Wednesday, February 29, 2012

House Votes to Repeal 2 Controversial Education Department Rules

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to repeal the regulations on the federal definition of a credit hour and state authorization of distance education programs.  Now, the U.S. Senate must take up the issue of repealing these regulations.  It will be a tougher battle to get a favorable vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate.  Even if the Senate passes the repeal legislation, President Obama could still veto the bill to repeal these over-reaching regulations into the higher education industry.

You can read the entire article at:


Monday, February 27, 2012

Review President Obama's FY 2013 Education Budget

Have you had an opportunity to review some of the details of President Obama’s education budget?

In his State of the Union Address, the President laid out a plan for ensuring that our students and workers get the education and training they need to take on the jobs of today and tomorrow. He also later laid out a comprehensive approach to tackle rising college costs. The Administration firmly believes that education cannot be a luxury – it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.

You can read the entire article at the following website:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

SASFAA Conference Information

Good morning SASFAA Colleagues,

More important information to know before the SASFAA conference:

1.       All meeting rooms will have Wi-Fi for members who want to access presentations online with laptops or IPAD.
2.       If an attendee would like to receive CEU's (Continuing Education Units) from AFCPE - Association for Financial Counseling Planning and Education there will be a sign up sheet at the conference registration table. Upon return to your campus you will have confirmation of your CEUs earned at SASFAA.
3.       Check daily for SASFAA 2012 presentations that are available to download for the conference.

Safe Travels to SASFAA!

Shelley Park
SASFAA Conference Chair

More Important Information for the SASFAA conference:

Good Afternoon SASFAA Colleagues

1.  All meeting rooms will have WiFi for members who want to access presentations online with laptops or IPAD.

2.  If an attendee would like to receive CEU's(Continuing Education Units) from AFCPE - Association for Financial Counseling Planning and Education there will be a sign up sheet at the conference registration table. Upon return to your campus you will have confirmation of your CEUs earned at SASFAA.

3.  Check daily for SASFAA 2012 presentations that are available to download for the conference.

Safe Travels to SASFAA

Shelley Park
SASFAA Conference Chair

Monday, February 20, 2012

SASFAA Board Meeting

Good morning SASFAA,

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that you’re getting ready to join us in Greensboro, NC for our annual conference.  The agenda looks fantastic and I would like to thank the Conference Committee and Local Arrangements Committee for doing such a great job getting things arranged for what should be an awesome event.

The SASFAA Board will be meeting in Greensboro just prior to the conference.  Our official meeting will be Saturday (25th) and Sunday morning the (26th).  Please do not hesitate to let me know if there are any items you would like the Board to review at this time.

Have a great day, and I wish you safe travels to Greensboro!

Brad Barnett
SASFAA President

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Have You Considered Attending the SASFAA New Aid Officer's Workshop

New Aid Officers Workshop
North Carolina Central University
Durham, NC
June 17-22, 2012

-- Registration Begins March 1 --

The SASFAA New Aid Officers Workshop is an intense professional development activity designed to provide a working knowledge of the federal financial aid programs, as well as an understanding of the laws and regulations that govern these programs. The curriculum will take the student from A-Z covering the basics of financial aid.

Intended Audience
The workshop is intended for new financial aid administrators with less than three years of experience in the field of financial aid. Other individuals whose professional responsibilities include significant contact with the financial aid process are welcome to attend the workshop on a space-available basis. Preference will be given to financial aid administrators.

Format of Workshop
A carefully selected faculty of experienced aid administrators selected from the SASFAA states and representing diverse institutions will provide instruction. These individuals will team-teach and work with the same class of participants throughout the week. Instruction will include the use of case studies, lectures, and interactive instruction. The faculty will be on site for the entire week, providing opportunities for ample interaction outside the classroom.

Location and Dates
The workshop will be held on the campus of North Carolina Central University (NCCU).  Founded in 1910, NCCU's historic campus is in Durham, in the heart of North Carolina's vibrant Research Triangle.   Visit NCCU’s website at
www.nccu.edu to view the campus.  Classes will be conducted in classrooms that contain PC’s, and other equipment.  Participants should plan to arrive no later than 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2012 to check-in and take care of on-site registration activities. Check-in and on-site registration will be from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2012.

