NASFAA
TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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CampusLogic. Find out what over 25,000 U.S. adults—both alumni and students with some college but no credential—say affected their decisions regarding their higher education journeys in the latest CampusLogic study. Nearly three out of four say a frustrating financial aid process negatively affected their academic performance. Learn more in the report.

NEWS FROM NASFAA

COVID-19 Status Update: Congress Reaches Deal on $2 Trillion Relief Package, ED Halts Defaulted Loan Collection

After a series of tense negotiations that spanned through the weekend and into early this week, Congressional leadership struck a deal this morning on the third COVID-19 relief package and could potentially pass the measure as early as today. The stimulus deal is set to include payments to individuals and industry-specific relief, including higher education. NASFAA will be combing through the bill today; the package is likely to include some of the provisions of the Senate Republican bill that was introduced late last week, including return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) relief, and subsidized loan lifetime limit and Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used exclusions. It will also likely include a pot of emergency grant funds for institutions and students. Meanwhile, POLITICO reported that the Department of Education (ED) has instructed private debt collectors to stop pursuing borrowers with defaulted loans, and has halted the garnishment of wages, Social Security benefits, and tax refunds of defaulted borrowers. ED will reportedly formally announce the actions this week. Stay tuned as NASFAA will provide a detailed analysis of the bill, coverage of the vote, and more on ED’s actions related to student loans.

AskRegs

When a student is unable to work during a term or nonterm payment period that is interrupted by coronavirus, the school must decide how much to pay FWS students for the hours they do not actually work. According to the COVID-19 FAQs, "If an FWS student is unable to work his/her scheduled hours because of COVID-19 disruptions (school closures, employer closures, student quarantined, etc.), the school may pay the student for any scheduled hours or allow the student to work by another means (on-line, remote, telecommute, etc.). Students should be paid the wage rate that they would have been paid if they were able to work the scheduled hours." View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

As the novel coronavirus continues to temporarily shut down institutions and move instruction online, colleges, universities, and their financial aid offices are having to adapt to a new reality for higher education — such as addressing students’ unique financial aid needs remotely, or with very limited staff on-site.

AskRegs

Yes. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has extended the March 31, 2020 audit submission deadline under the Single Audit Act by six months. On March 19, 2020, OMB released a memo allowing a six-month extension for Single Audit Act auditees, although individual awarding agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education (ED) appeared to retain some discretion. View the full answer to this question to learn more and search for answers to your other pressing regulatory and compliance questions, in NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Last week we asked you how many borrowers you anticipate will have at least one Direct Loan that is assigned to the 2020-21 award year within the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System, and has a first disbursement date prior to July 1, 2020. Effective for the 2020-21 award year, all Direct Loan borrowers will be required to complete the Annual Student Loan Acknowledgment (ASLA) before receiving the first disbursement on the first Direct Loan that the student or parent borrows for each new award year, although the Department of Education has said it may delay implementation of ASLA. Of the 340 respondents, 39% said fewer than 50, 14% said between 51 and 200, 12% said between 201 and 500, and 34% said more than 500. Due to rounding, percentages may not add up to 100%. If you'd like to take more polls, head to our Poll the Pros page.

NASFAA U

Next up on the NASFAA U schedule is one of our most popular courses, Cost of Attendance, beginning March 31. NASFAA U instructors Tonya Hsiung and David Tolman, along with Marian Dill, director of financial aid at Lee University, will focus on cost of attendance (COA) components and calculations, including the items that must be included in a student's COA and those which can be applied through the use of Professional Judgment (PJ). They'll also cover COA construction and elements of a school's COA policies and procedures, including policies on required and optional COA recalculations. Don’t miss out on this training opportunity suited for a range of financial aid professionals, from those new to the field to those with more experience who want to review their school's COA methods and policies. Register now.

Reminder: The Clock Is Ticking to Appeal FY 2017 Draft Cohort Default Rates

As a reminder, draft cohort default rates (CDRs) for fiscal year 2017 were distributed on Feb. 24, 2020 to all eligible domestic and foreign schools. Schools have a fixed timeline to make appeals for any needed adjustments. You may challenge the accuracy of the data included on the loan record detail report by sending a challenge to the relevant data manager, or data managers, within 45 days after you receive the data. All Incorrect Data Challenges (IDC) must be made through the eCDR Appeals application. For more information on CDRs, what must be included in IDCs, and default management, refer to NASFAA's Student Aid Index.

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