Policymakers Return to Scorecard, FAFSA, Affordability, Fight Against Sex Assault

DC Shuttle …

The New College Scorecard. The Obama administration’s new College Scorecard was unveiled last weekend. Collegescorecard.ed.gov was revamped and updated by the administration, instead of the ratings system the administration had hoped to develop. The administration released thousands of new data points, broken down by individual college and going back several years. The new data shows publicly, for the first time, the share of a college’s former students who make some progress in paying down their federal loans within the first three years after leaving college. It also provides a comprehensive look at how much students who receive federal loans and Pell Grants earn after they leave a specific college, both in the short term and long term. The Center for American Progress published an initial analysis of College Scorecard earnings and repayment data, saying it reveals “a federal student aid system for which the results are positive but headed in the wrong direction, especially in the for-profit college sector.”

FAFSA Changes. The administration also announced changes to how student and families can apply for federal financial aid. Starting next year, the federal government will allow students to apply for federal student aid based on their family’s income from two years earlier, instead of the immediately previous year. The Obama administration also plans to change the federal aid process so that students can submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, as early as October for the school year beginning the following summer or fall, instead of waiting until January, the Hill reports.

Clinton Discusses College Affordability. Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton hosted a community forum focused on college affordability at the University of New Hampshire, WMUR reports.

Campus Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Guide. The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released a resource guide and toolkit for students, administrators and others to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campuses. The source is intended to be a “one-stop shop for guidance, tools, emerging promising models and practices, training and technical assistance, and funding opportunities to help finance preventative resources and services for victims.” Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) signed onto a Senate bill to address the problem, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (S. 590), after Hillary Clinton delivered a speech highlighting the issue.

Homeless Students on the Rise. The Washington Post ran a story detailing how the number of homeless students in public schools has doubled since before the recession. While he article focuses on K-12 schools, the issue also affects college campuses.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Sept. 21, 2015. Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.



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