today’s news for Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) in a letter to the Department of Education (ED) Tuesday called for the extension of verification relief that was put in place for the current award cycle in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Noting the fact the waiver was issued by ED in July in response to the “ongoing global public health crisis and the challenges students and families were experiencing,” the lawmakers argue another waiver of verification requirements is necessary since COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise across the country.

As Congress works to pass legislation that would make community college tuition free for all, some are taking issue with the funding mechanisms being used and the total price tag of such a plan, instead presenting other ideas to make community college more affordable and accessible. In a recently published paper outlining a “better alternative” to free community college, Preston Cooper, a research fellow at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), argues the federal government should funnel money to community colleges that ensure students have positive outcomes.


As a reminder, the deadline for submitting the Fiscal Operations Report for 2020–21 and the Application to Participate for 2022–23 (FISAP) for campus-based programs is quickly approaching. The deadline for electronic submission of the FISAP is Oct. 1, 2021 by 11:59 p.m. ET. The signature page must also be printed, signed, and mailed by the Oct. 1, 2021 deadline. To learn more about the FISAP, and other recordkeeping requirements, head to the Student Aid Reference Desk

Between pandemic aid, new verification rules, and just overall “life in financial aid,” it’s been a whirlwind of a year. So, it’s understandable if you haven’t updated your P&Ps for the upcoming award year. Blue Icon can relieve that burden for you by assessing your current policies and procedures for gaps and compliance issues, and help you write new P&Ps for the upcoming year. Contact Blue Icon for help with your P&Ps today!

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