NASFAA On the Record: COVID-19

Since the onset of the COVID-19 emergency, NASFAA has been actively engaged in efforts by Congress and the Department of Education to extend relief to students and institutions. On this page you will find letters and comments that NASFAA has authored or signed onto with requests and recommendations on issues impacting financial aid amid the pandemic.

NASFAA Provides Recommendations to ED for Transitioning Millions of Borrowers Back Into Repayment
March 15, 2021 - NASFAA joined a handful of other higher education groups in a letter to the Department of Education detailing recommendations so borrowers are smoothly and successfully transitioned back into repayment. 

HEERF Improper Payments Form Comments
March 15, 2021- NASFAA Response to ED request for comments on its proposed HEERF Improper Payments form.

NASFAA Comments on SAIHE Program
March 8, 2021 - NASFAA's response to a Department of Education request for comments on its proposed HERRF II Supplemental Aid to Institutions of Higher Education (SAIHE) criteria.

Community sends questions to ED on Emergency Relief Funding Distribution
February 10, 2021 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to incoming Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona outlining questions campuses have about the rules for spending the most recent round of COVID-19 relief funds approved by Congress in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

Community letter to the House Committee on Education and Labor on Emergency Relief in Budget Reconciliation
February 8, 2021 - NASFAA joined the higher education community in a letter to the House Education & Labor Committee supporting additional emergency relief for higher education students and institutions as committee members create the FY21 budget resolution’s reconciliation instructions.

NASFAA Urges ED to Clarify that Undocumented, International Students Eligible for Emergency Aid
January 28, 2021 - NASFAA joined dozens of associations representing four- and two-year public and private colleges and universities urging the Department of Education to allow undocumented students, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and international students to be eligible to receive emergency aid grants from the new round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund aid (HEERF II).

Letter to DHS on OPT Work Authorization Application Delays
January 26, 2021 - The higher education community sends recommendations to the Department of Homeland Security on how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can best extend flexibility to Optional Practical Training (OPT) applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NASFAA Urges Congressional Leaders to Provide Additional Funding for Higher Education Stabilization
January 25, 2021 - NASFAA joined nearly a dozen higher education associations in urging congressional leaders to provide at least $97 billion in their next pandemic relief measure to address the critical needs for postsecondary students and institutions face with the ongoing pandemic. 

NASFAA Comments on the  Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund and Pell Grant Criterion
January 22, 2021 - NASFAA submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission on the provision of assistance from the Emergency Broadband Connectivity Fund and through the Emergency Benefit Program based on receipt of a Federal Pell Grant, as established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. 

NASFAA Joins Request for Borrower Relief Extension
December 4, 2020 - Ten higher education associations, including NASFAA, sent a letter to Congressional leadership requesting an extension of the borrower relief provisions set to expire on December 31, including the payment suspension, zero percent interest, and suspension of involuntary collections, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Higher Education Community Requests Spring Guidance for International Students
December 4, 2020 - NASFAA joined more than 30 other higher education groups in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting guidance for international students and exchange visitors planning to travel to or return to the United States for the Spring 2021 semester during the COVID-19 crisis.

NASFAA Comments on Proposed Annual Data Collection Form for CARES Act HEERF Recipients
December 2, 2020 - NASFAA submitted comments in response to ED's November 2 request for stakeholder feedback on its proposed annual reporting form for CARES Act HEERF recipients to satisfy CARES Act requirements.

Higher Education Groups Underscore Financial Impact of Pandemic, Need for Relief Funding
December 2, 2020 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to Congress outlining the pandemic’s financial impact on institutions of higher education, and requesting at least $120 billion in relief.

NASFAA Comments on Proposed Quarterly Data Collection Form for CARES Act HEERF Recipients 
November 27, 2020 - NASFAA submitted comments in response to ED's September 28, 2020 request for stakeholder feedback on its proposed quarterly budget and expenditures report (QBER) for CARES Act HEERF recipients to satisfy CARES Act requirements.

