Monday, December 18, 2017

Calm and Bright!

Nominations and Elections Committee

The Nominations and Elections Committee is pleased to present our candidates for consideration in the upcoming election.  Thanks are owed to everyone who submitted nominations and to those willing to be nominated.  SASFAA continues leading as a vibrant organization due to the dedication and involvement of our many wonderful volunteers.

Election Candidates
            President Elect            Chad Sartini and Bill Spiers
            Treasurer Elect           Michael Birchett and Leah Louallen
            Secretary                      Tarik Boyd and Wayne Kruger

Stay tuned for more communication, including candidate resumes and candidacy statements in the near future.  Voting will begin February 1 and continue through Tuesday, February 13 at 3 PM EST.

Thank you again to everyone who volunteered.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year,

Marian Dill

SASFAA Nominations and Election Committee

Global Issues


It’s time to shake off the cynicism of SAP, C-codes, and PROSPER. Forget the vagaries of verification. It’s the holiday season. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, whatever you personally celebrate; it’s here. It’s the season of hope and joy and at no other time of the year does the light of human kindness shine any brighter.

Something about this time of year brings out the best in us. People are more generous, kind, compassionate, and patient. You tend to do things like pay it forward at a drive through window or adopt a child from the angel tree. You set aside the stress and anxiety of the world and you go to holiday parties with co-workers, friends, or family and you laugh, love, celebrate and embrace moments of joy. You live genuinely in the moment and for a while it really does feel like “all is calm, all is bright.”

Today I want to remind you that the spirit of the holiday doesn’t have to have an expiration date. We live in stressful times, in a profession that exposes us to the financial woes of families from all over the nation. We know their stories, their struggles and their desperation. We also observe how flippantly some students regard their education. We’ve all had days where we’ve thought unkind things about students or parents, and let’s be honest, we’ve hoped fervently for their failure just so they would go away. But this is your chance to change your perspective. Use the holidays to rest, rejuvenate, and to embrace the holiday spirit, but then take it a step farther. Let’s be that generous, that kind, that compassionate when all the holidays songs, services, and observances are over.

I encourage you all to go into 2018 with a commitment to being a light to your campus, your community, and your students. There is enough negativity, anxiety, and commentary in the world right now. We can be a voice of encouragement and compassion. We can be the one smile someone sees on a bad day, we can be better than the frustrations of our jobs. I don’t know about you, but I’ve given too much time and energy, a lot of energy, to sarcasm, cynicism, and negativity this year. I’ve let student attitudes get the best of me. It’s not worth it. No one should have the power to rob you of your joy. So, let’s be purposeful in guarding our joy, and focus on being bringing joy to others in the coming year. Don’t let the spirit of the season expire when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
Who’s with me?

If you require a little assistance in lifting your holiday spirits, I offer you this little gem.

Christmas Crack
  • 28 to 35 saltine crackers (about one sleeve, enough to line your tray)
  • 1 cup (220 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (225 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (10 to 12 ounces) chopped dark chocolate
·         1 Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick aluminum foil (preferred) or regular heavy duty foil, making sure that the foil completely covers the bottom and sides of the pan. If using regular foil, spray lightly with baking spray. Line the saltine crackers in a single layer on the bottom.
·         2 Make the caramel sauce: Place the brown sugar, butter and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter melts. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 to 5 minutes, just until the mixture comes to a boil and starts to darken. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
·         (Note: You're not actually making true caramel here, so you don't need to be as precise or worry about the temperature of the caramel. Just make sure it comes to a boil and wait for it to darken slightly, then continue.)
·         3 Pour the hot brown sugar mixture over the saltine crackers. Spread to evenly coat the crackers.
·         4 Move the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. The caramel will be hot and bubbly.
·         5 Melt the chocolate: Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook it in the microwave in 30-second intervals at full power, stirring between each cook time, until the chocolate has melted.
·         6 Pour the chocolate over the baked crackers: Once the crackers are done baking, remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute, until the caramel is no longer bubbling. Then pour the melted chocolate over the crackers. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the top.
·         7 Cool the crackers overnight: Let the crackers cool to room temperature then move to the refrigerator and cool over night.
·         8 "Crack" the crackers: The crackers will form a single sheet once cool. Remove from pan and gently peel the foil away, being careful not to tear the foil. (If any bits of foil tear and get stuck in the caramel, break those bits away and discard.) Cut the candy into snack-sized pieces using a chefs knife (you can use your hands, too, but I find it easier with a knife).
·         Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week.

Donna Quick

Global Issues Committee

Monday, November 13, 2017

EM Forum, Gold Star Award, Giving Thanks

Professional Advancement Committee

The first SASFAA Enrollment Management Forum was recently held in Orlando, FL.  The Forum covered a wide array of topics, from the history of Enrollment Management (EM), to the strengths and weaknesses of Financial Aid Administrators in EM roles, to the research foundation of EM, to the process of writing a Strategic Enrollment Management Plan.  Both attendees and presenters represented a mosaic of the SASFAA membership, with 4 Year Public, Private, Community College and Graduate schools all represented.  This diversity of representation allowed for an incredible amount of information sharing and growth.    

