This week on "Off The Cuff," Megan, Stephen, and Allie talk about the short-lived government shutdown and what Congress is doing to wrap up budget negotiations before the current continuing resolution expires early next month. The team talks about the latest Senate education committee hearing on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, and what route the Senate might take when putting together a reauthorization bill. The team digs into new information related to Federal Student Aid's proposed prepaid debit card for students and what questions remain moving forward. Plus, which NASFAA staffer transformed into the office bird in someone's dream?
This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Megan, Stephen, and Allie dig into discussions from a Senate committee hearing on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA). The hearing — one in a series on reauthorization — focused on how lawmakers can update the HEA to make the federal financial aid system more simple and transparent for students and families. Among other issues, one concern the senators discussed was whether financial aid award letters could do a better job of explaining cost of attendance and aid to students. Plus, Stephen tells us about the latest developments with a federal funding plan, and what may cause the government to shut down this weekend.
In a special episode of "Off The Cuff," Justin, Megan, Stephen, and Karen answer member questions on the House Republicans' Higher Education Act reauthorization bill, the PROSPER Act. Following up on a mid-December webinar focused on the basics of the new bill, members of the policy team dig into more specific questions on some of the bill's provisions. The team explains the philosophy behind some of the lawmakers' proposals, and explains how certain aspects of the bill — such as a revised R2T4 calculation and "aid like a paycheck" — might work together. The team also answers questions related to the Pell Grant program, student loans and repayment, counseling, and the Federal Work-Study program.
This week on "Off The Cuff," Director of Policy Analysis Karen McCarthy joins the team to give an update on the latest discussions from the second session of borrower defense negotiated rulemaking. Karen and Allie highlight the most contentious issues that came up in the second session, and where there might be areas for tentative agreement. Justin, Megan, and Stephen discuss how the outlook for legislative progress in 2018 might change after the Republicans' retreat. Plus, Stephen gives an update on federal budget negotiations and how disagreement over DACA is complicating the process.
This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Megan, Stephen, and Allie start by discussing hot topics of the new year, including whether schools need to report unsolicited personally identifiable information, and a likely forthcoming dip in verification numbers. Stephen walks us through what's next as Congress again works to avoid a government shutdown this month, and which policy issues might complicate the process. Plus, Allie and Justin dive into the next negotiated rulemaking session for borrower defense and what ED has proposed in draft regulatory language. The team also gives some predictions for higher education movement in 2018, and asks for listener thoughts on which issues they think will rise to the surface.