NASFAA Joins Request to Extend Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers
November 20, 2020 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting an extension of the current suspension of payment and zero percent interest for federal student loan borrowers and the suspension of collections on defaulted loans during the pandemic.

Community Requests Extension of Borrower Relief
November 20, 2020 - NASFAA joined a group of higher education associations on a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting an extension of the current suspension of payment and zero percent interest for federal student loan borrowers and the suspension of collections on defaulted loans during the pandemic.

Higher Ed Groups Urge ED to Extend Repayment Relief Through Sept. 2021
November 2, 2020 - Amid the COVID-19 crisis, NASFAA, TICAS, and ACE sent a letter to ED Secretary Betsy DeVos urging the administration to extend borrower protection provisions.

Community Requests Congress for Emergency Funding for Higher Education
October 19, 2020 - In a letter to Congressional leadership, the higher education community requested that the next COVID-19 supplemental spending bill include at least $120 billion in new federal support for students and colleges and universities.

Higher Education Community Asks Congress for $120 Billion in Pandemic Relief Funding
September 25, 2020 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to Congressional leadership requesting that any supplemental funding bill include at least $120 billion for higher education in order to partially mitigate the challenges that students and institutions are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

NASFAA Joins Community Request for Extension of GI Flexibility
September 23, 2020 - NASFAA joined a group of higher education associations in asking Congress to extend existing flexibilities designed to ensure that veteran education benefits are not disrupted because of COVID-19. With current flexibilities set to expire December 21, 2020, the letter expresses support for the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees' efforts to extend the provisions until December 2021.

Higher Education Community Asks Congress to Protect International Student Visas Under the National Defense Authorization Act
September 15, 2020 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services and Judiciary committees in support of Sec. 1763 of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which would allow international students to study online until the end of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

NASFAA Urges Senate Leadership to Extend CARES Act Student Loan Relief
August 6, 2020 - NASFAA wrote to Senate leadership calling for protections enacted under the CARES Act for student loan borrowers, including the suspension of payments and interest accrual, to be extended before they expire at the end of September.

Higher Ed Groups Send Letter to Congress in Support of Changes to COVID-19 Loan Programs
August 6, 2020 - NASFAA joined the higher education community on a letter sent to Senate and House leadership in support of changes to the Small Business Administration, Paycheck Protection Program, and Main Street Lending Program in the next COVID-19 relief package to make these programs more accessible to colleges and universities.

Letter to Congress on Higher Education Needs in the Fifth COVID-19 Emergency Spending Bill
August 5, 2020 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to House and Senate leaders expressing the views of colleges and universities on what student and institutional aid provisions should be included in the fifth COVID-19 spending bill.

NASFAA Joins Request for Extended Borrower Relief
July 29, 2020 - NASFAA joined 46 other higher education groups in sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) requesting that the Senate provide expanded student loan borrower relief provisions in its next COVID-19 supplemental bill

Community Asks DHS for Clarity on International Students
July 22, 2020 - NASFAA joined 45 other higher education associations in sending a letter to the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf requesting additional guidance around the status of incoming international students for the upcoming fall semester.

Community Asks Congress to Focus on Implementation
July 22, 2020 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Senate Appropriations Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) requesting that Congress consider the implementation and administrative complexities surrounding how the Department of Education (ED) may implement provisions included in the next COVID-19 supplemental appropriations bill.

NASFAA Comments on CARES Act Interim Final Rule
July 17, 2020 - In comments in response to the Department of Education's interim final rule on CARES Act emergency grant eligibility, NASFAA highlighted the chaos the rapidly changing guidance caused for institutions and students.

Higher Education Community Letter Opposing ICE Policy for International Students Fall 2020
July 10, 2020 - NASFAA joined in a letter opposing "in the strongest possible terms" July 6 guidance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would prohibit international students from remaining in the country for online fall instruction.

Community Sends Letter to Senate Outlining College Reopening Costs 
July 2, 2020  - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) addressing the costs involved in safely reopening college campuses this fall.

