Partner Spotlight: National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
If you're looking for a group of people passionate about helping students pay for college, get to know the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).
Our partner spotlight this month, NASFAA is an association with nearly 20,000 members across the country. With a vision to “shape the future by promoting student access and success in higher education,” NASFAA works tirelessly to advocate for positive changes to higher education public policy, provide education and training for financial aid administrators, and promote communication and analysis of financial aid news and regulatory changes.
NASFAA held its annual conference just last week in Nashville, TN, which offered attendees the opportunity to network, catch all the important federal updates from the Department of Education, and learn best practices of aid administration from one another. And it certainly showcased the enthusiasm and concern that those working in financial aid have for the families they serve.
Highlights of the conference included:
- A luncheon presentation by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) who laid out his proposed changes to the federal financial aid system within his Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency (FAST) Act, including the shortening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) from several pages to a postcard containing demographic data and two questions. Senator Alexander’s suggestions were met with a good amount of skepticism, but attendees offered constructive feedback and expressed appreciation for his efforts to ease FAFSA completion for families.
[caption id="attachment_1386" align="alignnone" width="300"] Stephanie Wells grabbed a photo with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) at the NASFAA Conference last week.[/caption]
- A review of other proposed changes to be considered within Reauthorization of the 1965 Higher Education Act, including Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)’s recent Higher Education Affordability Act.
- Several sessions offered by the Department of Education, updating administrators on software changes, compliance issues, Sequestration, and regulatory updates. More information from the Department will be forthcoming on the President’s proposed expansion of the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) repayment plan and the college ratings system.
- A showcase of the Student Aid Index, a new online tool from NASFAA that assembles financial aid terminology and regulations into one searchable website, allowing aid administrators to check federal guidelines, look up financial aid key words, and find helpful resources quickly.
- A reminder of the financial aid increases scheduled to take effect on July 1st, including an increase in the maximum Pell Grant and an increase in the Federal Direct Loan interest rates.
- Plenty of advice from veteran administrators in the field on several topics, including audits, FERPA, enrollment, retention, social media, ethics, and the future of the Perkins Loan.
If you’re an aid administrator looking to get more involved in NASFAA, visit their website here.
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