– August 21, 2014, 2:00 p.m. WASFAA Federal Relations Conference Call

WASFAA Federal Relations Conference Call – August 21, 2014, 2:00 p.m.
Participants: Jeff Scofield, Tami Sato, Pat Hurley, Scott Cline, Michael Dear, Vicki Shipley
Before we started Jeff told us about the visit he had from an aide from Senator Patty Murray’s
office. They hope to get some things right in reauthorization which may not happen until the
next presidential election or unless the dominant party flips in the November elections. There
have been mini bills or piecemeal ones but no comprehensive bill passed. The aide asked
specifically what Jeff felt about the “one loan, one grant” idea. His answer was that it would
depend on the terms and levels of support. Would it make up for loss of SEOG?
WASFAA PLUS NPRM Comment Draft – The deadline date to send in a comment is September
8th so if we want to input we will have to move fast. We had discussion on sections of the draft
that Tami wrote up based on the issues supported by the non-federal negotiators. A few
corrections were made. TO DO: Tami asked FRC members to send in any additional revisions
by Tuesday. In general the document is referring to the Parent and Student PLUS unless
otherwise specified. Is more clarification needed? She will send the draft to WASFAA EC for
NASFAA Board on Harkins Bill – We discussed the negative affect it would have for both
schools and DE to require more program reviews. Scott found the list of criteria that might
trigger a program review which included 15% more Unsubsidized loans from the year before, a
CDR higher than 20%, an institutional budget that is 80% dependent of federal funds, etc. TO
DO: Scott said he would draft up comments to Harkin’s office on which criteria were not
reasonable to require more program reviews and the need for parameters on the present
triggers (default rate/complaints) DE utilizes. We also discussed the sameness now of program
reviews and audits and the change from being a helpful tool to being one of penalty (a gotcha
mentality). There is also a section on the complaint tracking system that should be reviewed on
page 1240. The deadline date to send in comments on the Harkins bill is August 29th.
FWS and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – Recent articles have said some schools have been
limiting work study hours to avoid having to provide students healthcare coverage. In
discussion some FRC members have used legal counsel and have used average hours worked
during a year to keep the work hours below 30. It brings up the question of whether federal
work study students are employees of the college or just participants in a federal financial aid
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – The institutional requirements for VAWA are extensive
and Tami wondered if other schools were gearing up for this. At her school the security officer
and student affairs have been meeting and a committee is going to be set up. Other FRC
members said there are just starting. This would be a big task for residential colleges.
NASFAA Servicing Issues Task Force (SITF) – SIFT has been meeting every other week.
Common servicing issues and problems have been gathered from SIFT members to make a
short survey that will be sent to NASFAA and DL Coalition members. A meeting in September
is planned with presenters including representatives from the CPFB, NCHER and Young
Constitution Day – The federal requirement for providing an education program is coming up
September 17th. FRC can send a reminder notice in a WASFAA list serve message with some
ideas and maybe some helpful links. Tami could do this, but would appreciate if someone
would like to volunteer to send this list serve message from FRC.
Old/New Business
150% Reporting – Pat brought up the difficulty surrounding the additional fields that were
required for the 150% regulation. Many FAA are working on the setup but will not know
if all required entries have been made until they process. The office/stress burden is
great. FSA has said FAA are not required to update status, that what is entered is like a
snapshot but if the student changes majors, decides to take different classes or
less/more units their record would be incorrect. Bottom line is that this is burdensome
and possibly detrimental to students. Since many FAA are in the middle of this mess
now it might be a good time to urge them to contact their congressional leaders to let
them know how difficult implementation of this regulation has been. It is such a horrible
process that just eliminating the UG Subsidized DL might be a favorable solution. TO
Do: Tami will ask Jeff if he can send a list serve message to members urging them to
contact their representatives. It would help if members could let us know that they did
just that and maybe share their correspondence.
HELP Committee Response – Jodi sent FRC the list of recommendations from the
NASFAA consumer information task force plus one of her own recommendations. TO
DO: Pat volunteered to utilize this information to draft a letter to Harkin’s office.
Next Meeting – The next FRC meeting will be September 18th. Tami will be in DC for the task
force meeting. Jeff will lead this meeting.