today’s news for Wednesday, March 23, 2022

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Inceptia. Did you know Verification Gateway supports institutional verification? Verification Gateway reduces the stress on your team while providing extra expertise for federal and institutional verification. The intuitive platform streamlines the verification process by pairing automated technology with a responsive team to fully support students and schools with regulatory changes and new requirements. Learn more.


If a student is a sophomore at the start of the fall term and completes a module course that advances him to junior status half way through the fall term, can his loan eligibility for fall be updated to the junior grade level or will he not be eligible for junior loan amounts until spring? Think you know the answer? Read on to see if you got it right!

NASFAA last week joined a letter along with more than a dozen organizations raising concerns regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) recent announcement of key changes to the 85-15 rule, specifically changes in the requirements for a 35% exemption. The letter, addressed to chairs and ranking members of the House Veterans Affairs’ Committee and the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, notes that VA as part of the new application following the 85-15 reset, now requires institutions to provide 85-15 ratios for every program at the institution and to resubmit these calculations every two years. “We have heard from many campuses and senior veterans’ program administrators who are confused by the VA’s new requirements, which appear directly at odds with both the regulations and legislative intent,” the letter adds. 

NASFAA late last year released a beta version of its Student Aid Index (SAI) modeling tool. Designed to help institutions prepare for changes to the Federal Methodology formula in the 2024-25 award year, the tool can be downloaded from NASFAA's website, after which institutions can import their student FAFSA data to estimate SAIs for their student population, as well as compare estimated SAIs to expected family contributions (EFCs). Try it out today!


The end of February and beginning of March brought two more sessions of negotiated rulemaking, during which negotiators sought to come to consensus on a number of regulatory topics, including gainful employment, the 90/10 ruleability to benefit, and standards of administrative capability.  Also out of the Department of Education (ED), thousands of borrowers received a collective $415 million in targeted student loan relief through borrower defense to repayment claims. Still, many lawmakers and officials in the Biden administration say the student loan repayment system needs to be significantly reformed to help borrowers. A new resource added to the Ref Desk this month from Third Way explores principles for student loan servicing reform. Check out the five new resources added to the Ref Desk in the last month — including new chapters from the Federal Student Aid Handbook, electronic announcements from the Department of Education, and articles and reports from a variety of sources — and read more in this month's release notes for a look at some other helpful, timely references.

Preparing for a federal program review can make the difference between a collegial experience and a costly one. Institutions often want to ensure they  are prepared for a future federal program review. To experience the anticipated weight and burden of a review, learn how one institution reached out to Blue Icon Advisors, NASFAA Consulting, to receive an assessment of its readiness. Join this webinar on Tuesday, April 5 to learn how the institution strengthened its financial aid compliance and operations in advance of a program review by working with Blue Icon. This 60-minute webinar is free to NASFAA members, but you must register in advance.





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