Monday, November 30, 2015

This week in Legislation...

From our Legislative Relations Committee. 


Week of November 30


·       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.

·       Today at 8:30 a.m., the Federal Reserve holds an open meeting to discuss implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act amendments to the emergency lending authority under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. The meeting will be broadcast live on the Federal Reserve website.


·       From Tuesday to Friday, all-day, the U.S. Department of Education hosts its annual Federal Student Aid (FSA) Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals, the largest training program serving the financial aid community in the country, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year’ssessions will focus on recent and anticipated regulatory changes and other important matters, including gainful employment, compliance with the Cleary Act, experimental sites, the FSA complaint system, challenges and appeals of cohort default rates, default management plans, third-party servicers, updates on assigning Perkins Loans to the Department, financial literacy, a servicing update, consumer disclosure requirements and tools, state authorization, cybersecurity initiatives and data protection, and income-driven repayment plans. For more information on the conference’s agenda, seehttp://fsaconferences.ed.gov/program15.html. NCHER staff will be in attendance at the conference and will provide periodic updates.


·       On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.the Center for American Progress holds a discussion entitled, “Exploring the Geography of Student Debt,” which will present research that maps student debt concentration and distribution across income and geographies. Panelists include: Subira Gordon, Legislative Analyst, Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission; Natalie Higgins, Executive Director, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts; Tom Israel, Executive Director, Montgomery County Education Association; Whitney Barkley, Legislative Policy Counsel, Center for Responsible Lending; Maggie Thompson, Campaign Manager, Higher Ed Not Debt; Kavya Vaghul, Research Analyst, Washington Center for Equitable Growth; and Rohit Chopra, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress. For details and to register, click here.

·       On Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard gives a speech entitled, “Lower Neutral Rate and its Implications for Monetary Policy,” at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Associates Meeting in Stanford, CA.


·       On Wednesday, all-day, the Federal Reserve and other federal banking regulators hold the sixth in a series of outreach meetings to review their regulations under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996. The law requires federal financial services regulators to review their regulations every 10 years. This meeting, held at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Washington, DC, includes opening remarks by Daniel Tarullo, Governor, Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System; Martin Gruenberg, Chairman, FDIC; and Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency; Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and panel discussions on consumer protections, capital-related rules, application reporting, banking operations regulations, securities, money laundering, safety and soundness, and rules of procedure regulations.


·       On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gives the keynote address at a luncheon hosted by the Economic Club of Washington where she will address the nation’s economic outlook.

·       On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book. Eight times a year, the Fed releases its Beige Book, a summary of current economic conditions for the 12 Federal Reserve Districts based on anecdotal information gathered through reports from Bank and Branch Directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources.


·       On Thursday at 10:00 a.m.the Joint Economic Committee holds a hearing entitled, “The Economic Outlook.” The sole witness will be Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.


·       On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., insideARM hosts a free webinar entitled, “Follow Up: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ruling’s Leading Risk Mitigation Approaches and Concerns.” Earlier this year, insideARM held the industry’s first conference focusing on first party collections and outsourcing. One of the most popular sessions covered the impacts of the latest FCC ruling on both in-house and outsourced operations. This follow up webinar will take a deeper dive into the arising best practices and concerns, focus on the FCC’s latest expansion of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and help prepare strategy for consumer cell phone contact. Panelists include: John Bedard, Owner, Bedard Law Group; Mark Mallah, Corporate Counsel, LiveVox, Inc.; and Dusty Whitesell, Senior Vice President, LiveVox, Inc. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Q&A - Revised Federal Perkins Loan Program

SASFAA Legislative Relations Committee wants to be certain you saw the revised Federal Perkins Loan Program Q&A available from IFAP. Check it out!


Have a great holiday.

Monday, November 16, 2015

This week - Legislative Relations





Week of November 16


·       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. 


o   The House is expected to consider H.R. 2583, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Process Reform Act, which requires the Commission to amend its rules to maximize opportunities for public participation and improve its rulemaking process, including setting minimum public comment periods, establishing deadlines for resolving petitions for declaratory rulings, and establishing procedures to allow a bipartisan majority of commissioners to place actions on the agenda. The bill also prohibits the FCC from categorizing inquiries or complaints under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as wireline or wireless inquiries unless the inquiry or complaint originated from a wireline or wireless carrier. 


o   The House is also expected to move to create a conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


·       Today at 9:30 a.m., the U.S. Department of State holds a briefing to kick off International Education Week with the release of the 2015 Open Doors Report, which includes the latest statistics and trends on international and U.S. student mobility. Participants include: Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryanand Institute of International Education President and Chief Executive Officer Allan Goodman.


