Monday, October 31, 2016

This Week in Legislation (Includes 2 Weeks)

**Please note that this legislative update includes the weeks of both October 31 and November 7 due to the upcoming Knowledge Symposium.
Week of October 31

·       This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in recess. Lawmakers will return to legislative business on Tuesday, November 14, following the general election.

·       On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education is expected to publish the final regulation on Borrower Defenses to Repayment in the Federal Register.

·       On Tuesday at 1:00 p.m., Academic Impressions hosts a webinar titled, “Tuition: Raise It, Lower It, or Stay the Course?” The webcast will provide an in-depth, example-based overview of different pricing models and key considerations that should go into a decision to raise, lower, or maintain tuition. Participants will be able to place their tuition setting decisions within a macro context, clearly frame the arguments for various tuition strategies, assess the risks associated with each course of action, and explain the implications of different tuition strategies on enrollment and net tuition revenue. The webinar will be of greatest benefit to leadership from enrollment management, finance, business, marketing, and financial aid. For details and to register, visit the Academic Impressions website.
·       On Wednesday and Thursday, all day, American Student Assistance (ASA) hosts a “National Summit on Solutions for Student Debt” in Boston, MA. National experts in higher education policy, behavioral economists, business leaders, student borrowers, and government leaders will discuss concrete solutions for alleviating the burden of student loan debt for students, employees, entrepreneurs, and the leaders of tomorrow. Discussion topics include: The Growing Impact of Student Debt on Unexpected Industries; Minimizing the Risk of Borrowing for Education; Better Serving Populations Negatively Impacted by Student Debt; Encouraging the Right Level of Borrowing with College Savings Plans; Borrowing More Wisely and Choosing the Right Financial Fit; Changing College Delivery Models to Lessen Amounts Borrowed; Using Behavioral Science Tools to Improve Borrower Outcomes; Managing Debt by Changing Who Pays: Employer Loan Repayment; Managing Debt by Changing How We Pay: A Look at Income Share Agreements; How Are Schools Helping Their Students Lower Debt and Manage it Better?; and How Are Student Borrowers Mobilizing to Take Control of the Student Debt Issue? For additional details on attending the summit, visit the ASA website.

·       On Friday at 9:00 a.m., the American Enterprise Institute holds a discussion titled, “Why has Economic Growth Been So Slow, and How Can We Speed it Up?” Lawrence Summers, President Emeritus, Harvard University, and Robert Barro, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics, Harvard University, talk with Greg Ip, Editor-in-Chief, The Wall Street Journal about economic stagnation, our nation’s current economic weaknesses, and how policymakers should respond to these developments.

Week of November 7

The NCHER Daily Briefing will be on a publishing break next Monday, November 7, through Wednesday, November 9, due to the 2016 Knowledge Symposium.

·       This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in recess. Lawmakers will return to legislative business on Tuesday, November 14, following the general election..
·       On Monday 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 Tuesday, all-day, general elections are held throughout the United States, including the election for President and key races for control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

·       On Thursday at 8:45 a.m., the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosts a panel discussion titled, “What Will the 2016 Election Mean for Education?” The event will analyze what the 2016 election means for early childhood education, K-12 schooling, and higher education. Panelists include: Jason Delisle, Resident Fellow, AEI; Frederick Hess, Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies, AEI; Alyson Klein, Reporter, Education Week; Gerard Robinson, Resident Fellow, AEI; Scott Sargrad, Managing Director, K-12 Education Policy, Center for American Progress; and Katharine Stevens, Research Fellow, Education Policy Studies, AEI. Andy Smarick, Resident Fellow, AEI, will serve as moderator. 

