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today’s news for Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

Higher education stakeholders focused on developing language that would aim to expand educational opportunities for incarcerated students during a negotiated rulemaking subcommittee session that began on Monday. In opening remarks to the Prison Education Programs Subcommittee, Department of Education (ED) Under Secretary James Kvaal highlighted the department's efforts to overhaul regulations that will improve higher education outcomes for this student population.

Although the annual FAFSA application period only began roughly two weeks ago, initial completion data is showing a strong negative trend at the outset of the process, indicating that enrollment trends could continue to worsen. According to the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) FAFSA completion data collected through October 8 shows that completions are down 29% compared to this time last year, and roughly 44% compared to 2019.

While the government is currently operating under a continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown through December 3, the Senate has released draft text of its annual spending plan that contains $98.4 billion in base discretionary funding for the Department of Education (ED). While that topline number marks an increase of $24.9 billion above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level, the Senate proposal comes in $4.4 billion less than President Joe Biden’s initial budget request.

NASFAA UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

NASFAA's 2022 Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo, which will be held February 14-16 in-person in Washington, D.C., offers four distinct pathways registrants can choose from to further their professional goals: Association Leadership, Compliance Management, Strategic Enrollment Management, and — new in 2022 — a Succession Planning pathway. A fifth pathway, the FAAC Forum, is available exclusively to those who hold the FAAC designation. To mitigate against last-minute event cancellation from local and federal agencies, and ensure the safety of attendees and staff, only individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to register for this event. Learn more about the conference and the safety measures being taken. Spots are limited; register today to secure your seat.
 

In honor of NASFAA's founding on Oct. 24, 1966 — 55 years ago this month — we'd like to take the opportunity to celebrate you, our members, for all that you do to help fulfill our mission of promoting access and success in higher education. This year, as a token of our appreciation, we are holding a raffle and six lucky winners will receive a complimentary registration for any single NASFAA webinar or online course of their choosing as well as a credit worth $150 to access our special NASFAA swag store. Get all the raffle details and see other ways to join in the celebration here. We'll announce our six winners in Today's News on October 25. Good luck!

If so, NASFAA's "Off The Cuff" team wants to talk with you. We're looking to talk to aid administrators who work at offices that are planning on maintaining some sort of work-from-home options full- or part-time into the future. How will those plans impact students, team camaraderie, or other aspects of your school? Has there been any reluctance to implementing such a policy? If you have insights about working from home post-pandemic and want to share them on-the-air with colleagues, let us know by submitting a feedback form with more information.

Financial wellness programs continue to grow in popularity on college campuses and financial aid offices play a key role in implementing successful programming. On Wednesday, October 20, NASFAA's guest presenters will provide an overview of a national benchmarking study of student financial wellness programs, discuss how to develop a program on your campus that is scalable and personalized to student needs, and teach ways to successfully implement online interventions. Register now.

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