Washington Wrap Up- August 16, 2016

August 16, 2016 

Last Week in Congress and the Administration


The House and Senate will be in recess until after the September 5th Labor Day Holiday.

House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) along with higher education subcommittee chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary John King expressing their concerns with Federal Student Aid management and requesting additional information regarding ED’s single servicing proposal.


ED announced a new experimental sites opportunity for institutions of higher education on student loan counseling. The opportunity is designed to give institutions the flexibility to require more and different types of counseling for student loan borrowers.

ED Undersecretary Ted Mitchell wrote a letter to college presidents requesting that they do not move any priority financial aid deadlines earlier than the deadlines used in recent years.

The Federal Communications Commission issued final rules to implement the Bipartisan Budget Act’s amendments to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act allowing for a limited number of monthly contacts to student loan borrowers on their mobile devices.

The White House released an Impact Report on the transformation of government services through technology and innovation, which includes College Scorecard and StudentLoans.gov/Repay as critical services.

Education News Headlines
[Click on the link to read the article online]

Digital badging spreads as more colleges use vendors to create alternative credentials [Article 9 – Inside Higher Ed]

Association of American Universities (AAU) Report: “Presidential Candidates Should Advance Policies To Promote Innovation, Economic and National Security, Says AAU

Feds plead with colleges not to move up their financial aid deadlines [Article 9 – The Washington Post]

Traditional colleges enter the coding boot camp market [Article 10 – Inside Higher Ed]

Financial aid application is simpler and available earlier, but no panacea [Article 7 – Inside Higher Ed]

Consulting group identifies global ‘challenger’ universities [Article 11 – Inside Higher Ed]

Studies show continued racial gaps in educational attainment and public ambivalence about the issue [Article 4 – Inside Higher Ed]

Harvard and other schools are abandoning traditional teacher-preparation programs [Article 6 – The Washington Post]

U.S. Department of Education and the Administration

Department of Education

  • Press Release: Education Department Denies Request for Chain of For-Profit Colleges to Convert to Non-Profit Status
  • Press Release: Fact Sheet: Department of Education Announces Efforts to Strengthen Loan Counseling to Help Borrowers Manage their Debt

Institute of Education Sciences

  • Report: Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2016


Federal Education Training and Grant Opportunities, Notices

ED Comment Request: Federal Direct Loan Program Regulations for Forbearance and Loan Rehabilitation. Comments due October 11, 2016.

ED Comment Request: Federal Perkins Loan Program Regulations and General Provisions Regulations. Comments due October 11, 2016.

VA Comment Request: Veterans Employment Pay for Success (VEPFS). Comments due October 11, 2016.

ED Grant Notice: Performance Partnership Pilots. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: September 29, 2016. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: October 31, 2016.

ED Notice: Postsecondary Educational Institutions to Participate in the new institutional experiment under the Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI); Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Letters of Interest to participate in the experiment described in this notice must be received by the Department no later than September 29, 2016 to ensure that the Department considers the institution for participation in the experiment.