The first class begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2012. The workshop will end on Friday, June 22, 2012 by 11:30 a.m. for room check-out.  Participants may arrive on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Check-in and on-site registration will be available from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm on Saturday. There is an additional charge of $20 if you arrive on Saturday.  Please make your travel arrangements to allow you to arrive before the workshop begins on Sunday afternoon and for you to attend all of the Friday morning activities.

Registration fee for the workshop is $675, if registration is completed by May 26, 2012 and $725 if registration is completed after May 26, 2012. The registration fee includes all instructional materials, most meals, housing and your 2012-2013 SASFAA membership ($35).  Early arrivals- those arriving on Saturday, June 16, 2012 will be charged an additional $20 fee to cover the additional night’s lodging.

Housing will be provided in Ruffin Hall located on NCCU’s campus.  This facility opened in August 2005. This suite style, building has a combination of two person suites with a lounge area and bathroom within the suite. Ruffin is located in the West Campus on the corner of Fayetteville and Larson Streets.  You must provide your own television, laptop and other electronic devices. Wireless access is available in many areas of campus. Each bedroom has one single bed, one desk and chair, one chest-of-drawers, and one closet.  Linens include one pillow, one pillowcase, two sheets, one thin blanket, bath towel and washcloth.

All meals will be cafeteria meals except for Wednesday night.   Beginning with dinner on Sunday, June 17, 2012, participants will be provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner except for Wednesday dinner which is on your own. Morning and afternoon breaks will be provided. There are several special activities and functions planned throughout the week.

TravelNorth Carolina Central University is located in Durham, NC.  Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU) services seven (7) major airlines and/or commuter flights from around the country.  You are responsible for your transportation from the airport to NCCU.  Shuttle services are available.  A list of shuttle services will be posted to the SASFAA website.   For driving directions, please visit NCCU’s website at http://www.nccu.edu/aboutnccu/drivingdirections.cfm

Beginning March 1 you can register for this workshop online at www.sasfaa.org under Training.  Space is limited so register early!

For more information contact:
Runan Pendergrast, SASFAA Vice President
Bluegrass Community & Technical College

Mandy Branch-Friar, Curriculum Coordinator
University of Georgia

What's Next With President Obama's Budget Request?

President Obama initiated the FY 2013 budget process with the release of his budget request on Monday, February 13.  Now begins the long process of discussing and negotiating the final budget.  Read below an outline of how the budget process evolves.

This information was submitted by Amy Berrier on behalf of the SASFAA Legislative Relations Committee.

Budget Request – Check.  What’s Next?
Monday’s release of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget proposal is the first step in a lengthy budget process for the upcoming fiscal year.  Below you will find a summary of the next steps for the FY 2013 budget cycle.  As we have seen last year, a full budget cycle is not often seen through requiring the need for stopgap funding measures, often referred to as continuing resolutions.

The President’s budget proposal is a formal request for funding for the next fiscal year.  This budget proposal (often referred to as the budget blueprint) is usually issued between February 1-14.  This formal request is issued to the United States Congress.  The President’s proposals found in the budget request require action by Congress.

•       February

o       Initial budget request to Congress by President

•       March – Budget resolution process – Congress considers the initial budget request.  Budget resolution is used to set self-imposed budgetary parameters, also in the aggregate, to serve as guidelines for future spending legislation

o       House and Senate Budget Committees have jurisdiction over federal spending priorities
o       Congressional Budget Committees markup respective budget resolutions (how much revenue expected and how much will be spent during FY)

•       April

o       According to the Budget Act, the Senate is required to report its version of the budget resolution by April 1.
o       The House is not mandated to report its version at this time, but tradition is that the House follows the Senate with its release of their version of the budget resolution.
o       A budget resolution may include a reconciliation instruction, or an authorization to amend entitlement programs.  Reconciliation is not subject to Senate filibuster.
o       As long as the net effect of a reconciliation bill is to reduce the deficit, a wide range of program changes that affect spending and revenues may be included in the legislation.
o       After Congressional Budget Committees review their budget resolutions, they then appoint conferees and work towards reaching a conference agreement.  Both Houses of Congress must pass by a majority vote the conference report on the budget resolution.
o       April 15 – After Budget conference report – formal result of the budget resolution process – often referred to as a “budget blueprint” because it does not contain specific levels of funding and is non-binding.  Congress usually misses this target date.
•       President sends detailed budget request to Congress – line by line funding levels for upcoming FY and proposed aggregate levels for the following five years

•       May-June

o       Appropriations Committees draft bills - Based on the Budget Conference Report and the president’s detailed budget request, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees hold hearings and markups for twelve appropriations bills.
o       Following approval of the budget resolution, funding levels for government programs are debated and set by the 12 appropriation subcommittee’s, which come up with detailed spending instructions for federal agencies.

