Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Diversity Matters in U.S. Higher Education

Issue Briefs: Diversity Matters in U.S. Higher Education

As part of its continuing commitment to access, equity, and diversity in higher education, the American Council on Education is pleased to launch the Diversity Matters in U.S. Higher Education issue brief series. The goal of this series is to provide campus leaders with timely, cutting-edge, and actionable information they can share with the members of their campus community on a broad range of topics revolving around diversity and inclusion in U.S. higher education.
The inaugural brief, The Education Gap: Understanding African American and Hispanic Attainment Disparities in Higher Education, explores some of the critical factors associated with postsecondary attainment disparities for African American and Hispanic students.
The second brief in the series, Raising Voices, Lifting Leaders: Empowering Asian Pacific Islander American Leadership in Higher Education, was created to bring national attention to the scarcity of Asian Pacific Islander American leaders in higher education, highlight the barriers to Asian Pacific Islander American leadership, and present a call to action for increasing representation by the Asian Pacific Islander American community in higher education leadership positions.
With Degree in Hand: Analysis of Racial Minority Graduates and Their Lives After College, the third brief, explores the postgraduate employment and educational experiences of new college graduates across racial/ethnic lines in terms of their demographic and education characteristics, early labor market outcomes, and post-baccalaureate education enrollment approximately one year after graduation.
The final brief in the series, A Matter of Excellence: A Guide to Strategic Diversity Leadership and Accountability in Higher Education, focuses on leading diversity-themed change in an intentional manner. It provides a framework for strategic leadership on diversity issues in academe, challenging the higher education community to face the imperatives of a new reality in which diversity is no longer simply a question of moral and social responsibility, but a matter of achieving excellence and gaining competitive advantages in the world we live in today.
For more information, contact InclusiveExcellence@acenet.edu or call 202-939-9390.

Article provided by American Council on Education and SASFAA's Global Issues' Committee, Stacy Walker, Chair. Please visit http://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Diversity-Issue-Briefs.aspx for more information.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekly Rundown

Please see the below from SASFAA's Legislative Relations Committee and National Council of Higher Education Resources.

Week of October 26


·       This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. However, neither chamber is expected to consider student financial aid-related legislation. The House will hold its internal Republican election for a new Speaker on Wednesday while the floor election will be held Thursday. The House will also consider legislation to raise the nation’s debt ceiling limit prior to November 3, 2015, as the federal government will not be able to meet most of its obligations without such action.

·       On Monday and Tuesday, all-day, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities holds its 15th Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. The meeting provides the opportunity for presidents and chancellors to examine critical national issues facing campuses, provide leadership to meet those challenges, and what is working on campuses across the nation. Among the schedule’s highlights is an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act (HEA) at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.


·       On Monday at 2:00 p.m., the New Faculty Majority Foundation and the National Education Association host a briefing entitled, “Overcoming Inequality in Higher Education” which will include an excerpt from a new documentary on adjunct faculty working conditions. A panel of adjunct faculty and students will explain how legislators and policymakers can reverse the trend of contingent employment in higher education, including through targeted legislation and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

·       On Monday at 3:30 p.m., Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chair of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and other Democratic senators hold a forum with college graduates and experts about improving college affordability and tackling the student debt crisis. Participants include: Rohit Chopra, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Jen Mishory, Executive Director, Young Invincibles; Jess Sanchez, first-generation college student and first-year teacher; Emily Best, Farm Operations Manager, New Morning Farm; and Annie Wood, recent college graduate. To watch a live video from the forum, click here.

·       On Tuesday, all day, the Bond Buyer hosts its Healthcare and Higher Education Finance Conference in Providence, RI. The conference is designed to assist healthcare finance professionals, senior-level institutional finance professionals, investment bankers, analysts, and other municipal market participants for an in-depth analysis of the state of tax-exempt finance, the challenges and opportunities, and strategies to employ to plan for a sustainable financial future. It is also designed to cover the broad strokes of topics that are relevant to nonprofit institutions, as well as two tracks focusing on the finer points germane to healthcare and higher education finance.

·       On Tuesday and Wednesday, all day, the Federal Reserve holds a two-day meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee. As Chair Janet Yellen has announced that the Fed would likely raise interest rates later this year, observers will be anxiously waiting to see the Committee’s discussions and/or actions on this matter. The minutes for each regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee, which include a description of economic and financial conditions, are made available three weeks after its policy decisions are posted in the Federal Reserve Board’s Annual Report.


