"Though you can probably do the financial aid process alone, it may make things simpler if you take advantage of the countless free resources out there," according to USA TODAY, which cites NASFAA as an "excellent free resource...,which goes through financial aid and tuition discounts by state and provides information about taxes in regards to financial aid."
The Veterans Educational Benefits session at the 2014 NASFAA Conference offered some useful information to the audience of predominantly VA Certifying Officials, including the Chapter 36 program to provide career counseling services and the sunset of the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).
"Lingering student-loan debt — which in recent years has been a drag on the economy as borrowers delay big-ticket purchases such as homes and cars — is beginning to affect millions of people as they head toward retirement," The Network Journal reports.
"A new dynamic is emerging in many statehouses, where policy makers are debating not only how much money to appropriate for higher education but also what colleges should do to get that money," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
While college retention rates since 2009 have remained constant, the percentage of first-time students still enrolled at any college in their second fall terms dropped 1.2 percentage points in the same time period, according to a new report by the National Student Clearinghouse. “We need to find better solutions for keeping students on track to graduation, whether that means the student transfers or stays put,” Doug Shapiro, executive research director of the Clearinghouse’s Research Center, says.
"Debt settlement companies, which offer to help borrowers lower their monthly loan payments for a hefty upfront fee, have long been fraught with problems. But federal and state regulators are spotting new instances of abuse as the companies shift away from their traditional targets — credit card and mortgage debt — to zero in on student loans," The New York Times' DealBook reports.
"Published tuition and fees increased by about 4 percent at public and private nonprofit four-year colleges and by nearly 5 percent at public two-year colleges from 2011-12 to 2013-14, when adjusted for inflation, according to a new release from the National Center for Education Statistics," The Chronicle of Higher Education's Data Points blog reports.
"The golden image of college students walking brick-paved paths to attend small classes in ivy-covered buildings hasn't matched the reality of higher education for a while now," The National Journal's The New America reports.
On Thursday, Members of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce advanced three bills related to reauthorization of the Higher Education Act: The Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act, The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act, and The Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act.
"Last month, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) announced a draft bill to simplify the process for students seeking federal financial aid," Dennis Zeveloff writes in a Business Insider opinion piece.
"States are poised to provide 3.6 percent more in higher education operating support in 2015 than they did in 2014, an informal survey by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities shows," according to Inside Higher Ed.