SA Weekly: May 13

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more. 

Partisan Contrast in Spending on Student Aid “Spending bill approved by Democratic appropriators proposes increases for Pell Grants, work-study and direct aid to colleges, but Republicans balk at price tag.”

Discount Rates Hit Record Highs “For first time, rates for freshmen at private colleges top 50 percent.”

Warren Zeroes In on Race “Massachusetts Democrat’s student debt forgiveness plan explicitly addresses racial disparities in student debt, an unusual step for a presidential campaign proposal.”

Full Shutdown “Johns Hopkins students are refusing to leave administration building until officials cancel plans to form an armed police force. Activists are worried about the potential for racial profiling.”

Paying for Students to Move “The largest technical college in Kansas is paying relocation and housing costs for students to move to the area, many from other states, to deal with a work-force shortage in the local aviation industry.”

Community College Expands Internationally to Grow Enrollment “Hudson Valley Community College plans to offer classes overseas in an effort to stabilize enrollment and keep faculty employed.”

Policy Update

2019 NASPA Hill Days: Empowering Student Affairs Professionals for Congressional Advocacy

Federal Updates 

FY2020 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill

Committees: House Appropriations Committee

Latest Action: On May 8, 2019 the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill on a vote of 30 to 23.

The bill has been praised by higher education associations, including NASPA, for it matching Student Aid Alliance funding request levels for the first time ever. The bill also includes $50 million for gun violence research, split between the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and $150 million for career and technical training programs. 

Politico has also reported on language included in the FY2020 report accompanying the legislation that condemns the delay in relief to defrauded borrowers through the stall in implementation of the borrower defense to repayment rule, aims to prevent the Department of Education (ED) from using federal funds to arm teachers, and expresses concern regarding the proposed ED regulation on Title IX.

Members of Congress Urge Secretary DeVos to Reinstate May 2016 DCL on Extending Title IX Protections to Trans and Gender Non-Binary Individuals

May 13, 2019

A letter addressed to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from 44 members of Congress urges that, given the amount of discrimination faced by trans and gender non-binary people and Secretary DeVos’s awareness of this issue, she should reinstate the May 2016 Dear Colleague Letter that would extend sex discrimination protections to include gender identity under Title IX. 

Regulatory Updates

Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Direct Loan, FFEL, Perkins and TEACH Grant Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Application and Related Forms

  • Notice by the Education Department, May 10, 2019
  • In the notice and comment period with comment period ending on July 9, 2019 

Summary from the Final Rule: “In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.” 

Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

  • A Notice by the Education Department (ED), May 6, 2019
  • In the notice and comment period, with a comment period that ends on July 5, 2019

Summary from Federal Register: “The United States Department of Education will collect data through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) from Federal Perkins Loan holders (or their servicers) and Guaranty Agencies (GA) about Federal Perkins, Federal Family Education, and William D. Ford Direct Student Loans to be used to manage the federal student loan programs, develop policy, and determine eligibility for programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). NSLDS also holds data about Federal Grants, including PELL, ACG/SMART, and TEACH. NSLDS is used for research, policy analysis, monitoring student enrollment, calculating default rates, monitoring program participants and verifying student eligibility. This revision includes updates to the systems with which NSLDS collects and shares data. We have also updated the associations with which we consult to ensure reporting requirements meet with institutional capabilities.”

Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments

Around NASPA

Mental Wellness on College Campuses and Gen Z by Megan Boone, LEAD Initiative

Membership Spotlight: Missouri by Molly C.S. Pierson, Region IV-W

Against All Odds: Increasing Latinx Postsecondary Completion Through Sense of Belonging by Nancy Martinez, Community Colleges Division