Community Colleges

Financial aid administrators at community colleges across the country are facing unprecedented changes that affect all aspects of their operations. To help you stay abreast of new developments, HEAG is adding the Community College Watch as a regular post to our blog. From the prospect of free community college and FAFSA simplification to heightened cash monitoring and gainful employment compliance requirement, HEAG’s financial aid consultants will be tracking the issues affecting you in 2016.

Please visit our Services page to learn more about HEAG’s financial aid services, including compliance, VERIFY remote verification, staffing, technology and more.

October 19, 2017

The future is here for communicating with college students and the current Millennial generation is leading the way, with 98% of them now owning a smartphone.  1 in 5 Americans rely solely on data plans from their smartphone and not other internet access with …

October 13, 2017

Rhode Island Offers Tuition Free Community College At the beginning of August, Rhode Island became the fourth U.S. state to offer tuition free community college to its residents. There has been a change in approach over the past few years in that tuition incen …

October 12, 2017

Year-round Pell is back for 2017-18. This is good news for Pell-eligible students who want to attend in the summer to accelerate their progress toward graduation. According to Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, “this decision is about empowering students and …

October 5, 2017

Early FAFSA This is the 2nd year of earlier FAFSA filing, with the date being pushed back to October 1 and where students and parents use prior prior year income. For instance, while filing the 18-19 FAFSA, students and parents will use their 2016 income. Upda …

October 5, 2017

Shifting Gainful Employment Regulations Regardless of your political leanings, the financial aid community may feel like they are in the middle of a game of ping pong. With shifting gainful employment regulations, proprietary for-profit colleges as well as sta …

September 26, 2017

August 7, 2017 Authors:  Craig Munier, Assistant Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid ~ Lisa DiCarlo, Director, Student Experience Group, Federal Student Aid Subject:  Changes to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Process for the 2018-19 F …

September 21, 2017

In the last few years, it seems data breaches have been become common place in our country. Back in 2013, giant retailer Target was hacked, affecting an estimated 70 million consumers. This caused many Americans to have their banks/credit card companies issue …

September 8, 2017

  There are currently nine servicers to handle all federal student loans, with many being in place since the Affordable Care Act of 2010 which ended the Federal Family Education Loan Program program and replaced it with the current Direct Loan model.  A b …

August 31, 2017

Have you read “Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream” by Joshua Davis? The book came out in 2014 and the movie in 2015. Davis tells the inspiring, true story of four Latino high school students born in …

August 23, 2017

HEAG’s Summer Newsletter is now online. It includes articles for financial aid professionals on: Summer Reading and the Dream Act New Year-Round Pell: How It’s Different This Time Around Student Loan Servicers, And Then There Was One Are You Using Social Media …

August 11, 2017

A bill introduced on July 26, 2017 by Marc Veasey of Texas seeks to make it easier for students to gain access to the required non-filer statements that can currently only be requested through the IRS. These forms are required for verification of income to rec …

July 20, 2017

The Higher Education Assistance Group’s blog includes more than 200 articles on financial aid topics prepared by the Group’s expert financial aid consultants and systems analysts. Search by topic: Compliance Federal Student Aid Programs Technology File Review …

June 7, 2017

Department of Education Releases Updated Federal Program Review Guide The U.S. Department of Education released the 2017-2018 Federal Program Review Guide for financial aid administrators on June 2, 2017.  The guide was made available for download via the IFAP …

June 1, 2017

Surviving audit season. A few helpful tips on how you can survive your upcoming audit. 1. Be Prepared Review the letter from your auditor carefully. If any portion of the letter is unclear, ask the auditor to clarify prior to your meeting. Remember what we tel …

May 22, 2017

We share industry news and stories on Twitter throughout the week at @HEAG_INC. Here is a recap of our most recent tweets, focusing on topics of Title IV financial aid and higher education. 4/19/17 – HEAG’s Spring 2017 Newsletter for financial aid professional …

May 18, 2017

Joshua Bordis, Senior Financial Aid Consultant and Systems Analyst with HEAG, has been writing a series of blog posts on customer service. In this installment, Josh addresses what actually makes great service. As I previously mentioned, customer service is in …

May 11, 2017

Submitting GE Schools which have eligible programs, usually considered “career training,” that are required to report gainful employment (GE) information got some unexpected news on March 6th. The original deadline for submitting the GE alternate earnings appe …

May 2, 2017

On Tuesday, January 31st, 2017, the Higher Education Assistance Group held their annual training session for consultants and directors. It was an informative day with topics ranging from changes to the 2017-18 verification process to quality assurance and clie …

April 20, 2017

IRS Data Retrieval Tool Nationwide, college financial aid offices and their students are being impacted by the current outage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The outage, now expected to continue until the start of next FAFSA season, was in response to security …

April 19, 2017

HEAG’s Spring 2017 Newsletter for financial aid professionals is here! This issue includes: HEAG’s Consultants Share Their Favorite Commencement Memories HEAG ~ Growing to Serve You HEAG’s Annual Staff Training 7 Principles of Great Service Gainful Employment …

April 7, 2017

Resources for Financial Aid Offices With recent reports highlighting the struggles community college students face to make ends meet, financial literacy is critical for our students, our schools and our communities. Here are some resources for students and exa …

