today’s news for Tuesday, December 5, 2017

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Last week at the Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference, 2017-18 NASFAA National Chair Billie Jo Hamilton, NASFAA Director of Policy Analysis Karen McCarthy, and NASFAA Chief Training Officer Dana Kelly met with Department of Education (ED) Secretary Betsy DeVos and senior ED leadership to discuss student aid generally.

Higher education stakeholders gathered in Washington, DC on Monday to begin deliberations to renegotiate federal gainful employment (GE) regulations, just weeks after negotiated rulemaking, or “neg reg” began for the borrower defense rules. Meanwhile, House Republicans are attempting to prohibit the Education Secretary from implementing any regulations related to gainful employment through their proposed legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).

In the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) semiannual audit of the Department of Education (ED), Inspector General Kathleen Tighe said she disapproved of ED’s decision to delay the implementation of gainful employment and borrower defense regulations.


Looking for guidance on how to resolve student name discrepancies? Attempting to determine eligibility for Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans when a student's budget is unequal among terms? Wondering what documents are acceptable for verification of high school completion status? Take a look back at last month's most read Q&As. If you have a question that's not on the list, you can find a credible and reliable answer on the AskRegs Knowledgebase site by browsing or searching the answers provided by our Training and Regulatory Assistance staff. You may also submit your own question using the Request Support feature.

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If you missed the Dec. 6, 2017 NASFAA Webinar,  Direct Loan Spotlight, it’s not too late to take advantage of this learning opportunity. Ordering the on-demand event provides you with full access to the webinar archive and handout. In addition, you will be provided with the Top 20 Most Frequently Asked Questions document compiled from questions submitted by attendees during the live webcast. If you attended the live event, you can still use your registration link to access the on-demand event and FAQ document. Order it today.


The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) is seeking a renewed three-year clearance for the College Affordability and Transparency Explanation Form (CATEF) data collection. 


National News

"Limits on student borrowing, a simplified financial aid process and an easing of accountability measures for colleges are among the main features of a wide-ranging higher education reauthorization bill introduced by Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee," according to Bloomberg BNA. NASFAA President Justin Draeger is quoted in this article.

"It's dinnertime, and a teenager is seated with her immediate family. She looks around—everyone has at least a college degree and a stable job. What to look for in a college and what to major in and how to become a doctor are the topics of tonight's dinner conversation. Elsewhere, another high-schooler is seated with her younger brother chomping down on the meal she struggled to put together for the two of them. Her parents are away, working their second or third jobs. The girl is mulling over how to make money quickly and contribute to her family's household," The Atlantic reports.

"The U.S. Senate early Saturday morning narrowly approved major tax legislation roundly opposed by higher education leaders and student groups. The bill, like the House of Representatives' tax plan passed last month, got no public hearings and senators themselves complained they had no opportunity to read the legislation even as last-minute amendments were offered affecting issues like private college endowments and education savings plans," Inside Higher Ed reports.

"Education groups scrambled Friday to dissect a massive bill from Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to reauthorize the federal law that governs higher education, with proposals that have serious implications for how students pay for their degrees and how colleges are evaluated," Inside Higher Ed reports.

State News

"The University of Iowa, in response to deep cuts in state aid, is dropping a popular summer-school financial aid program aimed at helping students graduate on time," according to The Gazette. "Administrators on Thursday announced that after the 2018 summer session, the institution will discontinue its Summer Hawk Tuition Grant program, which began offering undergraduate summer school grants in 2014."

"A Grand Rapids man pleaded guilty Tuesday, Nov. 28, to federal charges after obtaining student loans in others' names to defraud the U.S. Department of Education of about $150,000," reports.


"For most students, going to college means going into debt. As postsecondary education becomes more crucial than ever to middle-class opportunity, the majority of undergraduates have to borrow against their future in order to secure it. For those who do, the median burden is $17,000, but even smaller debt loads are unsustainable for many students," David Scobey writes for Inside Higher Ed.




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