Bipartisan Senators Urge ED to Delay Gainful Employment and Financial Value Transparency Reporting

By Maria Carrasco, NASFAA Staff Reporter

A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday sent a letter to the Department of Education (ED) urging it to delay institutional gainful employment (GE) and financial value transparency reporting deadlines to ease institutions amid the rollout of the 2024-25 FAFSA.

Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) wrote that while they appreciate ED’s efforts to mitigate delays, such as lowering verification selection rates, institutions are delayed in rolling out their financial aid packages to prospective students. Earlier in February, ED announced that it would ease verification requirements, suspend routine program reviews, and provide flexibility on renewing participation in the federal student aid programs.

Further, the senators argued that the rollout of the 2024-25 FAFSA has caused “great uncertainty” for students and “great concern” among institutions, especially smaller institutions and institutions serving higher percentages of students qualifying for federal financial aid. 

Specifically, the senators are calling on ED to delay institutional GE and financial value transparency reporting deadlines without delaying accountability deadlines. Currently, institutions are required to report data by July 1, 2024. The senators suggested the department could still open the reporting process to allow institutions the option of reporting by July 1, 2024. 

NASFAA has already submitted several letters to ED requesting a delay in institutional GE and financial value transparency reporting deadlines. 

“Giving institutions more time to complete this reporting will have no negative impact on students and families in terms of institutional accountability or transparency, but will certainly benefit them by having financial aid administrators focused in these upcoming months on getting their financial aid in order,” the senators wrote. 

The senators also requested ED permit institutions to accept electronic copies of verification materials, including electronic signatures, in order to shorten the timespan for FAFSAs to be processed. 

“Congress passed legislation to simplify the FAFSA process in order to ease the burden on institutions, prospective students, and their families,” the senators wrote. “Thus far, the department has made the implementation process more onerous and burdensome for all parties. The department now has the opportunity to course correct and help ease that burden by allowing these flexibilities.”

 

Publication Date: 3/22/2024


Peter G | 3/22/2024 1:44:57 PM

"The senators suggested the department could still open the reporting process to allow institutions the option of reporting by July 1, 2024. "

The question at this point isn't only whether they could, it's whether they should or even _can_ open a functional reporting system on that timeline, and does ED working on that impact their resources/focus.

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