today’s news for Tuesday, September 7, 2021

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NASFAA joined a group of higher education associations on Friday in submitting a letter urging congressional committee leaders to repeal the taxability of federal Pell Grants in the upcoming reconciliation package. By including the Tax-Free Pell Grant Act in the package, it would allow low-income students to retain more of their grant, states the letter addressed to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. As Congress considers increasing the maximum Pell Grant in the reconciliation package, the letter asserts it would make “no sense to provide low-income students more money for college by increasing the Pell Grant on the one hand while taking some of that money back in taxes on the other.” Congress is currently not in session during an extended summer recess and plans to take up the reconciliation package upon its return. 

The Department of Education (ED) last week released the final version of the 2022-23 award year FAFSA. The watermarked PDF versions of the FAFSA are available ahead of the October 1 release date when the application window officially opens as a resource to be utilized as a training tool or for financial aid presentations, ED said in a notice. Additionally, the 2022–23 FAFSA on the Web Worksheet was also made publicly available, giving applicants and parents a preview of the questions they may be asked on the FAFSA. 

In a notice posted last week, the Department of Education (ED) reminded institutions of their responsibilities to identify and prevent student aid fraud and protect individuals and the federal student aid programs in light of recent news of a large-scale scam in California targeting colleges. The notice outlines recommended actions schools can take to spot potential fraud, such as being on the lookout for unusual FAFSA and enrollment patterns. Further, the notice reminds schools to conduct required identity verification and any additional identity verification deemed necessary and to report suspected fraud to the Office of the Inspector General hotline. 


Most financial aid directors will tell you one of the most critical elements in learning their art has been receiving the advice and insights of peers. Through the voices of financial aid leaders, "You're the Director: A Guide to Leadership in Financial Aid" advises new financial aid directors, informs aspiring financial aid leaders, and offers new ideas to seasoned professionals about directing a financial aid office. In the years since its original 2012 publication, it has sold nearly two thousand copies, and it’s now an integral part of staff training on campuses across the country, as well as NASFAA’s annual Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo. The third edition hits stands today. Order a copy now for yourself or your staff.

Yes. The U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) publishes a Parent Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and FERPA General Guidance for Students. These tools can be distributed to students and parents to explain their rights under FERPA. View the full answer to this question to learn more.





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