·       Today at noon, the Heritage Foundation hosts a discussion entitled, “Degrees and Double-Standards: Scoring the College Scorecard.” In September, the U.S. Department of Education introduced its new College Scorecard. This conversation will address several topics, including: Why a federal government tool of this sort needed; Why information on several well-regarded colleges are not included in the scorecard; and What factors may or may not be included in the scorecard’s design. Grove City College President Paul McNulty will discuss these and other topics with moderator Michael Costigan, Senior Advisor of Strategic Outreach at The Heritage Foundation. For details or to register,click here.

·       On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing entitled, “U.S. Department of Education: Information Security Review.” The hearing will examine information security at the Department of Education, with an emphasis on the Department’s efforts to secure the personally-identifiable information provided by federal student aid applicants and their parents. The hearing will also review the Department’s Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) report, including recent findings on guaranty agencies and private collection agencies. Witnesses include:Greg Wilshusen, Director, Information Security Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office;The Honorable Kathleen S. Tighe, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education; andDanny Harris, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Education.


·       On Tuesday at 10:15 a.m.the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission.” Witnesses include: The Honorable Tom Wheeler, Chairman, FCC; The Honorable Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, FCC; The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC; The Honorable Ajit Pai, Commissioner, FCC; andThe Honorable Michael O’Reilly, Commissioner, FCC.


·       On Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the Brookings Institution and former Federal Reserve ChairmanBen Bernanke, now a distinguished fellow in residence at Brookings, host a half-day seminar entitled, “Are We Safer? A Look at the Financial System, Post-Crisis,” which will focus on lessons from history, the role of collateral in the financial system, liquidity in bond markets, and the shadow banking system. Panelists include: Daniel Tarullo, Governor, The Federal Reserve; Gary Gorton, Frederick Frank Class of 1954 Professor of Management and Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management; Betsy Graseck, Managing Director, Research Division, Morgan Stanley; Darrell Duffie, Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance, Stanford University; Victoria Ivashina, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Nellie Liang, Economist, The Federal Reserve; and Anil Kashyap, Edward Eagle Brown Professor of Economics and Finance, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. To watch the live broadcast, click here.

·       On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., NCHER holds its Monthly Membership Call, which will provide a summary of the November 5, 2015 Board of Directors meeting; a summary and updates on major items being worked on by our Committees, Caucuses, and Working Groups; and a Washington Update, including our next steps on TCPA reform and recent legislative and regulatory actions of the Congress, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Treasury, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Federal Communications Commission. Note: The call-in number has been circulated to each organization’s primary point of contact.

·       On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., insideARM hosts a webinar entitled, “A Frank Conversation with Industry Experts on Challenges and Best Practices.” Panelists, which will be announced at a later date, will talk through their best practices for increasing productivity and adherence while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

·       On Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations and House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training hold a joint hearing entitled, “Federal Student Aid: Performance-Based Organization Review.” Witnesses include: James Runcie, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education; Melissa Embrey-Arras, Director, Education, Workforce, and Income Security, U.S. Government Accountability Office; The Honorable Kathleen Tighe, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education;Ben Miller, Senior Director, Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress; andJustin Draeger, President, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The hearing will be broadcast live from theCommittee’s website.

·        On Wednesday at 9:45 a.m., the House Budget Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Does Biennial Budgeting Fit in a Rewrite of the Budget Process?” Witnesses include: Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI); Rep. David Price (D-NC); Philip Joyce, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean and Professor, University of Maryland School of Public Policy; Rudolph Penner, Ph.D., Institute Fellow, Urban Institute; and Alice Rivlin, Ph.D., Senior FellowThe Brookings Institution. 

·       On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Examining the SEC’s Agenda, Operations, and FY 2017 Budget Request.” The Honorable Mary Jo White, Chair, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will be the only witness.


·        On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosts the third of its Debt Collection Dialogues in Atlanta, GA. Representatives from the FTC, other federal and state law enforcement agencies, and the debt collection industry will discuss enforcement actions, consumer complaints, compliance issues, industry best practices, and how regulatory enforcement actions are investigated and pursued. Panelists include: Christopher Koegel, Assistant Director, Division of Financial Practices, FTC;Gregory Nodler, Senior Counsel for Enforcement Policy and Strategy, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB); Sam Olens, Attorney General, State of Georgia; Kenneth Lennon, Assistant Director, Community and Consumer Law Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; Harvey Moore, President, The Moore Law Group, and President, National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys; Tim Bauer, President, insideARM, and Co-Executive Director, The Consumer Relations Consortium; Brett Soldevila, Chief Compliance Officer, Security Credit Services; Nick Jarman, President and Chief Operating Officer, Delta Outsource Group;Carri Grube Lybarker, Administrator, South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs; Olha Rybakoff, Senior Counsel, Tennessee Attorney General’s Office; and John Sours, Director, Consumer Protection Unit, Georgia Department of Law.