This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

This Week in Legislation


Week of October 24 
       This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in recess. Lawmakers will return to legislative business on Tuesday, November 14, following the general election.
       Today, all day, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds its Second Annual Conference titled, “The Future of Treasury Market Settlement,” in New York, NY. Session topics include Data Reporting in the U.S. Treasury Market, Clearing and Settlement in Treasury Markets, and Ongoing Evolution of Treasury Market Structure and Liquidity. Speakers include: William Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York; The Honorable Mary Jo White, Chair, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; The Honorable Timothy Massad, Chairman, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; The Honorable Jerome Powell, Member, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; and Antonio Weiss, Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury. The event will be livestreamed on the Fed’s website. 
       Today at 8:45 a.m., Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. delivers remarks highlighting the progress of America’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) at the 2016 National HBCU Week Conference in Arlington, VA. The event is hosted by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
       Today at 12:30 p.m., the College Board releases its 2016 Trends in College Pricing and Trends in Student Aid reports. 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 reports include details about: 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.
       On Wednesday through Friday, all day, the College Board hosts its Forum 2016 in Chicago, IL. During the event, attendees will attend sessions titled, “Trends in Higher Education,” “After Expanding Access: Retention and Success Strategies that Work,” “Developing an Income Share Agreement Program at Purdue,” “Net Cost and Student Loans: Understanding the Return on Investment,” “A First Look at How the College Scorecard is Influencing Student Choices,” “Predicting the Future: Early FAFSA and Prior-Prior Year,” and “How Much Debt is Too Much Debt?”

       On Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hosts a meeting of the Robocall Strike Force, an industry-led group that has been working to develop comprehensive solutions to present, detect, and filter unwanted robocalls. Tom Wheeler, Chairman, FCC; Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, FCC; Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC; Ajit Pai, Commissioner, FCC; Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, FCC; and Randall Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer, AT&T, and Chair, Robocall Strike Force, will provide remarks.
       On Thursday, all day, the CFPB holds a meeting of its Consumer Advisory Committee to discuss student loan servicing issues, debt collection, and trends and themes regarding student loans. The meeting will feature remarks from Richard Cordray, Director, CFPB; Seth Frotman, Student Loan Ombudsman, and Assistant Director for the Office for Students and Young Consumers, CFPB; John McNamara, Acting Assistant Director for Installment Lending and Collections Markets, CFPB; Judith Fox, Member, Consumer Advisory Board; and Joann Needleman, Member, Consumer Advisory Board. For details or to listen to the live stream of the event, visit the CFPB website.
       On Thursday at 2:00 p.m., the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center holds a webinar to release the Fourth Annual High School Benchmarks Report: National College Progression Rates. The report provides new data on high school graduates’ college access, persistence, and completion outcomes. Afet Dundar, Director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, will provide details about the research findings and how schools can benchmark their students’ outcomes to those of other schools with similar characteristics and schools that use the Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for high school service. For details and to register, visit the National Student Clearinghouse website. 

       Friday is the deadline to submit public comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s Application for Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment Form (“Universal Borrower Defense Form”). The form will ensure that all borrowers have a consistent platform to petition for relief, and to facilitate the Department’s receipt of clear and complete information necessary to process applications efficiently. The form will also facilitate processing claims from student borrowers who believe that they have a borrower defense claim regarding their federal student loans, and provide borrowers with an easily accessible and clear method to provide the information necessary for the Department to review and process claim applications efficiently. Comments can be submitted on the U.S.Department of Education’s website. 
       On Friday at 9:30 a.m., Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. delivers remarks at “Connecting the Dots: Cultural Competence, Counseling, and College and Career Readiness of Underserved Youth,” hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, American University, and the National Consortium for School Counseling and Postsecondary Success.

