today’s news for Friday, January 21, 2022

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The Department of Education’s (ED) Institutional & Programmatic Eligibility Committee on Thursday spent a bulk of the day focusing on the issue of financial responsibility, sifting through ED’s draft regulatory language on the topic, and worked through draft regulatory language on change of ownership in the afternoon as it sought to cover all seven issue papers in the first session. The committee will leave discussion on certification procedures and the 90/10 rule to the last day of this week’s session. 

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin is joined by NASFAA Senior Policy Analyst Jill Desjean and NASFAA U Instructor David Tolman, who give listeners an update on a number of regulatory issues. Jill and David provide insight on some questions from NASFAA members concerning the HEERF annual reporting form, regulatory assistance issues concerning institutions packaging  students for 2022-23 award year, setting costs of attendance, and preparations for tuition and assistance for the upcoming academic year. Hugh then provides a quick recap on some of the biggest higher education news of the week, with highlights from the Department of Education’s ongoing negotiated rulemaking sessions, updates on issues concerning the student loan portfolio, higher education enrollment trends, and more.

The White House in a joint announcement with the Department of Education (ED) is inviting applications for a $198 million grant program that is seeking to support higher education students’ basic needs. The program was made available as a part of the Supplemental Support under the American Rescue Plan (ARP), with the goal of supporting institutions of higher education with the greatest needs stemming from the pandemic.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in a notice published on Thursday announced that it would begin examining the operations of colleges and universities that extend private loans directly to students. CFPB specifically highlighted that it will review particular institutional practices like placing enrollment restrictions, withholding transcripts, improperly accelerating payments, failing to issue refunds, and maintaining improper lending relationships.


Financial aid offices are facing staffing shortages across the country due to increased turnover caused at least in part by burnout amid the pandemic, an aging workforce, and several other factors leaving schools struggling to compete for skilled workers in a highly competitive job market. The Succession Planning pathway at NASFAA's 2022 Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo next month in Washington, D.C.  is designed to help your office prepare for the future. Sessions will focus on cultivating leadership, building mentorships, employee retention, and more. In light of the recent surge in omicron variant cases, we'd like to remind attendees that all conference registrants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn more about the conference and the safety measures being taken, and register today to secure your seat.

Harrisburg Area Community College partnered with Blue Icon to ensure practices complied with financial aid rules. After reviewing documents, interviewing staff, and citing regulations, the consultant confirmed their understanding was correct. The school said, "Our consultant’s experience speaking with colleagues across campus will pay dividends moving forward to ensure compliance with all financial aid rules." Read more and contact Blue Icon to get your own peace of mind today. 






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