ACE Letter to Senate HELP Committee on College Reopening Hearing
June 3, 2020 - The higher education community, including NASFAA, sent a letter thanking Sens. Alexander and Murray for holding the “COVID-19: Going Back to College Safely” hearing on June 4, 2020. The letter urges the committee to provide higher education with additional federal funding to help offset the financial disruptions caused by the coronavirus. 

Higher Education Community Urges Senate to Provide Additional Financial Support Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
May 29, 2020 - NASFAA joined the higher education community in a letter to Senate leadership, urging lawmakers to provide additional financial support for higher education students and institutions in the next COVID-19 relief package.

NASFAA Joins in Letter in Support of Heroes Act
May 14, 2020 - NASFAA joined others in the higher education community in a letter to House leadership, expressing support for the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.

Higher Education Community Presses Congress for Technical Fixes in CARES Act
May 7, 2020 - NASFAA joined the higher education community in a letter to the House Committee on Education and Labor and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee asking for clarifications and technical corrections to the CARES Act.

ACE letter to Rep Doggett endorsing the American Opportunity Student Tax Relief Act of 2020 
May 6, 2020 - Letter signed by NASFAA and 15 other associations to Representative Lloyd Doggett in support of the American Opportunity Student Tax Relief Act of 2020.

Higher Education Community Urges Lawmakers to Ensure CARES Act Grants Are Not Taxable
April 21, 2020 - NASFAA joined others in the higher education community in a letter to congressional appropriators, urging them to ensure CARES Act emergency grant aid to students is not considered taxable income.

Higher Education Community Pushes for Expanded Student Debt Relief During Coronavirus Pandemic
April 20, 2020 - NASFAA joined other higher education organizations in a letter to House leadership, urging lawmakers to expand on relief for student loan borrowers during the coronavirus pandemic.

NASFAA Urges Treasury, IRS to Ensure CARES Act Emergency Aid to Students Is Non-Taxable
April 16, 2020 - NASFAA joined NACUBO and other organizations in a letter to the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, urging them to ensure emergency grant aid to students is treated as a non-taxable qualified disaster relief payment.

NASFAA Joins Letter in Support of the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020
April 13, 2020 - NASFAA joined other higher education organizations in a letter expressing support for the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, which would provide flexibility to address disruptions to veterans' education benefits.

NASFAA Joins Higher Education Community in Ask for Increased Funding in Fourth COVID Relief Package
April 9, 2020 - NASFAA joined the higher education community in asking congressional leadership for additional funding — roughly $47 billion — in the next coronavirus relief package.

ACE Letter on Tax Provisions for 4th COVID-19 Package
April 9, 2020 - Asks for a number of tax provisions, including suspending the taxability of scholarship/grant Aid.

NASFAA Asks ED for Flexibility in Verification Due to COVID-19 Disruptions
April 3, 2020 - NASFAA joined NCAN and NACAC in a letter to the Department of Education (ED) asking for financial aid verification flexibility amid the coronavirus global pandemic.

ACE Letter to Secretary on Distribution of CARES Act Funds
April 2, 2020 - Letter to Secretary Betsy DeVos on the need to distribute the higher education emergency relief funds included in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act as soon as possible and provide schools with as much flexibility as possible.

Higher Education Community Urges ED to Delay Action on Foreign Gifts ICR During COVID-19 Outbreak
March 24, 2020 - NASFAA joined dozens of other organizations urging the Department of Education to delay any further action on the proposed Section 117 foreign gifts and contracts information collection request during the coronavirus outbreak.

NASFAA Urges Congress to Provide Relief to Student Loan Borrowers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
March 20, 2020 - NASFAA joined the American Council on Education and the Institute for College Access and Success in a letter to lawmakers, urging them to provide immediate relief to student loan borrowers during the coronavirus outbreak.

NASFAA Signs on to Community Letter in Support of Bill Securing GI Benefits Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
March 18, 2020 - NASFAA joined the higher education community in a letter to House leadership calling for Congress to pass emergency legislation ensuring student veterans continue to receive the full benefits of the GI Bill as colleges close amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Publication Date: 3/10/2021


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