US Department of Education launches review of prohibition on incentive compensation for college recruiters

The U.S. Department of Education announced that it will hold virtual listening sessions on the impact of department guidance on how institutions of higher education may compensate their recruiters. The department is looking to hear from the public about how an exception contained in the guidance has affected the growth of online enrollment and associated federal student loan debt. NACAC’s Guide to Ethical Practice in College Admission advises against incentivized recruitment in college admission, a principle the association has maintained for nearly 70 years.

Individuals who would like to present comments of up to three minutes must register by sending an email to no later than 12 p.m. (EST) on the business day prior to the listening session at which they want to speak. The message should include the name of the speaker, the email address of the speaker, and one or more dates and times during which the individual would be available to speak. Individuals who want to observe the listening sessions are also required to register for each day they wish to observe.

NACAC supports income-driven student loan repayment proposal

NACAC, in conjunction with the American Council on Education and 28 other higher education organizations, has expressed its appreciation to the Department of Education for making important and long overdue corrections to the student loan repayment system in its proposal to overhaul the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) income-driven repayment plan. The proposed changes would provide significantly more generous repayment and forgiveness terms for student loan borrowers.

Republican proposal to cut discretionary funding to FY 2022 level and possible impacts

This month, congressional republicans and democrats issued reports dealing with the House Republican proposal to cut discretionary funding to fiscal year (FY) 2022 levels – a cut of about $142 billion (12%). The Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee issued a scathing report that laid out examples of what the cuts would mean if applied across the board, and pointed out that if Congress allows defense spending to grow with inflation and VA health care grows to the level already enacted for next year (its funding is provided one year in advance), then all other non-defense discretionary funding would be cut by 30% to get to the FY 2022 target level. House Budget Committee chair Jodey Arrington (R-TX) released a fact sheet highlighting the Congress Budget Office’s fiscal and economic projections that show growing deficits and debt if the budget continues at current law levels. NACAC advocates for increased federal education funding through the Coalition for Education Funding (CEF).

House committee hearing covers multiple topics in K-12, higher education

The House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing entitled “American Education in Crisis,” during which republicans and democrats on the committee debated a wide range of topics, including vouchers for K-12 public education, strengthening college and career readiness, and student loan debt. Committee chair Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has outlined her agenda for the 118th Congress, which constituted the framework for the hearing. NACAC will advocate for greater support for school counselors and college access programs, more affordable postsecondary education, and protections for students against predatory institutions.

NACAC urges Congress to protect students from fraud and abuse

NACAC joined a coalition of organizations in providing an introductory letter to newly-elected members of Congress introducing them to the effort to protect students and taxpayers from fraud and abuse in federal financial aid programs. The letter also encouraged all members of Congress to prevent a resurgence of predatory tactics by resisting industry calls to roll back important regulations designed to ensure accountability among for-profit institutions.