What transpires in the nation’s capital can have dramatic effects on higher education institutions. An example is the amount of federal funding that is directed to these entities annually. A segment of higher education that is in the spotlight as the government’s current fiscal year ends at the close of September 2019 consists of historically black colleges and other minority-serving institutions. Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 2486 must be taken into consideration by the Senate. The purpose of this legislation is to reauthorize $255 million of mandatory funding each year for programs under Title III of the Higher Education Act, which provides grants to historically black colleges and other institutions that enroll a large share of minority students.
These programs also receive discretionary funding from Congress each year, but the mandatory add-on funding expires on September 30. Officials at the Department of Education have indicated that there are plans to carry over unused mandatory funds from the current fiscal year into future years, so that many existing grants would remain in effect regardless of whether the funding stream expires.
Finalizing Stricter Rules For Student Loan Fraud Claims
An overhaul of rules known as “borrower defense to repayment” is in the process of being officially finalized this month. The purpose of the new policy is to set a more stringent standard for when the government will eliminate the debt of borrowers who claim they were misled or deceived by their institution. A notable example occurred during the Obama Administration when rules were written following the collapse of the for-profit college company Corinthian Colleges in 2015, which resulted in tens of thousands of former students sending requests to the Department of Education for loan forgiveness. Currently, the backlog of existing "borrower defense" claims exceeds 170,000 applications, but the Department has not taken any action on these claims in more than one year.
Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos has stated that fraud in higher education will not be tolerated by the Trump Administration, adding that the final rules include carefully crafted reforms that hold colleges and universities accountable, and treat students and taxpayers fairly. An expectation is that these newer more strict standards will result in the Department approving fewer borrower defense claims, thereby reducing the amount of loan forgiveness by an estimated $512 million per year. The entire package of regulations, which also curtails loan discharges for students whose schools suddenly close, is projected to save taxpayers more than $11 billion over the next decade.
The new rules are designed to allow borrowers to have their loans forgiven if they can show their institution in a misrepresentation, but they must prove additional elements demonstrating that they relied on the college's misrepresentation and also must document financial harm more extensively. Another major change is a requirement that borrowers apply for loan forgiveness within three years of leaving school. Opponents of the rules are expected to mount legal challenges.
Trends In Ratio Of The Pell Grant To Total Price Of Attendance And Federal Loan Receipt
A new Data Point issued in August 2019 by the U.S. Department of Education is based on figures from four iterations of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), a large, nationally representative sample survey of students that focuses on how they finance their postsecondary education. An emphasis is on the percentage of total price of attendance covered by Pell Grants and the percentage of Pell Grant recipients who received federal student loans for academic years 2003–04, 2007–08, 2011–12, and 2015–16. Overall, the percentage of total price of attendance (tuition and fees, plus the cost of room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses) covered by Pell Grants has remained consistent for selected years between 2003–04 and 2015–16, with the exception of 2007–08. The percentage of total price of attendance covered by Pell Grants was lower in 2007–08 (20%) compared to the 24% covered in all other years (2003–04, 2011–12, and 2015–16). These grants covered more of the total price of attendance for students at public 2-year institutions compared to public 4-year institutions, private nonprofit 4-year institutions, and private for-profit institutions in all selected academic years be- tween 2003–04 and 2015–16.
UNCERTAINTY IN RELATION TO EXISTENTIALISM
Indicates the importance of conducting more research on the topic of uncertainty, an incompletely understood phenomenon. Read More
PRESIDENT’S CORNER—ASAHP MEMBER FOCUS
Susan Hanrahan offers her thoughts on the upcoming ASAHP Annual Conference from the standpoint of speakers, a leadership panel, and the Business Meeting, along with updated information about the Association’s Institutional Profile Survey. Read More
AVOIDING A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
Describes legislation involving appropriations for fiscal year 2020 that begins on October 1, 2019 and action underway to reduce pharmaceutical costs. Read More
HEALTH REFORM DEVELOPMENTS
Discusses questions pertaining to enactment of proposed Medicare For All Legislation. Read More
QUICK STAT (SHORT, TIMELY, AND TOPICAL)
Mortality Patterns Between States With Highest Death Rates And States With Lowest Death Rates
Comparing Retail Clinics With Other Sites Of Care
The Use Of Small-Scale, Soft Continuum Robots To Navigate In Cerebrovascular Areas
The Use Of “Phyjamas” In Health Care Read More
AVAILABLE RESOURCES ACCESSIBLE ELECTRONICALLY
Hospital Concentration Index
Reducing Inequities In Healthy Life Expectancy
Investing In Interventions That Address Non-Medical, Health-Related Social Needs Read More
BALEFUL IMPACT OF WORKPLACE INCIVILITY ON HEALTH
Mentions how dissimilarity in political identity can relate to reducing the quality of interpersonal interactions and subsequent well-being of workers. Read More
“BURNOUT” AND EARLIER SOMATIC PHENOMENA
Refers to a possible relationship between burnout in the 21st century and neurasthenia in an earlier century. Read More
THE ROLE OF ACCIDENTS ON THE PATHWAY TO INJURY AND DEATH
Examines factors pertaining to death and injury of adolescents from motor vehicle accidents and adult mishaps stemming from attempts to remove an avocado pit with a knife. Read More