·       On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education holds a hearing titled, “Improving Career and Technical Education to Help Students Succeed in the Workforce,” on rewriting the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. Witnesses will be announced at a later date.

·       On Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., the Institute for College Access & Success presents new national, state-by-state, and college-level findings about the student debt of 2014 bachelor’s degree recipients, plus a first-time look at 10-year trends in debt at graduation by state. The report release will be followed by a panel discussion entitled, “A Decade of Student Debt,” featuring leading experts in higher education policy. The event will be moderated by Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-founder, Inside Higher Ed, and include panelists Rohit Chopra, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Tamara Draut, Vice President of Policy and Research, DÄ“mos; Max Espinoza, Senior Vice President, Education Programs and Policy, Scholarship America; and Kevin James, Research Fellow, Center on Higher Education Reform, American Enterprise Institute.

·       On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday at 11:00 a.m., the U.S. Department of Education hosts instructor-led, online training sessions titled, “Protecting Student Information, Information Technology Best Business Practices,” that will describe best practices for protecting student data at institutions of higher education. The webinars will provide guidance on the institutional responsibility to protect all Title IV federal student aid data, identify various threats to data security, and describe how to minimize those threats with a risk-based approach to building and implementing a security plan. Attendees will be encouraged to use the information and resources presented during the webinar to help build, validate, and improve security controls. To register, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

·       On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the nomination of Jessica Rosenworcel for a second five-year term as commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).


·       On Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) hosts a town hall meeting with students at George Mason University, which will be live streamed at colleges and universities across the country. During the event, Sen. Sanders is expected to focus on issues facing students and young people including college affordability, campaign finance reform, climate change, criminal justice reform, and income inequality.

·       On Thursday at 9:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law holds a hearing on H.R. 3438, the Require Evaluation Before Implementing Executive Wishlists Act, which would require federal agencies to postpone the effective date of a high-impact rule pending judicial review. Witnesses include: Tom Woods, President, Custom Woods Homes on behalf of the National Association of Home Builders; Paul Noe, Vice President for Public Policy, America Forest and Paper Association; Jeffrey Bossert, Partner, Kirkland and Ellis; and Dr. William Funk, Robert E. Jones Professor of Law, Lewis and Clark Law School.


·       On Thursday at 1:00 p.m., Academic Impressions hosts a webcast entitled, “Communicating Financial Aid and Affordability to Admitted Students.” This online training walks through considerations for proactive and effective financial aid communication during the narrow window of time between admittance and enrollment. Included will be expert approaches from two diverse case-study institutions and examples of impactful communication tactics.

·       On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) holds a free webinar to provide an overview of the Request for Comment on Draft Rule Amendments to MSRB Rule G-15 to require municipal securities dealers to disclose the amount of the mark-up on retail customer confirmations for specified principal transactions.


·       On Friday at 10:00 a.m., the Brookings Institution hosts a panel discussion entitled, “Where Interest Rates Will Be When the economy is (Finally) Healthy and Why it Matters.” According to the event’s description, one of the many current mysteries in monetary policy is what interest rate, in the long run, helps keep the U.S. at full employment and stable prices, which is sometimes called the natural rate of interest. Federal Reserve policymakers have marked down their estimates in recent years, suggesting that they expect interest rates to be lower than the post-World War II average for some time to come. The International Monetary Fund also has noted a downward trend in interest rates. And some observers see chronically low equilibrium interest rates as a worrisome symptom of ‘secular stagnation.’ Panelists include: James Hamilton, Professor of Economics, University of California San Diego; Ethan Harris, Co-head of Global Economics Research, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research; Jan Hatzius, Chief Economist of Global Investment Research, Goldman Sachs; Kenneth West, John D. MacArthur and Ragnar Frisch Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin; John Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Thomas Laubach, Director of Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board; Anna Cieslak, Assistant Professor, Duke University; and Maurice Obstfeld, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley.

·       On Friday at 11:00 a.m., Education Secretary Arne Duncan visits Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis during the college’s Heads Up open house and participates in a roundtable discussion. 

Ron Gambill, Chair
Legislative Relations Committee


Monday, October 12, 2015

NASFAA Award Nominations

Dear SASFAA Members & Friends:

Do you know an outstanding financial aid professional or higher education individual who you would like to nominate in recognition of his or her achievements and/or contributions to the profession?  If so, you now have the opportunity!
NASFAA is accepting nominations for awards, and all nominations are due February 5, 2016. Submit your nominations online today. Don't delay.  Award winners will be announced at the 2016 NASFAA National Conference and 50th anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C.