This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

SASFAA Congratulates Dave Cecil on Retirement

Dear SASFAA Members,
It is with mixed emotions that I bring this announcement to you.  Our friend, colleague and mentor to many – Dave Cecil will be retiring at the end of this month and assuming a full-time Grandpa role.  Many of us in the financial aid community will miss seeing him at various conferences and meetings.  On a personal note, I appreciate his friendship and mentorship to me through the years.  My first SASFAA committee work was under his leadership. Dave has dedicated over three decades to the financial aid profession and assisting students achieve their educational dreams.  What a legacy he leaves.  Oh  to know the number of lives he has impacted over the years both students and colleagues.  He will be greatly missed. Please see the announcement from his current office below.
Marian Dill
2016-17 SASFAA President
On October 28, 2016, Dave Cecil will retire from his position as Associate Vice President for Financial Aid at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.  He has served Transylvania and its students in this role for nearly 20 years.  He began his financial aid career at Eastern Kentucky University in 1980.
At the state level, Dave served Kentucky as president in 2010-2011, and was presented with KASFAA’s highest honor, the Herb Vescio Distinguished Service Award, in 2005.  Regionally, he served as president of SASFAA in 1994-1995, and was SASFAA Treasurer for four years.  In 1998, Dave received the SASFAA Distinguished Service Award.  He was honored with the NASFAA Leadership Award in 2006.  Throughout his career, he has been an active member on many committees at the national, regional and state levels.
In addition to serving his students and in professional organizations, Dave has mentored many in the financial aid community—both in their careers and in their leadership in financial aid associations.  He also has a large extended family of work study “kids,” several of whom have taken the somewhat common path from financial aid work study student to financial aid professional.
Dave’s retirement plans include a move to the Indianapolis area and full-time grandparenting.
Letters or cards of congratulations can be sent to:
Dave Cecil
Transylvania University
Office of Financial Aid
300 North Broadway, OM 300
Lexington, KY 40508

Monday, October 17, 2016

This Week in Legislation

Week of October 17

·       This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in recess. Lawmakers will return to legislative business on Tuesday, November 14, following the general election.
·       Today and Tuesday, all day, the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships holds its National Conference, which includes presentations, speakers, and discussions about the latest innovations and practices in the field, cutting-edge research, national trends and legislation, in Louisville, KY. During the conference, attendees will hear presentations on tuition free alternative diploma paths; concurrent enrollment disparities in rural areas; best practices and issues for high schools, community colleges, and private colleges; graduation rates for concurrent enrollment; bringing programs to scale; concurrent enrollment instructors; and trends in state policy.

·       Today at 12:15 p.m., Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer gives a speech titled, “Low Interest Rates,” at the Economic Club of New York Luncheon in New York City, NY.
·       On Tuesday through Friday, all-day, the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP) holds its 50th Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL. During the conference, attendees will receive updates on federal higher education policy from NASSGAP Federal Liaison Frank Ballmann, NCHER President James Bergeron, and Deputy Under Secretary of Education Jeff Appel participate in discussions on the implementation of free community college, new ways to model affordability, strategies to serve adult students, early commitment aid programs, redesigning state financial aid, and Free Application for Student Financial Aid outreach.

·       On Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., the National Academy of Public Administration and the Brookings Institution host an event titled, “The Federal Budget Process: Turning Reform into Political Reality.” Panelists will provide insights from their experiences to identify the strategies and scenarios that are most likely to result in successfully reforming the budget process. Participants on the first panel, “Fixing a Flawed Federal Budget Process,” include: Daniel Blair, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Academy of Public Administration; F. Stevens Redburn, Professorial Lecturer in Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University; and Phil Joyce, Senior Associate Dean, Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. Participants on the second panel, “Overcoming Political Obstacles in Reforming the Federal Budget Process,” include: Stuart Butler, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution; Roy Meyers, Professor of Political Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Molly Reynolds, Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution; Bill Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center; and Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Center for Health Policy. The event will be livestreamed on the Brookings website.
·       On Wednesday through Friday, all day, the Competency-Based Education Network holds its National Conference in Phoenix, AZ. The meeting will convene practitioners, researchers, students, employers, and vendors who will discuss the latest lessons, developments, and experiences in competency-based education (CBE). Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell will discuss what’s next in CBE and higher education innovation, and attendees will participate in discussions on: “Assessment in CBE: Research and Practice;” “What Does Quality Look Like: A Recipe for Responsible Innovation;” “EdTech’s Instrumental Role in CBE Transformation;” and “The Essential Element: Wraparound Student Support Services.” To learn more, to register, or to become a sponsor or exhibitor, visit the CBEExchange website.
·       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.

