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SA Weekly: August 26

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Supporting the Profession Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
August 26, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more.

Faster Loan Forgiveness for Disabled Veterans “Education Department says it will grant automatic loan forgiveness to disabled veterans -- a step that had been urged by Democrats and state attorneys general.”

Elizabeth Warren Slams Student Loan Watchdog Appointment As 'Outrageous' “Robert Cameron was a top lawyer for one of the country's largest student loan servicers. In documents obtained by NPR, Warren called his hiring a ‘slap in the face to student loan borrowers.’"

Trans Students Often Struggle With Mental Health “Gender-nonconforming students are four times more likely than peers to report mental health issues such as depression and suicide, according to a new study that calls for more campus supports.”

Streamlining the Transfer Process “A major community college and a public research university team up with an outside company to improve their advising and other support services, in part by training their staffs.”

Even Some College Tends to Pay Off “Students who attended college but didn't earn a credential were more likely to hold a job and earned more than their peers who stopped at high school, new research finds.”

Handshake for All “The popular career services platform is now available to any student with a .edu email address -- and that's changing how career services are provided at many colleges and universities.”

Priming for Amazon “Two Virginia universities announced ambitious expansions when Amazon selected its second headquarters. Nine months on, Virginia Tech has made more progress than George Mason in securing funding.”

Policy Update

Presidential Memorandum on Discharging the Federal Student Loan Debt of Totally and Permanently Disabled Veterans

Executive Order, August 21, 2019

Last week President Trump signed an executive order to streamline the process for disabled veterans to have their federal student loans discharged. The Department of Education (ED) has a process already in place, the Total Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge program, but the administrative burden on veterans and lack of transparency, has made the benefits of the program difficult to access. The executive order creates an expedited process, but still leaves it up to ED to carry out that process, making it unclear what changes will be implemented.

Regulatory Updates

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Pell for Students Who Are Incarcerated Experimental Site Initiative

  • Notice by Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED) on August 20, 2019

 “Through the Pell for Students who are Incarcerated experiment (also known as Second Chance Pell) the Department of Education will provide selected eligible postsecondary institutions with a waiver to the current statutory ban on incarcerated individuals, who are otherwise eligible, from receiving Federal Pell Grant funds to attend eligible postsecondary programs. The experiment aims to test whether participation in high-quality educational opportunities increases after access to financial aid for incarcerated adults is expanded and to examine how waiving the restriction influences individual academic and life outcomes. This is a reinstatement of the information collection instrument that is used by the Department to select qualified institutions.”

Fluctuating Workweeks Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

  • Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division Spring Regulatory Agenda 2019

On Monday, August 26, the National Law Review reported on an upcoming Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) from the Department of Labor to provide employers greater flexibility to include additional forms of compensation in fluctuation workweek calculations. Additional incentives pay such as premium pay or bonuses were initially found to be incompatible with the fluctuating workweek method by the Wage and House Division in 2011.

Around NASPA

Women’s Equality Day 2019: A Perspective for Higher Ed Professionals for the next Ninety-Nine Years by Ewa Nowicki, Women in Student Affairs

Leading Through Change As An AVP by Adam Sterritt, AVP Steering Committee