·       On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Joint Economic Committee holds a hearing titled, “Millennial Voices on Advancing the American Dream.” Witnesses include: Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY);Jared Meyer, Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; and Jen Mishory, Executive Director, Young Invincibles.


·       On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics hosts a Google+ Hangout entitled, “A Conversation on College Access.” This interactive session will provide an opportunity to hear from programs, models, organizations, or initiatives that are helping close the achievement gap, from cradle-to-career, for Hispanics students, and for discussing ways to continue moving the needle on progress for Latino students and families forward. Viewers can participate via the Web stream, or by sending questions in during or in advance of the event through Google+, Twitter, Facebook or email. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

·       On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Markets Committee releases the minutes of its two-day meeting held on October 27-28, 2015.

·       On Thursday at 2:00 p.m.the Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases its Q3 2015Household Debt and Credit Report, which offers an updated snapshot of household trends in borrowing and indebtedness, including data about mortgages, student loans, credit cards, auto loans, and delinquencies.


Shared by SASFAA Legislative Relations' Committee.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Conference Highlights & Agenda

Greetings SASFAA!

It is a beautiful, sunny weekend in Greensboro, NC, and I wish you all were here to bask in the wonderful weather! In fact, this is the kind of weather I have ordered for February 7-10, 2016 for our 53rd Annual Conference. It is my pleasure to announce that the Conference Agenda is now available for your review on the SASFAA website (link below). Many thanks to the Conference Committee for securing all the sessions and speakers, and I appreciate, most especially, Brenda Brown as she prepared the agenda for posting as one of her committee duties. 

Our theme, Make An Impact! Advocacy, Education, and Inclusion, is evident in all aspects of the conference. We are dedicated to serving our entire association as well as the many students we assist. Topic-specific learning tracks have been created for this year's conference, as well.  Those tracks include Global Issues/Diversity, FA 101, Leadership, Compliance, Best Practices, and many more. 

Some highlights of speakers and activities from Conference 2016:

·        Major General Gerald W. Ketchum
·        Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.,  UNC Greensboro Chancellor
·        Justin Draeger, NASFAA President
·        Wood Mason, David Bartnicki, and Jeff Baker from the Department of Education
·        Beth Akers from the Brookings Institute
·        Dan Mann, NASFAA Chair
·        Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher of Fisher House: Helping Military Families, our selected charity
·        SUPER BOWL SUNDAY Game and Tailgate Festivities
·        Over 60+ breakout sessions! Including User Groups, Green Zone, Safe Zones, and much more
·        Pre-Conference Sessions: Mid-Level Managers' Workshop and NASFAA University sessions on Cost of Attendance and Professional Judgement
·        Lunch and Learn with our Vendors/Sponsors
·        Lip Sync Contest

Make plans to join Amy Berrier (SASFAA President), the Conference Committee, the entire Executive Board, and all of your SASFAA colleagues in wonderful Greensboro, NC!  Brenda Burke, the original Conference Chair until an awesome job opportunity in Utah wrangled her away from SASFAA, plans to join in the fun as well!  She did a lot of the conference work before accepting her new role, and, for that, SASFAA is extremely grateful! 

Please visit http://www.sasfaa.org/annualconference to view the conference agenda and to register for the pre-conference workshops and full conference!

See you all in February 2016. If you have questions to which you can't find answers on the site, please contact me.

Janet Nowicki

SASFAA 2016 Conference Chair

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Weekly Rundown - Week of November 2

·         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.

·         Through Wednesday, all-day, the National Consortium for School Counseling and Postsecondary Success holds the “Third White House Convening on Strengthening School Counseling and College Advising” at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL. The convening aims to provide the 50 state teams with the opportunity to strategize with states across the nation, review best practice models, and receive technical assistance to dramatically increase the number of traditionally underserved students prepared for, entering, and succeeding in postsecondary education. During the three-day event, Eric Waldo, Executive Director for the Reach Higher Initiative, will give opening remarks and promote the Better Make Room campaign, which seeks to reach students in high school about the importance of higher education; and Johan Uvin, Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, will give opening remarks and speak about the Administration's current priorities for Career Technical Education reauthorization.


