today’s news for Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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The Department of Education's (ED) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has unveiled a new guide to summarize fraud reporting requirements for institutions’ funding related to pandemic relief. The recently published resource comes on the heels of ED conducting outreach with stakeholders that raised questions about how and when to report fraud.

FAFSA completions declined by 4.8% for the high school class of 2021 with an estimated 53.3% of the class of 2021 having completed a FAFSA by July 2, according to new data pointing to a troubling picture for fall enrollment trends. The latest completion data was released as part of a report by National College Attainment Network (NCAN), which tracks FAFSA completion data through the Form Your Future FAFSA Tracker, and is updated weekly from Oct. 1 to June 30 and monthly over the summer. These latest numbers indicate that 102,000 fewer seniors have completed a FAFSA this year.


Attention Primary Contacts: Deadline Extended on Survey to Streamline and Improve the Verification Process

NASFAA and NCAN are extending the deadline for completion of our survey related to reducing the verification burden for institutions and students. NASFAA encourages the primary contact at each institution to complete the online survey by midnight ET on Friday, July 30. (Not sure who the primary contact is at your institution? Find out on the Contact Information tab of your myNASFAA portal under the "Membership Status" heading.) Even if some survey questions need to be skipped over because they ask for data you are unable to provide, we could benefit from your input on the many important questions related to process and proposed policy changes. Data collected in this survey will be used to produce a public report authored by NASFAA and NCAN. 

The next New Director Group Coaching opportunity from NASFAA's Blue Icon Advisors starts September 13. This development and training opportunity is ideal for new financial aid directors with less than one year of experience at the director level. You'll build your financial aid leadership skills and develop a professional network of peers. Here's what Carlos Villarroel, associate director of financial aid at Portland Community College and June 2021 coaching participant had to say of his experience: "I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this group and will take lots away from it. All of the concepts were very eye opening and will allow for us to make simple changes quickly. I would say, this has been one of the most effective training groups I have been a part of." Sign up today to reserve your spot.

NASFAA's Quick Reference Guides list limits for federal loans, the minimum and maximum award amounts for Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and the limits and eligibility requirements for TEACH Grants, all of which have been updated to reflect amounts for 2021-22. Other newly updated reference sheets include a comparison of Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan terms, a Health Professions Loans & Scholarships Reference Sheet, a Children of Fallen Heroes Reference Sheet, and a Graduate & Professional Reference Sheet. New this year is a self-study guide supplement which will walk you through subscription-based program definitions and calendars, enrollment status and course completion requirements, as well as attendance and the effect on Title IV programs. Print out the reference guides and hang them up at your desk so you can easily check the 2021-22 limits and requirements when needed.




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