Below are the individual award categories:

Let’s make an Impact!  Nominate someone today!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
SASFAA Immediate Past-President

Friday, October 9, 2015

SASFAA Conference 2016 - Registration Open

Find important information at http://www.sasfaa.org/annualconference.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Legislative Update - Week of October 5

·       This week, the U.S. House and Senate are in session for legislative business. However, neither chamber is expected to consider legislation related to student aid policy.

·       Today beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Lumina Foundation holds an opening session of its National Credentialing Summit titled, “Setting the Stage: Transforming Our Fragmented Credentialing System Into One That Works Better for Students, Employers and the Nation.” The session will examine dilemmas posed by our nation’s lack of a transparent, connected credentialing system by clarifying issues, focusing on key questions, and encouraging constructive dialogue on problems that have an important place on the public agenda. Panelists include: Byron Auguste, Managing Director of Opportunity@Work, New America; Molly Corbett Broad, President, American Council on Education; Chris Bustamante, President, Rio Salado College; Anthony Carnevale, Director and Research Professor, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce; Governor John Engler, President, Business Roundtable; Jamie Merisotis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lumina Foundation; and Eric Seleznow, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; and Elizabeth Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer, AFL-CIO. 

·       On Tuesday at 9:20 a.m., Education Secretary Arne Duncan participates in a panel discussion with students, teachers, and administrators at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, to stress the importance of educating all young people, including Hispanics. The Secretary will highlight the need to fill urgent gaps in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

·       On Tuesday and Wednesday, all-day, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus holds its annual Public Policy Conference that brings Latino leaders, federal, state, and local officials, and corporate and nonprofit leaders to participate in major policy issues affecting the Latino community. Key session topics include: “Education: Access to Opportunity,” with Deputy Secretary of Education John King, who has been nominated to replace Education Secretary Arne Duncan; “Financial Aid for Postsecondary Education Latino Students”; “Dreamers: What the Future Holds”; and an Education Luncheon with Education Secretary Arne Duncan 

·       On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight holds a hearing titled, “The Rising Costs of Higher Education and Tax Policy,” which will examine universities’ and colleges’ tax-exempt status, endowment practices, and executive compensation, and whether they have any connection to soaring tuition costs. Witnesses will be announced at a later date.  

·       On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee considers S. 1607, the Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act, which requires independent regulatory agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission to: 1) comply with regulatory analysis requirements applicable to other federal agencies; 2) publish and provide the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs with an assessment of the costs and benefits of a proposed or final economically significant rule (i.e., a rule that is likely to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more and is likely to adversely affect sectors of the economy in a material way) and an assessment of costs and benefits of alternatives to the rule; and 3) submit to the Office for review any proposed or final economically significant rule. The Committee will also consider S. 1817, the Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act, to improve the effectiveness of major rules in accomplishing their regulatory objectives by promoting retrospective review and S. 1820, the Early Participation in Regulations Act, to require federal agencies to publish an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for major rules. 

·       On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) holds a field hearing on arbitration in Denver, CO. Many observers expect the CFPB, in conjunction with the field hearing, to take the next steps towards issuing a proposed arbitration rule, including announcing the convening of a Small Business Review Panel required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act and the Dodd-Frank Act to provide input on the proposal. The hearing will include comments from CFPB Director Richard Cordray as well as from consumer groups, industry representatives, and the public. To attend this open event, send an email with your name and organization affiliation to cfpb.events@cfpb.gov 

·       On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the Federal Reserve releases its “Consumer Credit – G.19” report, which includes the amount of outstanding federal and private student loans. 

·       On Thursday, House Republicans hold a secret-ballot election to select a new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-OH). Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is the frontrunner, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) are vying for the post that will be officially filled on November 2, 2015. 

·       On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) releases the minutes of its two-day meeting held on September 16-17, 2015. 

·       Saturday through Monday, all-day, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) holds its 29th Annual Conference titled, “Championing Hispanic Higher Education Success: Empowering Students, Enhancing Collaboration,” in Miami Beach, Florida. This is HACU’s premier conference on Hispanic higher education that showcases exemplary programs and initiatives of the best and most promising practices in the education of Hispanics at Hispanic-Serving Institutions.

