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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Thursday, May 25, 2017

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

FSA's Jim Runcie Abruptly Resigns Over Dispute With DeVos

Jim Runcie, formerly the chief operating officer of the Department of Education's (ED) Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), abruptly resigned Tuesday night, ED officials announced on Wednesday. Runcie's resignation, which took effect immediately, came after a dispute with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over his testimony at a congressional hearing, scheduled for today, according to POLITICO. Matthew Sessa, deputy chief operating officer of FSA, assumed Runcie's responsibilities and will do so until further notice, ED said. Runcie served as the head of FSA since September 2011, and was reappointed for a five-year term in 2015.

NASFAA President Justin Draeger will testify at 10:00 am ET today in a joint hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Affairs on the topic of improper payments in federal student aid. Draeger will speak about improper payments that occur when federal student aid goes to an ineligible individual, or when eligible students receive incorrect amounts as overpayments or underpayments. Department of Education (ED) Inspector General Kathleen Tighe will also testify. Watch the hearing live this morning, and read Draeger's full written testimony.

If the federal government wants to make better informed policy decisions about higher education, it needs to step up its data collection and dissemination efforts, witnesses told a House subcommittee during a hearing on Wednesday.

DeVos Defends Proposed 2018 Budget on Capitol Hill

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday gave a summary of the Department of Education's (ED) proposed 2018 budget, and answered questions from representatives on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Although the hearing largely focused on the K-12 funding portions of the budget, DeVos said in her opening statement that the budget "reduces the complexity of funding for college while prioritizing efforts to help make a college education accessible for low-income students." She said the budget will eliminate or phase-out 22 programs ED deemed were "duplicative, ineffective, or are better supported through State, local or philanthropic efforts." Watch archived video from the full hearing.

Engaging in a peer review with NASFAA can ensure your financial aid operations are an asset to your school’s risk management plan. Our confidential, comprehensive reviews provide you with an action plan to ensure your financial aid practices won’t be a liability to the school. Request a no-obligation cost estimate today.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Attached is the NSLDS Delinquent Borrower Report Extract Record Layouts for Schools (DELQ01 and DELQ03). 

HEADLINES

National News

"The Education Department's top student financial aid officer, a holdover from the Obama administration, quit the position Tuesday night and sent an email to his staff warning about brewing management problems he perceived within the agency," The Washington Post reports.

"James Runcie, who led the Office of Federal Student Aid for the past seven years as chief operating officer, abruptly resigned from his position on Tuesday night," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports. "'With Jim Runcie’s exit from FSA, it is now critically important that we get the right person to fill the role of Chief Operating Officer,' Justin Draeger, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) president, said in a statement sent to Diverse."

"Four months after former ITT Technical Institute students got a glimmer of hope that their five- and six-figure debts might be forgiven, they are still waiting on the federal government to follow through," The Indianapolis Star reports.

"Danielle Ramos got the phone call in January: the thousands of dollars she'd taken out in student loans to attend a now-defunct for-profit college were going to be forgiven. The American Career Institute had fallen apart during her time there, and Ramos never finished her degree. The credits she earned didn't even transfer to community college," BuzzFeed reports. "The Education Department, faced with evidence that ACI had systematically misled its students, decided to wipe away Ramos's loans — and those of 4,500 other students across five ACI campuses. But a new president has since taken office, and so has a new education secretary. Ramos had been told in January her loans would be forgiven within 90 to 120 days, but 90 days later, she'd heard nothing. Then, the 120-day deadline passed. Still nothing."

Opinions

"Amidst the debate over the merits of the president's budget for Higher Education, there is one thing we should all agree on, and one thing that will enhance HEA's viability. It's time to modernize and directly connect the Higher Education Act to jobs," Steve Gunderson writes for The Hill.

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