This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October State Legislative Update

State Legislative Update                               

October 2016

Legislative news from across the SASFAA region, prepared by your 2016-2017 SASFAA Legislative Relations Committee.

Christen Neher – SASFAA Legislative Relations Chair
Ron Gambill – TASFAA Governmental Relations Chair
Mary Kosin – NCASFAA Legislative Advisory Chair
Vanessa Fulton – GASFAA Legislative Affairs Chair
Erin Klarer – KASFAA Legislative Chair
Jennifer Epperson – AASFAA Legislative Relations Chair
Francisco Valines – FASFAA Legislative Relation Chair
Della Bays – VASFAA Government Relations Chair
Michael Moseley – MASFAA Legislative Chair
Joey Derrick – SCASFAA Legislative Relations Chair
Amy Berrier – SASFAA Past President


U.S. Secretary of Education, John King, joins Governor Robert Bentley on visit to Limestone Prison:

Alabama Community College Merges Continue:



Tennessee Achieves, a partnering organization to the Tennessee Promise program, is seeking 9,000 mentors to work with high school students from the class of 2017.  Mentors serve as a resource for first generation college students seeking to participate in the Tennessee Promise program.

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the Board of the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation met and adopted changes to the rules for the Tennessee Promise Scholarship and the Ned McWherter Scholars Program to increase participation and simplify the process for students.  Additionally, the Board approved the Operating Budget Request for 2017-2018.



Revenue from the Kentucky Lottery funds the three largest and most well-known grant and scholarship programs in our state: The merit-based Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship or KEES, and two need-based programs, the College Access Program (CAP) and the Kentucky Tuition Grant (KTG). While the KEES program will not be affected by the early FAFSA application period, CAP and KTG are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis with the FAFSA serving as the only application. Last week two media events were sponsored by the Kentucky Lottery in the Louisville and Lexington TV markets, as well as through print and social media, to gain awareness of the October 1 FAFSA date. Officials from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority gave advice on using 2015 tax information, creating unique usernames and passwords, as well as other helpful tips for students and families when completing their applications.  Until a recent legislative change, the Kentucky Lottery was prohibited from advertising that their revenue funded state education programs. Since that law has been repealed, however, the Kentucky Lottery has become a great partner in advocacy and awareness for student financial aid.


REACH Signing Day – September 20th, 2016

The REACH (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) program was launched by Governor Deal in 2012 and is administrated by the Georgia Student Finance Authority. School systems partner with REACH and identity academically promising, low-income eighth grade students to receive the REACH scholarships. The students are paired with a mentor and an academic coach through high school and upon high school graduation they are awarded up to a $10,000 scholarship to be used at a Georgia HOPE-eligible two or four year college. On September 20th GSFC announced that 353 Georgia students became REACH Scholars bringing the total Scholar participants to over 680 in 69 participating school districts. This year’s signing day REACH launched a pilot program in partnership with the Division of Family and Children Services to bring the REACH program to 30 foster youth students. “The REACH program is a strategic investment in our students as well as our state, opening doors for youth in Georgia who may not otherwise be able to afford postsecondary education, “ said Deal. “The Scholars who signed contracts today and among Georgia’s most promising students and this commitment will help them attend college and achieve their dreams.”



The Mississippi Post-Secondary Education Financial Assistance Board voted on September 19th to request the Legislature repeal nine programs it considers “small, ineffective, outdated or misplaced state-supported Student Financial Aid programs.”  The financial assistance board’s recommendations will be considered by the Legislature during its 2017 session.

Currently, the state authorizes 37 different state financial aid programs. Three of those programs, the Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant, the Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant and the Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students, account for 76 percent of the funds awarded to students each year. The remaining 34 programs, which include the 10 considered by the board Monday, account for only 24 percent.

Source and list of programs recommended for repeal can be found here: 

MS Post-Secondary Education Financial Assistance Board meetings and minutes:


Monday, October 3, 2016

This Week in Legislation

Week of October 3

·       This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in recess. Lawmakers will return to legislative business on Tuesday, November 14, following the general election.

