July 1, 2014
Policy Makers Issue Higher Education Act Reauthorization ProposalsPolicy Makers Issue Higher Education Act Reauthorization Proposals
In the last two weeks, the congressional committees with oversight authority of federal education programs issued their opening salvos in the path toward reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee unveiled a 785-page discussion draft. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) released a proposal to simplify the process of applying for and receiving financial aid to attend college. Additionally, House Republicans released a white paper outlining their priorities for HEA, the federal law that governs student financial aid and other postsecondary education programs.

ED Delays on State Authorization Rules

The Department of Education announced delays on two fronts regarding state authorization requirements.

NACUBO and ACE Release Question and Answer Document on DOD's Tuition Assistance MOU

NACUBO and the American Council on Education have published a Q&A document to help institutions make sense of some of the more confusing components of the Department of Defense’s Memorandum of Understanding for its Tuition Assistance program. Institutions wishing to participate in the program will need to sign the MOU by July 23.

Tax-Writing Lawmakers Put Higher Education in the Spotlight

Last week, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing examining higher education tax issues, and the House Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 3933, the Students and Family Tax Simplification Act, a bill that would consolidate existing higher education tax breaks into a permanent, modified version of the American Opportunity Tax Credit and could alter campus reporting requirements.

ED Proposes Violence Against Women Act Rules

The Department of Education has published proposed rules implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The proposed rules spell out institutions’ responsibilities following alleged incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Comments are due July 21.

Report Examines Transcript Management Practices and Costs

The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), in partnership with NACUBO and Parchment, released the 2014 Transcript Practices and Costs at U.S. Institutions report. The publication examines the variety of current methods used by colleges and universities to manage transcripts, and includes information on average costs for different transcript management practices.

GASB Issues OPEB Proposal

An Exposure Draft issued June 16 by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) addresses measurement and financial reporting by governmental employers for other postemployment benefits (OPEB). Essentially, the proposed requirements for OPEB are based on the same approach and methods GASB recently required for pension benefits under GASB Statement No. 68. Comments on the draft are due by August 29.

Last Chance to Provide Feedback

A short NACUBO survey that focuses on school-sponsored bank accounts and credit balance refunds is scheduled to close tomorrow. Information collected from this effort will enable NACUBO to respond more accurately to regulations the Department of Education may propose, as well as potential Congressional action.

All colleges and universities are encouraged to respond to this brief survey, which closes at 11:59 p.m. PDT tomorrow, July 2. For questions, and a link to the survey, contact NACUBO's research team.

Proposed Rules Establish Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

On June 17 the Department of Labor proposed rules implementing President Obama’s February 12 Executive Order increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contractors beginning January 1, 2015. The Order does not apply to grants. Public comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking are due July 17.

2013 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study to Be Released This Week

The 2013 NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study will be released Wednesday, July 2. This research study tracks tuition discounting rates and net tuition revenue growth as well as other metrics related to institutional grants at private, nonprofit, four-year institutions.

Higher education institutions that participated in the study will receive an email by mid-morning on July 2 with instructions on how to access their complimentary report in their My NACUBO account as well as access to the NACUBO Benchmarking Tool. Non-participants and others can purchase the report on NACUBO's featured products page by 10:00 a.m., EDT on July 2 for $200 (Member) or $750 (Non-Member).

A news release announcing this year's findings will be posted to the NACUBO press room.

 

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