Lawmakers Examine Factors Behind Suspension of DRT

The Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) was suspended on March 3, with Federal Student Aid (FSA) and IRS citing security and privacy concerns. On  May 3,  the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to get a better understanding of the problems that caused the tool to be taken out of service and the steps FSA and the IRS are taking to restore this critical tool.

James Runcie, the Chief Operating Officer of the office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), confirmed that the DRT will continue to be suspended for 2017-2018 FAFSA; it will return Oct. 1, 2017 for the 2018-2019 FAFSA. This solution, according to a memo from FSA, will “limit the information that displays to the applicant” to enhance security. Taxpayer information will be encrypted and hidden from view on both the IRS DRT page and the FASFA page. Continue reading Lawmakers Examine Factors Behind Suspension of DRT

Spots Available for Students at More Than 400 Colleges

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Traditional admission deadlines have passed, but more than 400 colleges and universities still have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshman and/or transfer students.

NACAC’s annual College Openings Update — posted this morning — includes both public and private schools. The list will remain online through June 30, serving as an important resource for students looking to expand their admission options, said NACAC CEO Joyce Smith.

Continue reading Spots Available for Students at More Than 400 Colleges

Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

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Graduation is fast-approaching, and a new national survey suggests that college seniors are worried about money.

Researchers with Barnes & Noble College interviewed 312 graduating seniors in April. Here’s what they found:

  • Salary is important to job-seeking graduates, with 44 percent of respondents citing pay as their top priority in the job hunt.
  • Forty-eight percent of respondents are worried about student loans.
  • And 68 percent of students listed “earning enough money” as a top concern.

Continue reading Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

Pay Less for College? Sure, if…

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Editor’s note: A version of post was first published on Counselors’ Corner.

Spring is a season of mixed emotions for school counselors. As students come in to share the exciting news of college acceptances and generous scholarships, an equal number of families come in with questions that are harder to answer:

“What more were they looking for?”

“Don’t they know this isn’t enough to cover my needs?”

“Why does college cost so much?”

It turns out this last question has a pretty clear answer—it’s complicated, but it’s clear.

“It doesn’t have to cost this much, if you start at a community college and transfer.”

Continue reading Pay Less for College? Sure, if…

New Flexibilities for FAFSA Filers Affected by DRT Outage

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Institutions now have more options when it comes to verifying FAFSA information.

Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that colleges and universities would be granted new flexibilities due to the extended outage of the IRS’s Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

Continue reading New Flexibilities for FAFSA Filers Affected by DRT Outage

ICYMI: Check Out NACAC’s Facebook Live Q&A about College Signing Day

Get ready to celebrate!

Monday is College Decision Day — the deadline at many institutions for students to accept an offer of admission and make a tuition deposit.

And on Friday, schools and communities across the country will once again host College Signing Day events. The tradition was started in 2014 by former First Lady Michelle Obama and is being spearheaded this year by Civic Nation’s Better Make Room initiative.

“Some education past high school has to be the goal for every young person,” Eric Waldo, of Civic Nation, said Thursday during a Facebook Live Q&A at NACAC headquarters. “That was true when we were in the White House. That’s true now that we’re not in the White House.”

Continue reading ICYMI: Check Out NACAC’s Facebook Live Q&A about College Signing Day

Member View: Despite Political Climate, International Students Still Seek US Degrees

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Ten cities. Thirteen days. From London to Shanghai to meet with newly admitted students. It’s my version of The Amazing Race, but without the $1 million at the finish line.

The first question I’m asked when discussing my itinerary is, “Are you nuts?!” The answer, from my perspective anyway, is, “No, I love doing it and I’ve found two weeks to be the perfect trip length.”

The second question is either, “Wow, how are people feeling about our country?” or “Do international students still want to come to university in the US?” Like any good admission officer, my answer is, “It depends.”

It depends on the country.

China is a vital market for many universities, and the political climate didn’t appear to be too much of a concern in Beijing and Shanghai. There, families were much more concerned about the “usual” topics—safety, academics, and post-graduation opportunities. I was surprised by the number of families more concerned about the legalization of marijuana in California than the political situation! Having said that, I had large-group and one-on-one conversations about the international environment in every other city on the trip—London, Dubai, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul. Families are legitimately concerned about whether their child will even get a visa, how welcomed international students will be upon arrival, and whether they will be targets for bullying and/or racial discrimination on campus or in the surrounding area. Not too surprisingly, this was a HUGE topic in India, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore, all countries with a large Indian population. And all countries that add to our international diversity on campus.

Continue reading Member View: Despite Political Climate, International Students Still Seek US Degrees

Legislative Update: Affiliates Ramp Up Advocacy Efforts

After last month’s successful Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, advocacy efforts within many NACAC affiliates are on the rise.

Over the past several months, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee have hosted SACAC legislative days. Because SACAC is a regional affiliate, advocacy days take place in specific states, allowing members to meet with their own legislators and impact students where they live.

Continue reading Legislative Update: Affiliates Ramp Up Advocacy Efforts

Report: Rural-Urban Gap in College Completion Grows

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The rural-urban gap in college completion continues to grow, with fewer than one in five adults in rural communities holding a four-year degree, according to a new report from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Between 2000 and 2015, the share of urban adults with at least a bachelor’s degree grew from 26 percent to 33 percent, while in rural areas the share grew from 15 percent to 19 percent,” report authors note. “Therefore, the urban-rural gap in the share of adults with bachelor’s degrees grew from 11 to 14 percentage points.”

Continue reading Report: Rural-Urban Gap in College Completion Grows

Daily updates on NACAC and the world of college admission counseling. For more information about NACAC, visit nacacnet.org.