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The Department of Education's (ED) negotiated rulemaking committee reconvened Monday to discuss a host of issues related to college affordability and student loans, starting its second week of dialogue in an effort to come to consensus on a number of policy frameworks. Monday's session began with an overview of a subcommittee's work to craft regulatory language on Pell Grant eligibility for prison education programs. The subcommittee met last month over the course of three days and came to tentative agreement on a number of topics, all of which were detailed Monday before the full committee.
With free community college left on the cutting room floor of reconciliation talks, so too is the potential for significant economic growth that could have covered the costs associated with the program. In a new analysis, conducted by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, it was documented that investments made in furthering postsecondary education would have long-term benefits that would significantly outweigh the costs associated with the program. According to the report, the spending would boost real gross domestic product (GDP) by an average of roughly $170 billion per year over the next 10-year period.
The NASFAA website and related services will continue to be available in limited capacity Tuesday, November 2, due to ongoing system maintenance. Areas of nasfaa.org that require login, the AskRegs Knowledgebase, the NASFAA Compliance Engine, registrations, purchases, and access to tests may not be accessible, or may produce an error when navigating. There is no risk in using the sites as they are available, though we understand the frustration in that experience, and are working to restore all services to full functionality as quickly as possible. Thank you for your continued patience as NASFAA completes this critical work.
NASFAA Business Services — comprised of Blue Icon Advisors and the Standards of Excellence (SOE) program — thrived in 2020-21. Blue Icon Advisors completed its second successful year, while SOE completed its 23rd year, with both receiving high praise from clients and independent consultants. The most popular Blue Icon projects continued to be general consulting — on anything from financial aid system optimization to helping schools implement modular programs — followed closely by helping schools write policies and procedures for federal financial aid administration. The SOE program continued to offer both in-person and remote reviews during the 2020- 21 cycle and completed 19 reviews, which included five reviews previously postponed due to the pandemic. Read more on pages 15-17 of NASFAA Now, our annual impact report.
In July 2021, NASFAA joined the Double Pell Alliance (DPA), a coalition of higher education associations, organizations, and advocacy groups committed to doubling the maximum Pell Grant by the 50th anniversary of the creation of the program in June 2022. Our national advocacy campaign is ongoing and we need your help to explain to lawmakers that doubling the Pell Grant represents a sustainable, front-end, and long-term solution to college access and affordability issues impacting lower-income students. Register now and join us November 12 for a free webinar where we will discuss strategic communications tactics that will help your institution get involved in this nationwide advocacy effort for equity.