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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

The past year was anything but dull for the higher education community. Take a look back at our policy and advocacy efforts—including reports we published, hearings we took part in, letters we sent and comments we submitted—as well as our most popular original articles and podcast episodes, most-read AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&As and Department of Education Announcements, and some of the biggest financial aid news from 2017.

AskRegs

Learn the answer to this question and learn how to instantly find credible and reliable solutions to your most pressing regulatory and compliance questions with NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase. The Knowledgebase guide and video tutorials highlight the many features of this tool.

Leadership Conference

As the landscape of higher education and financial aid continue to shift, financial aid professionals are expected to adapt to the changing role. Part of that change includes taking on new responsibilities, including having a stake in college and university enrollment management. Financial aid administrators need to understand the strategic role that their operation plays in the school. The Strategic Enrollment Management pathway at NASFAA's 2018 Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo can help you build those skills. Take a look at the pathway sessions for the 2018 conference. Early-bird registration ends January 12. Register today.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

As explained in an August 29, 2017 Electronic Announcement, Federal Student Aid will begin the transition of business processes for the Campus-Based programs to the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System in spring 2018. In this announcement, the Department provides information about the expected transition timeline for Campus-Based business processes. Specifically, the Department focuses on some of the activities that will occur between December 2017 and March 2018. This timeline also includes the expected date by which the current eCampus-Based (eCB) System will be closed to schools.

The COD Processing Update provides information related to COD System processing and includes the following sections: COD News and Updates, Current Issues (with a subsection for All Programs, Direct Loans, and Grants), and Reminders.

FSA's senior advisor of cybersecurity recorded a virtual training session about how to leverage the new Institutions of Higher Education Compliance Framework (IHECF) tool and how it can save each school time and effort, as well as help avoid duplication. This recording covers some of the same data-security material from the Sept. 27, 2017 webinar, but the content is expanded to include new IHECF assistance.

In October 2017 the Department initiated the active confirmation process that required every organization enrolled for a Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) account to review and validate its assigned TG numbers by December 15, 2017.

FEDERAL REGISTER

The Department of Education (ED) is seeking continued approval of a Third Party Servicer Data Collection form to be used to collect information from Third Party Servicers, validate the information reported to ED by higher education institutions regarding third party servicers that administer one or more aspects of the administration of the Title IV, Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, programs on an institution's behalf, and to collect additional information required for effective oversight of these entities.

This request is for an extension of the reporting requirements currently in Student Assistance General Provisions, 34 CFR 668, Subpart I which governs the Immigration-Status Confirmation authorized by section 484(g) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. This collection updates the usage by individuals and schools. This is necessary to determine eligibility to receive program benefits and to prevent fraud and abuse of program funds.

Federal Student Aid (FSA) replaced the PIN system with the Personal Authentication Service (PAS) which will employ an FSA ID, a standard user name and password solution. In order to create an FSA ID to gain access to certain FSA systems (FAFSA on the web, NSLDS, StudentLoans.gov, etc.) a user must register on-line for an FSA ID account.

HEADLINES

National News

"The year ahead could usher in significant changes in the federal government's role in higher education. Events set in motion in 2017 will loom large, though resolutions may be years in the making. Here are a few things worth watching in the coming months," according to The Washington Post.

"According to a study published last week by The Education Trust, the gaps in graduation rates between White and Latino college students have persisted," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports. "The report, titled 'A Look at Latino Student Success: Identifying Top- and Bottom-Performing Institutions,' lists the colleges and universities that have been able to address this gap as well as those where the disparity is still strong. Those institutions that have managed to reduce or eliminate the disparity on their campuses say leadership and a holistic approach are key."

"Skylar Maldonado has a holiday wish. 'I'm hoping to find some peace of mind,' he said. So does his friend Patricia Curley. 'I'm just hoping not to have a day filled with sadness,' she said," The Washington Post reports. "Most college students are eager for winter break, happy to go home and celebrate the end of the year holidays with family and friends. Campuses become ghost towns as final exams wrap up. But for a few students — those who spent their childhood in foster care, or whose homes are unstable or dangerous, or who lived in shelters before enrolling in college — shuttered dorms present an urgent problem."

"When Ryan Lancaster filed for bankruptcy in 2007, he was hoping for a second chance. Instead, money he borrowed online through a division of Wells Fargo when he was a student still dogs him, more than a decade later," MarketWatch reports.

"Dozens more selective colleges and universities have joined a pact to recruit more students from low-to-moderate income families, nearly tripling the total that launched the effort a year ago," The Washington Post reports.

Opinions

"In the 50 years since the Higher Education Act was first signed into law, students, workers, businesses, and our economy have all transformed in response to the technological revolution that has swept the globe. Yet our nation’s approach to higher education seems to be stuck in neutral," Billy Ward writes for The Advocate.

Blogs & Think Tanks

"Policymakers have been focusing intensely on college options that don't lead to a bachelor's degree, but new statistics suggest that those arguments aren't translating into enrollment increases in those programs," according to Education Week's High School & Beyond blog.

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