021. The bill would provide additional pandemic relief to higher education and make a number of other higher education-related policy changes, including simplifying the FAFSA, increasing the maximum Pell Grant award and expanding the program to incarcerated students, and giving financial aid offices more flexibility in professional judgment (PJ) cases during a national emergency. 

NASFAA's Loan Servicing Recommendations Incorporated into FSA Overhaul
August 10, 2020 - In recent years the financial aid community — including NASFAA — has voiced concern about disruptions, inconsistencies, and lack of quality servicing on federal student loans. As such, NASFAA has convened task forces over the last several years to develop recommendations to improve the student loan repayment process for borrowers, and has worked to get those recommendations incorporated into federal reform. 

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