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Take the Mic

NASFAA’s staff and elected officers are frequently out and about, speaking on the issues that matter to our members at key events in both the Washington, DC policy community and at state and regional conferences. Next month, NASFAA Vice President Megan Coval will speak at the Chesapeake and Potomac Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (CAPACRAO) Annual Conference in Laurel, MD. Head to the Events Calendar to see what's on tap for the next couple of months and check back frequently for updates.

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"Four floors above a dull cinder-block lobby in a nondescript building at the Ohio State University, the doors of a slow-moving elevator open on an unexpectedly futuristic 10,000-square-foot laboratory bristling with technology. It's a reveal reminiscent of a James Bond movie. In fact, the researchers who run this year-old, $750,000 lab at OSU's Spine Research Institute resort often to Hollywood comparisons," The Atlantic reports.

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"Community college systems are finding they're under more scrutiny than ever before, especially when it comes to whether their students complete programs and graduate," Inside Higher Ed reports.

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"For many recent graduates, student loan debt is literally giving them nightmares," CNBC reports. "Over the last decade, college-loan balances in the United States have jumped to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion, according to a recent report by Experian. The average outstanding balance is $34,144, up 62 percent over the last 10 years."

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"President Trump will extend a March 5 deadline to end protections for young undocumented immigrants if Congress fails to act by then, according to a Republican senator who spoke directly with the president about the issue," The Washington Post reports.

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"One month ago, the lives of 800,000 young people around our nation were put in jeopardy, with the decision by the White House to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision fails to understand the overwhelmingly positive impact that the DACA program has had for so many students, and the devastating consequences that rescinding it will have on them, their families, our schools, our communities and our country," a group of college presidents – Ángel Cabrera of George Mason University, John DeGioia of Georgetown University, DeRionne Pollard of Montgomery College, and Scott Ralls of Northern Virginia Community College – wrote for The Hill.

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Student loan borrowers – whether they have federal or private loans – continue to struggle when repaying their loans due to a range of obstacles, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) annual report on student loan borrower complaints. Of the more than 20,000 complaints analyzed, borrowers reported encountering problems enrolling in income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, facing obstacles getting loans discharged for disabilities, and being unable to obtain flexible repayment terms during times of financial stress.

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On Sept. 29, the Department of Education (ED) issued an Electronic Announcement (EA) updating institutions on the status of supplemental campus-based allocations following hurricane relief legislation, which granted ED authority to reallocate excess campus-based allocations to schools located in, or accepting and enrolling students from, areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. In the EA, ED indicated that they were reviewing the reallocation process for Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds, and that information about supplemental FWS funds would be issued in the near future. To date there has been no subsequent announcement, but watch Today’s News for information once it is released.

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Statement of Purpose

“The Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrators (MAFAA) is an association of professionals committed to the principle that no one should be denied access to higher education for financial reasons.”