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today’s news for Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

New legislation from congressional Democrats seeks to address student hunger by granting more low-income students continued access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well as create a new grant program to help institutions of higher education support students. The Student Food Security Act of 2021 would expand SNAP eligibility for students who are eligible for work-study, have a $0 expected family contribution, meet the financial eligibility criteria for a maximum Pell Grant, or are independent students whose household is otherwise eligible. Additionally the legislation would require the Department of Education (ED) to increase outreach to potentially eligible students and collect data on food and housing insecurity.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Yes. Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), schools are required to spend a portion of HEERF grant funds to "conduct direct outreach to financial aid applicants and recipients about the opportunity to receive a financial aid adjustment due to the recent unemployment of a family member or independent student, or other circumstances." 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.

Effective July 1, 2021, substantial changes are coming to the return of Title IV funds (R2T4) requirements for programs offered in modules. Join NASFAA’s Amanda Sharp and David Futrell, Wednesday, May 19 at 2:00 p.m. ET for a detailed discussion of the new rules. They will share scenarios and examples to help schools determine when a student is considered a withdrawal from a payment period or period of enrollment that includes modules; how to apply new R2T4 exemptions; and new rules for students who graduate early from clock-hour programs. July 1 will be here soon, so make sure your school is ready. Register now.

If your goal is to become a financial aid director, we invite you to participate in a professional development opportunity designed especially for you, Aspiring Director Group Coaching, facilitated by Blue Icon Advisors. Over six weeks, you'll build leadership skills, network with your peers, and dig deep into enrollment management, compliance issues, and more. The next cohort starts June 7 — register today to secure your spot.

NASFAA Membership to Hold Annual Business Meeting Virtually on May 25

NASFAA's annual Awards Ceremony and Business Meeting this year will be conducted virtually at 2:00 p.m. ET on May 25, 2021 as part of the Policy Update Webinar. NASFAA's Bylaws dictate that the association must meet annually for the purpose of transacting all business which may be brought before the membership. The meeting will include reports on NASFAA's financial status, governance and oversight, and diversity efforts.

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Updates Have Moved!

Looking for updates from the U.S. Department of Education? Head to Federal Student Aid's new Knowledge Center and the Federal Register for the latest. Be sure to stay tuned to Today's News for in-depth analysis on pressing issues from our policy team, and refer to the Student Aid Reference Desk to find what you need — fast.

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