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05/18/16 - Meet MASFAA's New Committee!
The Financial Literacy Committee doesn't have a MASFAA webpage yet, but you can still find out what they've been up to! Click on "more..." to read all about their recent meetings and plans for the future.  (more...)
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Are you familiar with NASFAA's Ask Mr. Ethics series? Using NASFAA's Code of Conduct as a guide, Mr. Ethics offers practical advice on topics such as: appropriate interactions between financial aid staff and campus vendors, keeping your award letter terminology clear, how to avoid a conflict of interest, and more. Are you working through a common ethical question and want some help? Email Mr. Ethics at [email protected] with your inquiry. We will make sure your identity remains anonymous if your question is chosen to run in Today's News. Check out prior Ask Mr. Ethics columns for guidance on handling other tricky situations.

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The Cost of Attendance Learning Byte offers snackable content focusing on COA authority, elements, and construction. By attending this self-paced online training session you are expected to improve your knowledge of COA concepts and understand how to apply those concepts to construct/critique your COA. Perfect for busy financial aid professionals, allowing you to access your material immediately - Register and Learn.

AskRegs

NASFAA's AskRegs Knowledgebase allows NASFAA members to search and browse for answers to financial aid regulatory and compliance questions submitted by NASFAA members. More than 30,000 searches are performed on the knowledgebase each month. But with more than 3,000 active Q&As, the numbers of search results can sometimes seem overwhelming. That's where the "advanced search" feature comes in. Learn how to refine your searches in AskRegs to find the information you're after.

NASFAA's National Conference and 50th Anniversary celebration is your chance to network, learn, catch up with old friends, and make some new ones. If you have registered for the 2016 NASFAA National Conference, you can see who has also registered on the conference website. Search the attendee list by institution/organization, state, or last name. Check back weekly as the list is updated to maximize your time in Washington, D.C. Don't miss the opportunity to solidify professional relationships by meeting face to face with someone who works across the state or the country who shares your financial aid challenges. Register today.

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Once an institution has demonstrated that it meets all Title IV eligibility criteria, it must enter into a program participation agreement (PPA) in order to receive and pay out federal student financial assistance. The PPA defines the terms and conditions that the institution must meet to begin and continue participation in the Title IV programs. Check out NASFAA's Student Aid Index for the statutory authority, regulations, ED references on PPA, and list of related subtopics. Start exploring the Index to discover all the information that's available right at your fingertips.

"Determined that he and his younger brother would go to college, Eduardo Medina's parents put money away in a savings account to pay for the tuition," The Atlantic reports. "It never added up to more than $5,000, and before he finished high school on his way to the Ivy League, they were compelled to use it for a different purpose: to help his grandmother avoid losing her home to foreclosure."

"It's that time of year, thousands of students get their college diploma, and a big bill they'll have to pay off," WPTV reports. "The bill may not be as big for future Florida graduates and their parents thanks to a new bill Governor Rick Scott signed into law Monday."

"This year's admissions headlines covered selectivity rates, surviving the process, getting into the dream school and Costco. On the whole, the headlines were fairly predictable. But next year? A look into the future suggests next year will be uncertain and even chaotic for students, families and most colleges during the admissions process," W. Kent Barnds writes for Inside Higher Ed.

"Low-income Memphis area high school students, who demonstrate potential for academic success, need all the encouragement they have earned," The Commercial Appeal writes in an editorial. "Let's hope nothing gets in the way of a plan announced by the U.S. Department of Education last week to offer Pell grants to students who land in dual enrollment classes at Southwest Tennessee Community College and William R. Moore College of Technology."

"When today's college freshmen were born in 1998, a year of in-state tuition at the University of Virginia cost less than $5,000. Now it's nearly $13,000. That's a worrying prospect for the parents of a newborn. It's hard enough to save for college. It's even harder when you don't know how much you'll need to save," according to Vox.

"In September 2015, the Obama administration released a massive amount of federal higher education data through a revised College Scorecard. Comprising more than 1,700 indicators for approximately 7,000 colleges, the College Scorecard showed the power of unlocking federal administrative data. It included the most comprehensive picture to date of student loan repayment rates, the earnings of students receiving federal aid, and debt levels at the institutional level," Ben Miller writes for the Center for American Progress. "Yet as impressive as these data were, they also had holes."

Twenty-two cities have been selected by the National College Access Network (NCAN) to receive up to $55,000 each for the FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant. Each city will use the funding to increase FAFSA completion rates by at least five percent for the graduating high school class of 2017. A full list of the selected cities and more information on the FAFSA Completion Challenge Grant can be found here.

According to a new quarterly report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, outstanding student loan balances grew by $29 billion since Q4 2015, to a total of $1.26 trillion. Meanwhile, the percentage of outstanding student loans more than 90 days delinquent or in default decreased slightly, from 11.5 percent to 11.0 percent in Q1 2016. However, the report noted that delinquency rates for student loans are likely understated because loans in deferment, in grace periods, or in forbearance are not counted because they are not in the repayment cycle. The adjusted delinquency rate would be about twice as high, the report said, making the true delinquency rate about 22 percent.

On June 3, 2016, the Department will send the message class "MESSAGTB" via the Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) to all user mailboxes. The EDconnect transmission software will automatically request, download, and import this new message class table with a user's next connection to the SAIG network. Once the MESSAGTB file has been imported, the new message class table will be used from that point forward.

 
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