As things move quickly in Washington, DC, NACUBO is your constant advocate in action. NACUBO On Your Side covers important legislative and agency activity NACUBO staff are tracking, what we’re currently advocating for, and how you can take action with us.
Here are the issues we are tracking and advocating for this week.
ED Reminds Schools of Title IV Requirements for the Business Office
The Office of Federal Student Aid recently posted a reminder about the various Title IV requirements business officers and financial aid administrators must adhere to. Topics covered include disbursement reporting requirements, excess cash requirements, and reconciliation, including final reconciliation.
Reminder: Perkins Deadline Approaching
All schools that participate in the Federal Perkins Loan Program, including schools that are in the liquidation process and have yet to receive an official liquidation completion letter from the Department of Education, must update and submit their “Cash on hand and in depository as of 10/31/2020” document on the Fiscal Operations Report for 2019–20 and Application to Participate for 2021–22 (FISAP) to the Department of Education by Tuesday, Dec. 15. More information from the Department is available here.
Updated NSLDS Enrollment Reporting Guide and Submittal Template Now Available
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) has released an updated reporting guide and submittal template, which contains step-by-step instructions for reporting enrollment information.
Harvard Wins Legal Victory in Affirmative Action Case
A lawsuit filed by advocacy group Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) against Harvard University has shifted in the institution’s favor as the First Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Harvard’s admissions policies do not intentionally discriminate against prospective Asian American students. The court found that Harvard’s limited use of race in its admissions process to achieve campus diversity is permissible and “consistent with the requirements of Supreme Court precedent.” This case, along with another lawsuit filed by SFFA against the University of North Carolina, potentially represents the next legal challenges to affirmative action policies that will make their way to the Supreme Court. While the Supreme Court has historically upheld the limited use of race as a factor in college admissions, these challenges would be the first time the issue of affirmative action is brought before the Court with its newly conservative majority, cemented by the recent confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
NACUBO Presses IRS for Clarification on Reporting CARES Act Emergency Grants to Students
As colleges and universities are preparing for the 1098-T filing season, and NACUBO has again urged the Department of the Treasury and IRS to clarify that emergency grants to students from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund do not need to be reported as grant aid on the Form 1098-T. While the IRS has determined that these amounts are nontaxable as qualified disaster payments, it has not yet addressed whether HEERF grants need to be included in Box 5 as grant aid that is processed and administered by the institution.
Higher Education Community Weighs in with New Administration
Led by the American Council on Education, NACUBO and over 40 other higher education associations have sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, recommending initial higher education priorities for the new administration. Among other items, the priorities include a repeal of the recent changes to Title IX, enhanced protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program recipients, a revisiting of recent changes made to foreign gift reporting for higher education institutions, and the termination of politically-motivated investigations into certain colleges and universities.
NACUBO On Your Side: November 9-16, 2020