WASFAA Federal Relations Conference Call – December 18, 2014, 2:00 PT Participants: Jeff Scofield, Tami Sato, Jodi Kubo, Scott Cline, Michael Dear, Vicki Shipley, Barbara Bickett and Anafe Robinson Meeting started at 2:07 p.m. Welcome, Review of Minutes and To Do’s Tami welcomed FRC members joining call before what will be a holiday break for most. She introduced Anafe Robinson from Pierce College who is the new CASFAA Federal Issues VP. Her official position on FRC will start in April but we have invited Anafe to participate on our calls. There were no to do’s from our previous meeting but some WASFAA FRC members attended the FSA hearing that was after the CASFAA Conference. Also list serve messages were sent out regarding the final rules for GE and PLUS with a summary of key points. FSA Conference Tami stated that the FSA agenda seemed to show more general financial aid sessions instead of DE system ones. Big news from the conference was the Perkins disbursement for 2015/16 that could be made for the whole year regardless of decision on whether the program would be extended. She sent a WASFAA list serve message about this. Servicing a growing portfolio of loans seemed to be another strong issue. Vicki attended the pre-conference session that 250 attendees participated in and all 11 servicers were present for break-outs and Q & A’s. There are some inconsistencies and focus should not be on old problems. All is not black and white in servicing student loans and the complexity is great. We discussed the 4 platforms that student loans are stored on. There is a commitment by FSA and servicers to make things better and a Request for Information (RFI) has been put out for recommendations and has a January 31st deadline. NASFAA Leadership Conference – 3/1/2015 We discussed what issues should be included in the talking points we provide attendees from the WASFAA region. The college rating system was mentioned and some information was released recently on details. Barbara said we could mention some of the Reauthorization priorities we had in our WASFAA document. This would include PPY and simplification. The burden of reporting for 150% was mentioned at recent conferences. Tami mentioned that NASFAA is advocating to keep the Pell surplus for future needs and not just use it for budget or deficit relief. The final rules for GE have already been met with a lawsuit. Jeff said disclosures and reporting data, some back to 2008 will really be difficult for schools. The GE rules affect CC’s a lot but include GP certificate programs. Something should be done with Income-Driven repayment plans. There is a 40% fall-out because borrowers do not keep up with annual income reporting. This data should be obtained automatically from the IRS. (I forgot to mention that when NASFAA polled members on top RHEA issues the top five were origination fees, PPY, Perkins, simplification of repayment and year round Pell.) We asked Vicki for her help in setting up a session with staffers from the education committees. She mentioned Bob Miranda and Amy Jones. (Note: It looks like the actual time for hill visits will be from 8-11:30 on March 3). Vicki said that it is very important that they have a complete list of who would be participating in the staffer meetings. Barbara said she would contact Kevin to send out a notice to WASFAA state presidents so that we could start a list. The WASFAA President-Elect will be attending. Attendees usually try to arrange a hill visit with the representatives before the staffer meeting. These meetings have been very beneficial in past years with a good exchange of questions and comments. WASFAA Conference FRC Sessions From our previous meetings discussion I thought CDR Appeals might be a good topic for a session. Helen was not on this call but thought we could ask her to help organize this session. Other FRC members might be good to join on this session if attending the conference. (Note: I contacted Helen and she agreed to organize this session.) Also from previous meeting I thought Barbara would be a great presenter for the topic of program reviews: preparing, best practices, other helpful hints, etc. Barbara agreed to head up this session. Vicki and Tami talked about a session on hot topics or RHEA priorities. We would want WASFAA members to advocate for issues important to them and their students but we also need to know what issues they want FRC to advocate for them. Deadline to turn in a session proposal is February 14th. Unfinished or New Business We were not sure of the chances of the student loan fee bill and there are some dissenting voices about this bill. COHEAO has an on-line petition to save Perkins. Tami will send a list serve message out after the holiday break and folks get a chance to get through piled up email. We could also send out a list serve message with a summary of the budget released including information about ATB and the Pell maximum The NPRM on Teach came out but this does not seem to be a program widely used The announcement on the rating system will be out 12/19 and DE is soliciting public input with a deadline in mid-February The request for nominations is out for next Negotiated Rulemaking discussions but so far PAYE and SCRA are the only firm topics. We may want to wait till other topics are announced. An article was submitted for the WASFAA Winter Newsletter with a short federal update Next meeting will be January 15th.