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TODAY'S NEWS

today’s news for Monday, September 25, 2017

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NEWS FROM NASFAA

Although natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes may at times be near impossible to anticipate, there are several steps institutions can take to make sure that in the case of an emergency, they are prepared to continue serving students to the best extent possible. In this new Voices From the Aid Office article, financial aid administrators who were working in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina offer perspective and share lessons learned.

Data from Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) quarterly reports on the characteristics of aid recipients and Title IV programs showed increased use of income-driven loan repayment plans, a decrease in new defaults on federal student loans, and an indication that aid applicants took advantage of the first year of the Early FAFSA. The reports also provided more information on federal loan borrower characteristics and loan volume.

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.

We recently published an issue brief in support of  retaining the Administrative Cost Allowance (ACA) for schools.  During our Standards of Excellence Review peer reviews, we often recommend ways schools can use their ACA more effectively, such as for staff training. If you’d like to use your ACA more strategically, complete our simple information request form to learn more about NASFAA’s peer review services.

NASFAA U

The fall course beginning October 17 is now full, however there is still time to join the waitlist. Complete the Waitlist Form to be notified of course openings or to reserve your seat if additional course offerings become available.

The NASFAA National Conference App will be turned off at 5:00pm ET this Thursday, September 28. If there are photos or documents stored in the app that you wish to save, please go into the app at this time and save them to your personal device. As a reminder, all handouts provided by session presenters are currently available online to those who attended the 2017 NASFAA National Conference. All NASFAA members will have access to the conference handouts in January.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

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.

This announcement informs the community of the availability of the customer service performance results for each of the Department of Education's (the Department's) federal loan servicers for the following periods: July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016; October 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016; January 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017; April 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.

HEADLINES

National News

"A recent heavy rainstorm flooded an apartment complex near Central Michigan University, displacing a number of students. Several had nowhere else to stay. To the rescue: Central Michigan's Student Emergency Fund, a financial reserve provided by private donors to help students manage unexpected emergencies such as illness, death of relatives, eviction or medical bills," University Business reports. NASFAA's Karen McCarthy and past National Chair Pam Fowler are quoted in this article.

"Last week leaders from about two dozen colleges and universities met at Stanford University with the goal of helping each other reinvent the way their institutions teach and operate. Among the many unresolved questions: How fast should academic innovation happen?" EdSurge reports.

State News

"Students using Tennessee's free community college scholarship are significantly more likely to succeed in college than their peers outside the program, according to data released Thursday," The Tennessean reports.

Opinions

"Earlier this week, we received welcome news from Phoenix, where the Competency-Based Education Network has gathered," writes Lumina Foundation's Jamie Merisotis. "The network, which began several years ago as a project of Lumina Foundation to help build and grow these programs, is independent and has nearly doubled in size to 80 member organizations. Also, two states have reached out to C-BEN, as it's called, for support as they expand efforts to educate working-age adults."

Blogs & Think Tanks

"Imagine being a high school student. This question stands between you and an affordable college education. For many students, particularly low-income and first-generation students, the 108 complicated and lengthy questions pose an insurmountable barrier in receiving financial aid. These students complete FAFSA at lower rates than their more economically fortunate peers. However, in total, only 44 percent of high school students will fill out the FAFSA by graduation, leading to eligible yet unclaimed Pell Grants worth $2.8 billion dollars," Audrey Sheehy writes for the Harvard Political Review.

STATE & REGIONAL NEWS

"As the bulk of the 399 nastiness came to an end recently, a few financial aid employees at Brigham Young University in Utah decided to celebrate by taking out their frustrations in a lively manner," according to The Exchange Blog from the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (RMASFAA).

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