NASFAA and You

Dear Members & Friends:

I hope this finds all of you doing well, and off to a great Semester.  I know that this is a very busy time for all of us, and, as financial aid professionals, we have worked very diligently to ensure that financial aid funds have been disbursed in a timely manner.
As the immediate past-president of SASFAA I have the opportunity to serve as a voting member of the NASFAA board.  This year I want to reach to you and ask the following about how NASFAA may better serve you, your institution, and region:

1.      What does NASFAA provide to you?

2.      What do you feel NASFAA is missing that could better serve you, your institution, and region?

As stated earlier, I am very excited to be the voice for SASFAA at the NASFAA table this year.  NASFAA is committed to advocacy and training, and it has valuable resources available to all members. 

As a financial aid administrator and a member of NASFAA, I appreciate all the opportunities that NASFAA offers to me professionally. 
Our first on-site NASFAA board meeting will be held November 9-10th in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Please send me your comments so that I may share your concerns.   My e-mail is nbasford@admin.fsu.edu.

NASFAA’s Mission Statement:

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) provides professional development for financial aid administrators; advocates for public policies that increase student access and success; serves as a forum on student financial aid issues, and is committed to diversity throughout all activities.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

SASFAA Legislative Update - 10/01/2015

SASFAA Legislative Update

Government Shut Down Avoided

The Senate passed a short-term Continuing Resolution Wednesday that allows the federal government to remain open through December 11, 2015.  During the interim, budget talks will continue regarding a two-year budget deal that is desired.  Due to the current differences between the two parties and the Presidential election in 2016, it would not be surprising to end up with another short-term continuing resolution that goes through the November elections.

Federal Perkins Loan Program in Wind-Down

The Senate did not extend the Federal Perkins Loan Program yesterday, which ended the federal fiscal year.  Although the House of Representatives passed a one-year extension on a voice, consent vote last week, the unanimous consent vote was blocked by Senator Alexander, who chairs the Senate HELP Committee.  The USDE provided the guidelines for the wind-down of the Federal Perkins Loan Program in a Dear Colleague Letter (GEN-15-03) published January 30, 2015.  Additionally, the Department of Education provided wind-down Questions and Answers regarding the Perkins Program on the Campus-Based Processing Information page on the IFAP website. 

Nominations & Elections 2016-2017 - Help Make an Impact

Dear SASFAA Members & Friends:

By now, many of you have seen the announcements that have been sent out by me last week and again this week.  They are announcements seeking nominations for our SASFAA awards as well as seeking nominations for our up-coming election in February.

This year, President Amy Berrier has chosen “Make an Impact” as SASFAA’s theme.    We all have that opportunity each day as we serve each of our students attending at our individual institutions.  We make an impact by ensuring that funds are awarded to students in a timely manner and that we continue to advocate for students to ensure financial remains available to all who apply.  As financial aid professionals, we do great jobs doing this!

Now it is time to “Make an Impact” within the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA), our association.  We need to begin speaking with those individuals within our state and region and encourage them step up and serve.  Begin looking at those individuals who exhibit strengths of leadership, who are concerned about making a difference, and those who may think out-side-the-box. 

As Chair of the Awards and Nominations and Elections Committee, I am seeking your help to ensure that we reach out to those we see as leaders—those who stand out, those willing to generate ideas, and those you have heard say, “I want to make a difference”.  Talk to them. Encourage them to run for offices within SASFAA. We were all new at one time, so, to me, that newness alone is longer an excuse. 

Below is the link to review the positions for the up-coming election.  Please review and nominate an individual who you know will make an impact.  As you begin seeking nominations for the positions, please be sure that you have their permission and that they will have full support within the institution and, most important, their family.

Nominations and Elections 2016-2017 - Deadline October 30th

It is time to nominate them for our SASFAA awards.  Please see the following awards offered by SASFAA.  Deadline October 23rd!

Distinguished Service Award

This is the highest honor bestowed by SASFAA.  Individuals honored with a SASFAA Distinguished Service Award shall have made outstanding, significant, and meritorious contributions to the advancement of student financial aid or the profession.  The awards committee, comprised of the elected officers of the Association, shall be charged to consider nominees and recommend them for consideration to the Board.  Nominees must be approved by a two-thirds vote of Board members present and voting.

Each recipient shall be presented an appropriate plaque at the annual conference of the Association and shall be entitled to honorary membership in the Association when the recipient ceases to meet active membership eligibility requirements.

Honorary Membership

Honorary membership shall be awarded to persons who have demonstrated outstanding service to SASFAA and to the student aid profession.  Practicing financial aid administrators are not eligible to receive this award. 

I look forward to receiving your nominations, and in receiving your nominations, we all will Make an Impact in our SASFAA’s future.

Nathan Basford
Your Immediate Past-President