March 23, 2017

In case you missed it, here are some recent community college related articles that we have been reading: A list of the 2017 Awards of Excellence Finalists for community colleges Community college revenues up as a whole in FY 2015 An argument for offering fina …

February 23, 2017

In part one of this series, I talked about asking your customers, the students, for feedback on the level of service you were providing. In part two, I’ll give some ideas to help you improve your customer service levels. How do you get started improving the se …

February 16, 2017

Ask the Students Instinctively, you may want to answer “yes” to that question. You are a college president, supervisor, or director that wants your students to be taken care of. You have mentioned it several times in staff meetings. You send email reminders to …

December 16, 2016

The recent announcement by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions to further review institutions with extremely low graduation rates puts many community colleges in the spotlight. According to Insider Higher Ed, “Tougher Scrutiny for Colleges with Low …

October 31, 2016

HEAG’s Fall 2016 Newsletter is here. This issue includes: HEAG ~ Growing to Serve You Tech Talk Corner – 2017/2018 Has Begun! Gainful Employment Debt-to-Earnings – An In-Depth Look HEAG ~ Recent and Upcoming events Upcoming Changes to 2017-18 Verification Proc …

September 14, 2016

Just the thought of compliance and accreditation can cause stress and anxiety for many of us. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and let’s look at how we can change our view on compliance. Accreditation and compliance should not be viewed as exercises in putting on …

August 24, 2016

It wasn’t the numbers in the blog post, “FAFSA Non-Filers: What the Research Says,” by Paula Acevedeo on the National College Access Network¹ that caught
 our attention, it was the experiments conducted by ideas42. With at least 2 million students failing to c …

August 23, 2016

We share industry news and stories on Twitter throughout the week at @HEAG_INC. Here is a recap of our most recent tweets, focusing on topics of Title IV financial aid and higher education. 8/9/16 – ED Urges Caution in Setting Priority Deadlines Read more 8/10 …

August 17, 2016

What’s on your summer reading list? Here are some of the things on our list this summer: State of Denial: Where Community College Students Lack Access to Federal Student Loans The Institute for College Access & Success, June 2016 This 20+ page assessment o …

August 9, 2016

HEAG was proud to be a part of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO) recent Spring 2016 Workshop held at the New School in New York City on June 15th, 2016.  The workshop topics included fund accounting, tax update, risk …

August 3, 2016

This quarter’s employee spotlight is Dr. Erica Holmes…. Name: Dr. Erica Holmes Current Position: Financial Aid Consultant What do you enjoy most about your current position at HEAG? I enjoy the diversity of working with different institutions. Working in cul …

July 27, 2016

Accreditation and Compliance Standards At the forefront of education is the notion of accountability. Whether post-secondary or secondary, at times we all wonder why so much oversight and what really is the role of regulatory bodies, accreditation agencies, an …

July 21, 2016

HEAG’s quarterly Newsletter reports on developments in the financial aid industry. Topics include administering Title IV aid efficiently and effectively, maintaining compliance, file review and verification, staffing solutions and technology tools. The Summer …

May 24, 2016

  Typically, we wouldn’t even be thinking about a future award year when the upcoming one hasn’t even begun yet.  But with the major changes surrounding the release of the 17-18 FAFSA in October of this year along with prior-prior year income being utiliz …

May 13, 2016

It’s that time of year again. Students across the country are getting ready to end one chapter of their educations and start another. High school students are preparing to graduate and community college students are moving on to the next phase of their educati …

May 9, 2016

Has someone in your office ever misfiled a W-2 in another student’s file? It can have a snowball effect. Starting as an innocent mistake, it consumes fruitless hours of searching through files, then requires an apologetic phone call to an unhappy parent and de …

April 22, 2016

TRUE or FALSE. Your school offers programs that include self-paced or independent study courses that overlap terms. TRUE or FALSE. Your school has programs that measure progress in clock hours. TRUE or FALSE. Your school has programs that have courses that ove …

April 20, 2016

We share industry news and stories on Twitter throughout the week at @HEAG_INC. Here is a recap of last week’s tweets, focusing on topics of Title IV financial aid and higher education. 4/11/16 – Free #communitycollege tuition survey results from Presidents of …

February 8, 2016

If you have been shoveling out after the recent snow storms, you may have missed some of these news stories related to community colleges. Don’t worry! We are keeping an eye out for stories and developments impacting financial aid at community colleges across …

January 11, 2016

Financial aid administrators at community colleges across the country are facing unprecedented changes that affect all aspects of their operations. To help you stay abreast of new developments, HEAG is adding the Community College Watch as a regular post to ou …

December 3, 2015

On November 4, the College Board once again released annual statistics related to certain sectors of higher education. There were some interesting bits of information on American community colleges (CCs) when it comes to student enrollment trends, as 43% of AL …

September 30, 2015

HEAG’s Fall 2015 Newsletter includes articles on Gainful Employment, When the Feds Audit the Feds, The Struggles of Small Schools, Consultant Spotlight – Brittany Barker, and a FAFSA Survey. Sign up to receive HEAG’s newsletters via email.