•       July

o       Appropriations bills voted on and passed – Technically, the twelve bills are to be passed before the August recess to ensure completion by October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year. Rarely does Congress meet this self-imposed deadline.
o       Often times—as has been the case in recent years—Congress has failed to pass the twelve appropriation bills before the start of the fiscal year and therefore has operated under a continuing resolution (CR) until the passage of an omnibus spending bill, which combines all 12 appropriations bills into one.
o       Reconciliation legislation can be considered any time before the next budget resolution.

Legislative Relations Committee

Please Help Me Promote Registration to the SASFAA Nine News

Dear SASFAA Nine News Subscriber,

During the week of February 6, I registered 739 SASFAA Members for the SASFAA Nine News blog website.  These 739 persons were not registered for the blog or had tried previously to register for the blog, but did not successfully complete all the steps to confirm their registration.  This mass registration for the SASFAA Nine News blog was a planned initiative to further the use of the blog to speed communication to the SASFAA membership. 

We have had 233 of the 739 persons to complete the confirmation process to the blog in the past 8 days.  I need your help in encouraging our fellow SASFAA friends to confirm their registration to our blog.  Please tell them to look for the email verification message from FeedBurner Email Subscriptions, the service that delivers email subscriptions for SASFAA Nine News.  The web address may look something like this:

The person will need to click the link listed in the message to activate their subscription. If they do not see a confirmation e-mail in a reasonable amount of time, they should check their bulk/spam folder.

The SASFAA Nine News may become our primary (maybe only) means of communications to the SASFAA membership.  We have already ceased the publication of the newsletter.  The next step is to “deactivate” the SASFAA List-serv.

David Bartnicki, our friendly FED, is one of the biggest users of the SASFAA List-serv.  If the list-serv is deactivated and you want to stay apprised of David’s regulatory updates, you will need a “confirmed” subscription to the SASFAA Nine News.  Furthermore, job announcements, conference information, reports from officers and committee chairs, news from other states, etc., will be posted through the blog.

There is no cost or fee to register for the SASFAA Nine News.  On the other hand, you must be a dues-paying member of SASFAA to utilize the SASFAA List-serv.

Please help me spread the word about the SASFAA Nine News. 

Ben J. Baker
SASFAA Communications Chair

Monday, February 13, 2012

U.S. Economic Development Administration Announces University Center Competition

2012 University Center Competition

U.S. Economic Development Administration - Innovate@EDA Monthly Update
Thursday, Feb 9, 2012
U.S. EDA Announces FY 2012 University Center Competition
Eligible Universities in EDA's Atlanta & Seattle Regions Encouraged to Apply

The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced its FY 2012 University Center Economic Development Program competition to promote bottom-up regional strategies that help foster business expansion and job creation in EDA's Atlanta and Seattle regions. Accredited institutions of higher education, including community colleges, or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education are encouraged to apply by the March 30, 2012 deadline.

For prospective applicants, teleconferences will be held to provide general program information and information regarding the preparation of applications for funding under this competitive solicitation. The Atlanta Regional Office will hold its informational teleconference on February 23, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. ET.  The Seattle Regional Office will hold its informational teleconference on March 1, 2012 at 1:30 p.m PT.

To ensure that enough incoming lines are available for each caller, the Atlanta Regional Office requires interested parties planning to participate on the teleconference to register no later than 12:00 p.m. ET on February 21, 2011; the Seattle Regional Office requires interested parties planning to participate on the teleconference to register no later than 12:00 p.m. PT on February 28, 2012.

To register, please send a fax with "FY 2012 UC Teleconference Registration" in the subject line to the designated contact listed below.  The telephone number and pass code for each teleconference will be provided upon registration.