·         Today at 3:30 p.m., the College Board hosts a briefing on the new 2015 Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports. Released annually, the trends report series provides the latest information on student financial aid, tuition and other expenses associated with attending college, and illustrates trends over time. The 2015 Trends reports include details on: Published tuition and fee and room and board charges at public and private colleges; Variation in tuition and fees across sectors, states, and regions; Enrollment patterns; Types and distribution of student financial aid; and Levels of student borrowing. The reports will be officially released on Wednesday.

·         On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the Brookings Institution holds an event titled, “How Do We Get to Tax Reform? Lessons from the Bush Panel,” which will discuss the economic and political lessons of the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform report going forward. Keynote remarks will be given by Jason Furman, Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisors. Panelists include: John Breaux, former U.S. Senator (D-LA); Rosanne Altshuler, Chair and Professor of Economics, Rutgers University; James Poterba, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Economic Research, and Mitsui Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Charles Rossotti, former Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service, and Operating Executive, The Carlyle Group; and Edward Lazear, former Chairman, White House Council of Economic Advisors, and Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources, Management and Economics, Stanford University.


·         Wednesday through Friday, all-day, NCHER holds its annual Knowledge Symposium in San Antonio, TX. The Knowledge Symposium is the nation’s only higher education conference dedicated to training and effective student loan debt management. During the three-day event, attendees will hear from officials with the U.S. Department of Education on the agency’s new rules on income-driven repayment plans, how it is ramping up efforts to ensure data security, and the latest activities of its student loan om­budsman and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on its recent ac­tivity in the federal and private student loan servicing space. The conference’s sessions will include an update on the Federal Communications Commission and Congressional action on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act; a summary of student loan-related studies from the Federal Reserve; an interesting presentation on a new FICO scoring system and how the scores impact you and your business; a session providing up-to-the minute information on the loan rehabilitation market, including the new Dear Colleague Letter on collection costs, the new process to assign loans to the Department of Education, and how industry leaders are managing their portfolios; a session involving local financial aid directors and college students; and breakout discussions on how to deal with difficult people, what programs are working to advance successful college access and success, how to prepare for a review by the CFPB, a look at the new military member benefits in the student loan space, new technologies to help you do more with less, and the ever-popular “Ask the Attorneys” segment. As a reminder, the Daily Briefing will not be published during the Knowledge Symposium; publication will resume Monday, November 9.


·         Wednesday through Friday, all day, the College Board holds its College Board Forum, an annual gathering of K-12 and higher education professionals that focuses on finding solutions to today’s most pressing education issues. Sessions include: Addressing the Challenge of College Readiness; Why Schools Should Promote 529 Plans; Skin in the Game: Implications of Financial Risk Sharing for Institutions; Approaches to Supporting First-Generation Students From Access to Success; Student-Centered Solutions to Reimagined Aid Design and Delivery; Early College Counseling: Dos, Don’ts, and Strategies for Success; Breaking Down NCES Data: An Overview of College Costs and Student Aid; Principles and Practices of Clear Financial Aid Communication; and the Implications of Income-Based Repayment Plans.

·         On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Semi-Annual Testimony on the Federal Reserve’s Supervision and Regulation of the Financial System.” The Honorable Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, will serve as the only witness.

·         On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Partnership for 21st Century Learning and the National After School Association hold a discussion entitled, “Beyond School Programs: Partners in College and Career Readiness,” to discuss the powerful role beyond school programs play in equipping all students with the knowledge and skills required for postsecondary success.


·         On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing entitled, “A Better Approach to Better Budgeting.” Witnesses include: Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA); Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE); William Batchelder, former Speaker, Ohio House of Representatives; and Robert Bixby, Executive Director, Concord Coalition.

·         On Wednesday at 12:00 p.m., Dr. Jill Biden attends and speaks at a “Heads Up America Open House” at LaGuardia Community College in New York City, NY. This event is part of the Second Lady’s ongoing efforts to underscore the importance of community colleges to America’s future and one of 80 being held in more than 15 states this fall to raise awareness about college affordability, instill local pride in community colleges, and spark new connections between community and campus leaders, employers, students, and family to create stronger support networks.

·         On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds a press briefing on “Looking Beyond the Macro Economy.” The briefing is intended to highlight the differences in economic outcomes of individuals, households, and regions observed when examining data in more granular detail than at the aggregate level. It will feature research findings from New York Fed economists on variances in income, employment, housing, access to credit, and health. It will also be accompanied by a series of blog posts on Liberty Street Economics, which will appear throughout the week. President William Dudley will provide remarks and join a panel of New York Fed economists to answer questions following the presentation. A live webcast of the briefing will be available to registered participants.

·         On Friday 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.

Posted on behalf of SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee.