Financial Aid

News & Analysis as of

Fear No FAFSA: H.R. 5528

This is the second installment in a series examining five bipartisan bills advanced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22, 2016. The original post summarizing all five bills was posted in Education...more

FY2017 Massachusetts Budget Update: The Senate Budget

The Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously to pass its FY2017 state budget just before midnight on Thursday, May 26. The spending plan, which totals $39.558 billion, spends $60 million more than Governor Baker’s proposal and...more

Congress Inquires About College and University Endowments

US House Committee on Ways and Means and US Senate Committee on Finance issue joint letter to colleges and universities with endowments greater than $1 billion. On February 8, the US Senate Committee on Finance and the...more

The nuts and bolts of HEA Reauthorization

As most in higher education are aware, Congress presently is working to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), the seminal legislation that created and governs the administration of...more

Education Department Reverses Course on Prohibition Against Incentive Compensation Based on Retention and Graduation; Clears Way...

On November 27, 2015, the United States Department of Education announced a reversal of its previously existing prohibition against the payment of incentive compensation based on students’ program completion or graduation...more

The Nuts and Bolts of Reauthorization

As most in higher education are aware, Congress is currently working to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), the seminal legislation that created and governs the administration of the federal...more

CFPB sues company and owner for alleged student financial aid scam

A new lawsuit filed by the CFPB in a California federal district court alleges that the defendants, a company and its individual owner, are engaged in a nationwide student financial aid scam. In addition to injunctive relief,...more

Ninth Circuit Holds That NCAA’s Amateurism Rules Violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act

In a decision handed down on September 30th, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court’s ruling that the NCAA’s “amateurism” rules unlawfully restrained trade in the market for certain...more

Alert: New Proposal Offers Limited Access to Federal Student Aid for Alternative Providers

On October 15, 2015, the US Department of Education ("ED") issued a long-awaited notice announcing an "Experimental Sites Initiative" ("ESI") to permit limited access to federal loan and grant programs for students enrolled...more

Alert: ED Guidance on Competency-Based Education: Barriers to Adoption Remain

Institutions that are in the process of developing competency-based education ("CBE") programs now have a clearer window to the US Department of Education's perspective on how federal student financial aid rules can...more

Is Your Institution Ready for the October 1 Clery Report Deadline?

By October 1, all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs must publish and distribute to all current and prospective students and employees an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. As in...more

Alert: "Ability to Benefit" is Back, But Not the Same

Recently, a number of third-party test providers have begun promoting the Department of Education's ("ED") approval of their Ability-to-Benefit ("ATB") assessments by notifying institutions that, after a three-year hiatus,...more

Alert: Seven Steps To Prepare For The New Gainful Employment Rule

The Gainful Employment Rules became effective on July 1, 2015, and you probably already know that your institution has a deadline to report six years' worth of institutional, student and financial data to the Department of...more

CFPB settles action against provider of student financial aid assistance

The CFPB has announced a proposed settlement with Student Financial Aid Services, Inc. (SFAS) to resolve charges that the company engaged in unlawful sales and billing practices in connection with offering fee-based financial...more

Department of Education requests emergency review of Guaranty Agencies’ security over student financial aid information

On July 16, 2015, the Department of Education issued a request through notice to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for emergency clearance so that Federal Student Aid (FSA) can initiate a formal security assessment...more

5 Ways to Pay for College

Here in Arizona it seems that school starts earlier each year. With the new school year right around the corner it is a good time for soon- to – be seniors and current college students to put some time into planning out how...more

Alert: California Approves Pathway for Non-Profit Institutions to Maintain Exemption from State Oversight

Governor Jerry Brown has now signed into law Senate Bill 81, which included language amending the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (the "Act") to permit "independent institutions of higher education"...more

Alert: Recent Developments on State Authorization at Department of Education and in California

The US Department of Education ("ED" or "the Department") has decided against an earlier plan to send letters to every institution believed to be out-of-compliance (or rather, located in a state that is considered...more

U.S. Department of Education Proposes New Restrictions on Campus Financial Products

The U.S. Department of Education has issued proposed revisions to its Title IV Higher Education Act (HEA) cash management rules that include significant new restrictions on financial products used to disburse credit balance...more

No ‘Gain’? Know Pain: Coming Federal Regulations Could Mean Less Federal Aid for Colleges and Universities

New federal education regulations take effect this summer that could substantially reduce federal aid to community colleges and for-profit colleges whose students fail to meet certain standards for finding “gainful...more

Special Needs Trusts and Financial Aid: What Should Applicants Do?

Out of all of the stress-inducing steps in the college application process, the financial aid application may be the most confusing and stressful of all, especially when an applicant can't afford to attend college without...more

Department of Education releases new gainful employment regulations

On October 30, the Department of Education published a new set of regulations detailing what it means to be providing an education program that leads to gainful employment in a recognized occupation. This “Gainful Employment...more

Why colleges in bankruptcy should have access to federal financial aid

With the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in full swing, the time is ripe for Congress to reconsider current laws prohibiting postsecondary institutions that declare bankruptcy from participating in the...more

Congress and the Higher Education Act: what’s on the table? What’s to come? Our look at the major proposals

Congress is well into the process of passing a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), and many members of Congress have introduced bills addressing many aspects of higher education that concern the public....more

Managing the announcement of a Department of Education Program Review

Following the initial release of the well-known and controversial 2010 GAO report concerning alleged abuses in the for-profit sector, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a public letter to Senators Tom Harkin and Mike...more

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