For Atlanta:
Gloria Huang, Program Analyst
404.7303025 (fax)

For Seattle:
Frances Sakaguchi, Economic Development Specialist
206.220.7669 (fax)

To review FFO, click here.

Submitted by Amy Berrier, SASFAA Secretary

Hop Aboard the NAFSAA Training Track at the SASFAA Annual Conference

If you are going to the SASFSAA Annual Conference later this month, check out the new NASFAA Training Track – a series of in-person conference sessions taught by a member of NASFAA’s training staff at your conference!

Each NASFAA session is designed to enhance your knowledge and application of regulations at your school.  Our goal is to provide you with guidance and resources to ensure you are in compliance and following best practices.  If you are registered for the conference, there is no additional charge to attend the NASFAA sessions.

State and regional associations could select up to three session topics from NSASFAA that would most appeal to their members. For a list of NASFAA sessions being offered at your conference, please refer to the final conference schedule provided at registration.

Kind regards,

Connie McCormick
NASFAA Chief Training Officer

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Amy Berrier Reports on Capitol Hill Visits

Happy Tuesday SASFAA,

On February 2nd, 2012, Executive Board Members from SASFAA, EASFAA, and the Tri-State (DC-DE-MD) regions met on Capitol Hill to discuss financial aid issues affecting our community.  EASFAA and Tri-State did this last year (2010-2011) and this being only the second year, invited SASFAA to participate in this event.  Most of you will also remember that some of us participated in the Legislative Briefing on Capitol Hill back in October as well.  At the October event, we invited members of Congressional offices to come hear us discuss important topics in financial aid.

A big thank you goes out to the EASFAA/Tri-State Federal Relations Chairs, Dawn Mosisa and Rachel Smith for their outstanding efforts in coordinating communication, invitations, and managing the appointments and group set-up with all of the Board attendees.  NASFAA Staff also assisted in providing services and information for us to include in the debriefing document.  It was certainly a joint-ASFAA effort!  They also worked hard at creating a debriefing document that we used in our meetings and also dropped off to key Congressional members with which we did not have an appointment.  These members were on the House Education/Labor Subcommittee and the Senate HELP Committee.  We had in excess of 24 appointments with Congressional staffers and dropped over debriefing documents to over 35 offices.

Several attendees had the opportunity to sit in on a majority of the Senate HELP Committee's Hearing on Innovations in College Affordability.  Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) are on this committee.  For those of you interested in watching this Senate Hearing, please do so at the following link:


The larger group was divided into 8 subgroups for the individual meetings.  Brad's particular subgroup met with the Legislative Director and Legal Counsel for Congressman Bobby Scott (VA), Congressman Joe Wilson (SC) and his Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director, and Education Counselor for Senator Bernie Sanders (VT).  David Gelinas' group met with Celia Sims from Senator Richard Burr's staff, Simone Hardeman from Senator Kay Hagan's staff, and one other Congressional staffer.  My group met with staff from Senator Orrin Hatch's (UT) office, Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA), and Congressman Trey Gowdy (SC).  Thanks to Brad Barnett and David Gelinas for participating in this event.

Our meetings were very productive.  We discussed such topics as the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. College Scorecard, Pell and the EFC Formula, needed need analysis changes, loan interest rates, loan debt, private loans, financial literacy/education, Gainful Employment, employability of our students, and administrative burden.

One of the hot topics right now is the College Scorecard.  You can find the scorecard at http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/scorecard.  The administration is seeking feedback, so please take a few minutes to provide some on-line feedback.

As Brad indicated in a previous message, our main goal was to increase awareness and create relationships between ourselves, the Financial Aid Experts (that means all of YOU), and the Congressional staffers.  We asked to remain a key player in these discussions and to allow us to be at the table when things need to be discussed.

Brad summed it up very well.  I hope we can continue this effort in the future.  Great job SASFAA!

