today’s news for Friday, November 20, 2020

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 Off the Cuff

This week on "Off The Cuff," Jill kicks things off by highlighting the latest developments a recent court ruling has had on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Allie provides an update on NASFAA’s Advocacy Pipeline and recaps our first-ever virtual Advocacy Pipeline event, where graduate and professional aid administrators recently met with congressional staffers. Justin delves into NASFAA’s advocacy surrounding the efforts to “Double the Pell” and what sort of internal policy discussions are going on at NASFAA to urge congressional leaders to provide students with additional federal resources through the Pell Grant program. Megan then dives into the higher education policies that NASFAA has been discussing with President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition team and NASFAA’s priorities for the new administration and the incoming Congress. Plus, the group wants to know: What are some things that you’re convinced people only pretend to enjoy?

In a special topic paper for WCET, NASFAA Policy Analyst Jill Desjean dives into the basics of financial aid. In this piece, Jill gives a primer on financial aid audits and reviews, aid for distance education, and key considerations for financial aid in the case of remote and/or distance education. "Distance education lends itself well to innovative learning models such as self-paced learning," she writes. "However, financial aid rules were designed for programs that follow traditional calendar systems and can be difficult to apply to more innovative models. For instance, students in subscription-based programs who rely on financial aid are frequently prevented from working at their own pace because their financial aid disbursements do not align with their progression through their studies."

Self-supporting college students who did not file their own federal tax return are eligible to receive a $1,200 payment made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the IRS said in a news release. Students wishing to receive the one-time payment can do so by using the IRS’ non-filers tool. Registration using the tool must be done by 3:00 p.m. ET on November 21 to receive a payment before the end of the year. The IRS made clear that students who file as a dependent do not qualify for the payment. “This means any student who is claimed as a dependent by their parents or someone else cannot get a payment,” the IRS stated. However, recent graduates who may not have received a payment because they were claimed as a dependent by their parents or someone else may be eligible for a rebate credit of $1,200 when they file their 2020 tax return in 2021 if their tax filing situation has changed.


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Higher education institutions have unprecedented challenges to consider. What does "going to college" mean? How will revenue change? What will enrollment look like and what are we going to do about it? Where can costs be reduced and gains still made? Join us on Thursday, December 10 at 2:00 p.m. ET as we talk with Steve McDowell, the associate vice president for financial aid services and Title IV compliance for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system, to find out how they are looking ahead to the next school session. We'll focus on the role verification services plays with reducing melt, staffing challenges, expense management and verification lift. This 60-minute webinar, sponsored by Inceptia, is free to members, but you must register in advance.

Please join us in congratulating Christina Twelves, formerly the director of financial aid at Touro University Nevada, who is now the director of financial aid at Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine (proposed), Jennifer Christian Wright, previously the associate dean of financial aid, who was promoted to associate director of financial aid systems at Amherst College, and Lisa Smith, previously the director of financial aid at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, is now the director of financial aid at Henderson State University. Changed jobs? Received an award or promotion recently? Celebrate your career developments by completing the "Movers and Shakers" form to share the news with your colleagues. We'll review your submission and then post your update to our Movers and Shakers page for all to see.

Trending @ NASFAA


This letter announces the availability of Federal Student Aid’s online training video about using the COD R2T4 calculator to support the reporting requirements for withdrawn students who qualify for a Return of Title IV Funds waiver under the CARES Act.





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