Posts Tagged ‘financial aid’
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is moving forward with negotiated rulemaking around a large number of issues dealing with federal student financial aid in the Higher Education Act, commonly known as “Title IV,” and AACTE will be at the table. Last fall, the Department put out a call for nominations for negotiators to be part of a full committee and three subcommittees, and this week announced the list of negotiators, which includes 18 AACTE member institutions.
The full committee will cover issues around accreditation and innovation, and the subcommittees will advise the full committee on the following issues: faith-based entities, distance learning, and TEACH grants. The first committee and subcommittees sessions will take place next week, January 14–18.
In addition to AACTE member participation, I will be representing the Association and its members on the TEACH grant subcommittee. Negotiators also include a number of AACTE partners. To see the full list of negotiators for the full committee and each of the subcommittees, along with the supporting materials, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.
Would you like to learn more about the law that establishes the processes around negotiated rulemaking? Review the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, or read a five-page summary of the negotiated rulemaking process.
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced that it will allow TEACH grant recipients who met or are meeting their TEACH grant service requirements and had their grant converted to a loan to have this conversion reconsidered. While there are no details yet, the TEACH Grant webpage states that the Department will share its process for reconsideration by January 31, 2019. This is available only for those recipients who were meeting the requirements and had their loans converted due to noncompliance with the certification requirements.
During the course of the year, stories have arisen of TEACH grants being erroneously converted by the servicer, FedLoan. While the Department is moving into negotiated rulemaking on the TEACH grants starting in January, it is taking action in the meantime to change processes to protect recipients. In addition to reconsideration, the Department is also making a universal annual certification deadline of October 31, starting in 2019.
As reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) continues in Congress, AACTE is unveiling a new resource to support members in their advocacy efforts with members of Congress. The TEACH Grant Vignettes, collected in 2017 and 2018, provide powerful narratives on the significance that the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants have on access and financial assistance for teacher candidates.
Here is a sample vignette from an undergraduate grant recipient at Northern Kentucky University:
The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
The Legislative Long Session in North Carolina this year was, in many ways, a productive one for education, generating a number of consequential bills that became law. Included in the slate was the reintroduction of the Teaching Fellows program, thanks to a collaborative effort led by Senator Chad Barefoot and the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (NCACTE).
In an announcement on the Federal Student Aid website, the U.S. Department of Education has outlined cuts to this year’s award amounts for TEACH Grants, reducing grants by 6.9% for the year that started October 1, 2016.
This cut, which brings the maximum TEACH grant award down from $4,000 to $3,724, is due to the federal budget sequester. (See this helpful FAQ on what sequester means for the federal budget, or this report from the Congressional Research Service for much more technical information.) Along with other sequestration-mandated cuts in federal funding, the TEACH grants have undergone reductions since 2013 ranging from 6.8 to 12.6%. An e-mail to financial aid administrators last year spelled out the most recent cuts.
A recent blog by the U.S. Department of Education highlighted three federal loan-forgiveness programs available to teachers, in addition to programs available at the state level. Make sure your students (and prospective students) know about these programs:
Is your educator preparation program doing enough to equip students to manage their finances when they enter the workforce? Money concerns often influence students’ career choices as well as whether a new employee will stay in the profession. As the country grapples with ongoing teacher shortages and declining teacher preparation enrollments, an important part of the solution is helping prospective educators address the particular financial challenges they’ll face.
To assist programs in meeting this goal, AACTE is partnering with The Horace Mann Companies on a series of webinars for teacher educators. The first webinar, “New Educator Financial Wellness: Challenges and Solutions,” will be held Thursday, December 8, at 11:00 a.m. EST.
On Friday, September 23, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the presidents of certain institutions that are eligible for TEACH grants, announcing a change in eligibility requirements. If you are at one of these institutions, a response must be filed with the Department within 30 days of the letter – meaning by October 23.
Previously, institutions could offer the grants if their programs held either (a) specialized accreditation awarded through a Department-recognized agency or (b) state approval plus a requirement of at least 10 weeks of full-time preservice clinical experience and pedagogical course work. The letter (see PDF) explains that effective September 22, the Department no longer recognizes any national accreditor for educator preparation programs, eliminating option (a) as a qualifier for eligibility.
Last week, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 511, which establishes the Teach Nevada scholarship for students interested in completing PK-12 educator preparation programs throughout the state. Sponsored by Governor Sandoval and passed by the State Assembly on the last day of the 2015 session of the Nevada legislature, this bill devotes $2.5 million to student scholarships in each year of the coming biennium. An additional appropriation of $5 million per fiscal year provides funding for Nevada districts to provide financial incentives for new teacher hires.
TIME SENSITIVE: Responses due April 24, 2015
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) seeks input from the higher education community for its work on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Your feedback is requested by April 24 in these areas:
- Accreditation in higher education
- Risk sharing in student borrowing
- Data transparency and consumer information