Thanks for your support,
Amy Berrier
SASFAA Legislative Relations Chair
SASFAA Secretary

Monday, February 6, 2012

SASFAA Visits Capitol Hill

Happy Monday SASFAA,

The end of last week Board members from the SASFAA, EASFAA, and Tri-States regions converged on Capitol Hill for meetings with Congressional members to discuss some hot topics in financial aid and build relationships.  This was the first attempt at coordinating an event like this for the three boards (EASFAA/Tri-State did this for the first time last year), and I truly appreciate EASFAA and Tri-States for allowing us to be a part of this with them.  I also appreciate all of the hard work their legislative affairs folks put into scheduling our appointments and taking the lead in creating the debriefing materials we provided the legislators.  It should also be noted that NASFAA provided support services to our associations in putting this event together.  It was truly a joint effort. 

Our group had 24 different appointments scheduled with legislators and/or their staff.  We dropped off packets of information for 35 other members of the House Education/Labor Subcommittee and Senate HELP Committee with whom we could not get appointments.  We also had the opportunity to sit in on part of the Senate HELP Committee’s Hearing on Innovations in College Affordability.  All in all, the visit was very productive and we’ll start following up with them now that we are back in our offices.

We divided our larger group into 8 subgroups for the individual meetings.  My particular subgroup met with the Legislative Director and Legal Counsel for Congressman Bobby Scott (VA), Congressman Joe Wilson (SC) and his Deputy Chief of Staff/Legislative Director, and Education Counselor for Senator Bernie Sanders (VT).

Overall, I believe our meetings were very productive.  The subgroup I was a part of discussed topics such as the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, College Scorecard, Pell and the EFC Formula, the cost of borrowing, private loans, changes to the subsidized loan interest rate going into effect in July, loan debt, financial education, employability of our graduates as it relates to their loan debt, and the manner in which some of the current laws and regulations create barriers towards what we can do for our students. 

One of the hot topics right now is the College Scorecard.  You can find the scorecard at http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/scorecard.  The administration is seeking feedback, so if you can carve out a few minutes to provide some on-line feedback that would be great. 

The individuals I saw were all very willing to meet with us, and some even applauded our timing in meeting with them now since Reauthorization will be coming up in the not too distant future.  My hope is that these meetings are part of a bigger process of developing relationships with these offices so we can serve as a resource for them as they move forward on their higher education initiatives.

Amy Berrier, SASFAA Legislative Relations Chair, was instrumental in organizing SASFAA’s involvement in this event.  You will hear from more her about this event as she prepares her comments to post.

Have a great day!

Brad Barnett
SASFAA President

Friday, February 3, 2012

SASFAA Conference Information

Hello SASFAA Friends,

The SASFAA conference is in three weeks away and if you haven’t registered don’t worry you still have time!  Your SASFAA conference committee has been hard at work to develop an outstanding conference.  This year’s committee is Biz Daniel, Lisanne Masterson, Jody Darby, Janet Nowiski, Amanda Sharp, Emily Staggs, Nathan Basford, Sandra Rockett, Cindy May, Laura Diven-Brown, Sharon Oliver and Jennifer Priest.  If you see any of these committee members at the conference please thank them for countless hours of work planning a great meeting for you.

You will not want to miss out on the information packed sessions provided by our friendly feds pertaining to new changes affecting the financial aid community.  In addition, we have a variety of breakout sessions ranging from SAP, Verification, Outsourcing and Detecting Fraud.

The special SASFAA room rate of $124.00 is good until February 10th so make sure to call 1-800-242-6556 and reserve your room.

Other important things to know about the SASFAA conference:
·         BINGO will have a special caller – Elvis.  Go through those Christmas gifts you received that you didn’t want and pack them up to bring for BINGO.  SASFAA members are not picky – we will take anything that is FREE.  During BINGO SASFAA members will have an opportunity to tell funny financial aid stories.  A prize will be given for the best story.
·         Session moderators don’t forget to contact your presenters for their bios and please be in your meeting rooms 10 minutes before the session you are moderating.
·         Get the word out to your EM/Retention folks about the workshop on Sunday “Enhancing the Power of Need-Based Aid to Improve Student Access and Persistence”.   When are you ever going to be able to so easily afford to attend a Noel- Levitz workshop and have the company president /CEO present!

I hope you are ready to get educated, reacquainted with your financial aid family and focused on what’s best for our students!

Shelley Park
SASFAA Conference Chair

Click the link to view a detailed outline of the 2012 SASFAA Conference Program http://www.sasfaa.org/ListLock/N9WXVfbKgbywmmuw.docx