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today’s news for Wednesday, July 14, 2021

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

NASFAA, in collaboration with NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and MDRC, this morning published a report that sheds light on what worked well and what didn’t for postsecondary students and institutions in the rollout and implementation of the CARES Act’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). "Though financial strains resulting from COVID may have subsided, the need for emergency aid programs for college students persists, and there’s much we can learn from the last year," said NASFAA President Justin Draeger in a press release. "We urge lawmakers to develop a more permanent federal emergency aid program and hope our recommendations can lay the groundwork for a smooth and successful implementation." In the report, NASFAA offers seven financial aid policy considerations to streamline any future federal emergency aid efforts.

In addition to reversing years of stagnant funding for education, President Joe Biden’s proposal for the upcoming fiscal year 2022 education budget that is currently moving its way through Congress would build on and expand the pandemic-relief already allocated for education, panelists said during a Committee for Education Funding (CEF) event Tuesday. 

Yesterday, NASFAA, along with the other members of the Double Pell Alliance — a coalition of higher education associations, organizations, and advocacy groups — launched a national campaign to double the maximum annual Pell Grant to $13,000. The campaign website, doublepell.org, provides students and families with a form to use to communicate with Congress about the importance of doubling Pell, as well as tools to engage on social media and share personal stories about how the Pell Grant has helped them. We encourage you to help promote the campaign via your institution and financial aid office's social media platforms using #DoublePell and to encourage your students to head to the website to take action.

Now more than ever, providing students and families clear and concise information on their financial aid offers is vital to enrolling and keeping students enrolled in postsecondary education. On an ongoing basis, major news outlets solicit financial aid offers students have received from institutions so they can examine whether schools are meeting basic expectations on how to construct and deliver financial aid information. NASFAA is here to help. NASFAA’s Code of Conduct — most recently updated in January 2021 — provides basic, minimal aid offer requirements that we have self-imposed on ourselves as a community. Schools can also request a review of their offer letters and be sure to utilize a handful of resources to help our members create effective and ethically compliant financial aid offers, including a glossary of award notification terms and a series of example award notifications to show how different types of institutions can implement the elements included in NASFAA's Code of Conduct into their aid offers.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

This four-week interactive online course, beginning August 24, will provide an overview of the return of Title IV funds (R2T4) regulations including the new regulations that went into effect on July 1, 2021. Course participants will learn what happens to Title IV funds when a student withdraws before completing the period of enrollment, withdrawal from programs offered in modules, and how to apply the R2T4 formula to calculate the amount the school must return to the Title IV programs, or the amounts the student could receive as post-withdrawal disbursement. Register now.

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