·       On Tuesday at 3:30 p.m., the American Society for Public Administration holds a discussion on “Public Administration Perspectives on the Future of Higher Education,” focusing on fulfilling social value objectives. The first panel will feature scholars offering their research-based perspectives on higher education and the impact of public opinion polling, consumer groups, social media, the 24-hour news cycle, and emerging technologies. Speakers include: Geoff Cox, ‎Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Administration, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University; Ann Khademian, Director, School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Tech; Bob Shireman, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation; and moderator Derrick Anderson, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University. The second panel will feature public administrators and college presidents with public administration and public policy backgrounds offering first-hand, executive perspectives on these challenges and their significance to higher education. Speakers include: Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University; H. George Frederickson, Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, University of Kansas; Jane McAuliffe, Director of John W. Kluge Center and Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress; and moderator James Perry, Editor-in-Chief, Public Administration Review. For details and to register, visit the ASPA website.

·       On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Center for American Progress (CAP) releases a report and hosts a panel discussion titled, “Assuring College Quality: How Alternative Approaches Could Encourage Innovation and Protect Consumers.” The report is a vision for a new system that could complement and compete with regional accreditors by encouraging innovation and setting rigorous standards for quality. The panel discussion will include alternative ways of encouraging access to federal aid for innovative new providers while better ensuring taxpayer dollars go to good use and will explore questions such as: How do we balance more innovation in higher education with the need for strong consumer protection? What strengths of the existing quality assurance system should be kept and what weaknesses should be fixed? And where do different solutions share common themes? Panelists include: Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; Judith Eaton, President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation; Paul Freedman, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Entangled Ventures; and Ben Miller, Senior Director, Postsecondary Education, CAP. Goldie Blumenstyk, Senior Writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, will serve as moderator. To register, visit the CAP website.
·       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.

·       On Saturday through Monday, all-day, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) holds its 30th Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX. The conference is an opportunity to discuss the emerging trends in higher education affecting Hispanics and Hispanic-Servicing Institutions, distance education, student-centered learning, and outcomes assessment, and promote and expand partnerships and strategic alliances for collaboration between HACU member institutions and public and private sector organizations. For more information on the conference, including the program agenda, visit HACU’s website.


This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.



This Week in Legislation

Week of September 26

·       This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. While neither chamber is expected to consider student financial aid-related legislation, Congress is expected to pass a Continuing Resolution that provides temporary funding for federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, prior to the start of the federal fiscal year that begins on Saturday, October 1st.

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

·       On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Joint Economic Committee holds a hearing titled, “The ‘New Normal’? An Assessment of the Economic Recovery.” Witnesses include: Lawrence Kudlow, Senior Contributor, CNBC, and Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kudlow and Co., LLC; Dr. Veronique de Rugy, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center, George Mason University; and The Honorable Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, and Visiting Fellow in Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution.

·       On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) hold a briefing titled “Make Debt Free College a Reality.” Participants include: Tamara Draut, Vice President of Policy and Research, Demos; Maggie Thompson, Executive Director, Generation Progress; Jennifer Wang, Washington Director, the Institute for College Access and Success; Jennifer Mishory, Executive Director, Young Invincibles; and Mark Huelsman, Senior Policy Analyst, Demos. To RSVP, send an email to alicia.Molt@mail.house.gov.


·       On Thursday at 3:30 p.m., the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) holds a meeting of its Community Bank Advisory Council to discuss youth capability and debt collection. The meeting will feature opening remarks from Director Richard Cordray and a discussion with Sunaena Lehil, K-12 Senior Policy and Innovation Analyst for Financial Education; Cassandra McConnell-Tatum, Deputy Assistant Director for Financial Education; Kristin McPartland, Senior Council for Regulations; and John McNamara, Acting Assistant Director for Markets. To register for the meeting, click here.


·       On Thursday at 4:00 p.m., Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen participates in “A Conversation with Conference Panelists,” at the Banking and the Economy Forum for Minority Bankers hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, MO.


This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.