Reporter’s notebook

  • Dems seek an extension of verification waiver
  • Cardona to visit tribal college

Dems seek an extension of verification waiver

Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) have asked U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to extend relief from student aid verification due to the Covid pandemic.

The Education Department waived the verification process for the current award year, which applies for the rest of the 2021-22 academic year. However, it will return for the 2022-23 application year.

In their letter, the lawmakers noted the pandemic is still causing havoc among families, and being selected to go through a verification of information submitted on the federal financial aid application only adds to their difficulties. In addition, the verification — which they said is burdensome and ineffective — disproportionally affects low-income students, especially the 20% of Pell Grant-eligible families who don’t have to file tax returns.

An extension also would allow financial aid officers to focus on serving students.

“At a time when college enrollment and FAFSA completion rates are declining, it is critical that these professionals are able to spend the needed time to improve college-going, especially for the most vulnerable students,” the letter said.

Cardona to visit tribal college

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Thursday will visit a tribal community college in Michigan as part of the department’s Return to School Road Trip this month to visit K-12 schools and colleges.

The weeklong bus tour will stop at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College where the secretary and other Education Department officials will meet with the college’s leaders (including President Carla Sineway), instructors, staff and students.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.