By Teri Lyn Hinds, Director for Research and Practice, August 21, 2018
Earlier this month, NASPA Policy Analyst Diana Ali summarized “What You Need to Know About Borrower Defense to Repayment” following the release of a final proposed rule by the Department of Education (ED) for public comment in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Since then, Diana has been busy reviewing the NPRM and drafting comments in response to the proposed rule, which NASPA is now circulating for sign-on among our colleagues in other student affairs-related associations. As Diana noted, any member of the public can submit comments in response to an NPRM. Because we know that it can be difficult to know how to start, this post by NASPA Director of Policy Research and Advocacy Teri Lyn Hinds provides student affairs professionals a guide and template they can work from to submit comments on the borrower defense to repayment (BDR) proposed rule published on July 31, 2018 by the Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education, 83 Fed. Reg. 37242.
By Dr. Jill Dunlap, Director for Research and Practice, August 23, 2018
Back in April, NASPA conducted a series of listening sessions on Title IX in anticipation of what was then expected to be a late April notice of proposed rulemaking announcement from the Department of Education (ED). In anticipation of that process, NASPA held a series of nine listening sessions with more than 250 student affairs administrators. Although the timeline for the NPRM process has since been delayed until September or possibly October, NASPA has compiled several themes from the listening sessions which will ultimately be used to guide NASPA in its official comments to ED as an association. The comments we received represent a diverse range of opinions from student affairs professionals whose roles involve an array of vantage points and connectedness to sexual misconduct cases.
By Reuters Staff, Reuters, August 23, 2018
The chose made a bi-partisan attempt to prevent a government shutdown by compromising on passing an $854 billion Defense, Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor Department spending bill last week. Timing remains tight for bill passage, as both the House and Senate have to come to an agreement and receive approval from President Trump before September 30 which marks the end of FY2018. The bill includes a $541 million boost for education programs.
By Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 27, 2018
As a statement of protest, Seth Frotman, student-loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced his upcoming resignation next month. His resignation letter notes that consumers are no longer the focus of the CFPB, and that the Department of Education’s decision to cease oversight measures through CFPB partnership undermines the work of the bureau. This decision comes closely following broader concerns regarding Secretary of Education DeVos’s efforts to roll-back protections for student borrowers.
By Andrew Kreighbaum, Inside Higher Ed, August 27, 2018
Newly released data show that the share of borrowers in default continues to climb after a three-year window, which is the typical marker in the federal government’s primary accountability rule for colleges and universities. For those borrowers entering into repayment in 2012, more than 10 percent had entered into default within three years, but that number rises to 16 percent after five years into repayment. To this end, Ben Miller, Senior Director for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress recommends that education policy should hold colleges accountable for loan repayment rates in addition to default rates and assessed over a five-year window.
By S.M., The Economist, August 28, 2018
In late April, federal court Judge John Bates ordered that DACA should be reinstated, however, after the April court decision, Texas and six other states sued the Trump administration to end the DACA program after three separate district courts ruled that the initiative must continue. This case is still in progress, and should an injunction be issued through the case in Texas the case will likely reach the appellate or Supreme Court level before it is resolved.
**Check for updates in the coming months. Most states return to session in January 2019**
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) (Introduced 06/20/2018)
-Latest Action: 08/23/2018 Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 85-7
Last week, the Senate, currently in a rare mid-August session, passed their amended version of the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill in an attempt to merge House and Senate versions of the bill, and receive the approval of President Trump, to avoid a government shutdown before September 30.
**Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments**
-Proposed Rule by Department of Education on 08/14/2018
-Comment period that ends on 09/13/2018
-Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education
Summary: “The Secretary proposes to rescind the gainful employment (GE) regulations, which added to the Student Assistance General Provisions requirements for programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. The Department plans to update the College Scorecard, or a similar web-based tool, to provide program-level outcomes for all higher education programs, at all institutions that participate in the programs authorized by title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which would improve transparency and inform student enrollment decisions through a market-based accountability system.”
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