Special thanks to our presenters, who were unanimously deemed “extremely knowledgeable” by the attendees:

Dr. Forrest Stuart, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Financial Aid at Furman University in Greenville, SC
Mr. Chuck Knepfle, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at Clemson University in Clemson, SC
Mr. Daniel Barkowitz, Assistant Vice President for Financial Aid and Veteran’s Affairs at Valencia College – West Campus in Orlando, FL

The Enrollment Management Forum was a new venture for SASFAA.  Thank you to President Oliver for the opportunity to try something new and to the fabulous attendees who made the Forum so interactive.  I am happy to report that all of the attendees indicated that the information learned in the Forum will not only assist them in their current position, but will also help further their career goals. 

Celena Tulloss, Vice President

SASFAA Professional Advancement Committee

NASFAA Gold Star Award - Update

Global Issues
Joan Bailey - Global Issues Chair 2017-18

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Conference Registration, Alabama and Electronic Services Updates

Registration is open and information is posted on the SASFAA.org website.

Register Today!

Runan Pendergrast - Conference Committee Chair 2017-18

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Global Issues and Georgia Update

Joan Bailey - Global Issues Chair 2017-18

Georgia Update

  • ·         Mercer University hosted our 1.5-day Fall Workshop where we trained 160+ members on a variety of topics; NASFAA Core, Technical Track, State Updates, and New Aid Academy.
  • ·         We unveiled a new GASFAA Logo (See Above) to our members.  After 50 Years we decided a new and refreshing look was needed, one of our very own GA Students created the logo for us.
  • ·         We began a giving campaign for our memorial scholarship, we established a $2000 goal, which we are 1/3 of the way to reaching.  

Stephen Andersen - Georgia State President 2017-18

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Benefits of Membership

The Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) is an anchor for its membership. Professionals, both new and seasoned, from public and private four-year colleges & universities, community colleges, graduate & professional schools, career schools, student lending organizations, guarantors, consulting groups, government agencies, and financial aid software companies find value in SASFAA membership.

Benefits of SASFAA membership include networking with experienced colleagues, up-to-date information on federal changes and new aid programs, participation in important legislative advocacy efforts, nationally renowned training programs for all levels, an active listserv and Nine News blog that allow constant communication with your peers (including financial aid announcements, relevant articles and job postings), volunteer opportunities and leadership positions, and a 4-day annual conference that invites experts from the U.S. Department of Education and financial aid organizations throughout the country to share knowledge and best practices.

Membership dues are only $35.  If you haven’t already, consider joining SASFAA or renewing your membership today!  We look forward to serving you.

Dr. Sharon Oliver, 2017-2018 SASFAA President

Jenelle Handcox, 2017-2018 SASFAA Membership Chair

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Message from the Legacy-Long Range Planning Committee Chair

Our SASFAA long range plan is set to be reviewed and updated in 2022.   In order to prepare for this review President Oliver has given me the opportunity to chair the Legacy-Long Range Planning Committee.  I am happy to have on the committee; Marian Dill- Lee University, Amy Berrier-UNC Greensboro, and Heather Boutell- Bellarmine.   Our task is to ensure that goals and objectives are being met within the time frame set.

President Oliver also has given me the task of ensuring our Legacy (SASFAA’s) continues to serve the purpose as to which it was created. 

Why was SASFAA created you may ask; because individuals had a vision and desire to provide an avenue for a support and resource network which provides training opportunities that enable and enhance the ethical delivery of educational resources to students, to cultivate personal and professional leadership development among our members, and to advocate for public policies that support financial aid programs.

What does legacy mean to you?  I am sure we all may have a different idea of what legacy means, and I was surprised to find so many different definitions, depending on the context in which used.  I believe that legacy is something that is passed on to us whether by family, culture or organizations.    As a member of SASFAA I am proud of the Legacy of SASFAA!

SASFAA’s Legacy, comes at us from the past, and affects our present and also our future. We must as members of our regional association remember that the life of SASFAA’s Legacy is in our hands and it’s our responsibility to preserve and develop it into something that we are proud to pass on to our future members.  We must continue to provide training opportunities to better serve our students and their families, and to ensure that we cultivate future leaders within our association, in doing this SASFAA’S Legacy will continue.

With this year’s theme:  “Optimizing Student Success through Advocacy Support and Outreach, SASFAA’s Legacy will live on”.

Nathan R. Basford, Jr.

Florida State University.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Investing In A Caring Association

     Hearing a financial aid representative state on the last day of August that he was feeling very good and had experienced a quiet day, led me to reflect upon the federal changes that were implemented to enhance our operations during fall registration.  While we experienced the same pace for registration in our office, days filled with many office visitors and high call volumes, I must admit that most of the students did have a FAFSA on file.  I have concluded that a better timeframe to fully assess the success of the new federal changes will be when we are free of 399s, and the DRT is live and functional.  As we advance from registration to travel to the regional association activities.  I wish to provide updates regarding board members, volunteers, goals, membership dues, and training opportunities.
     We are very excited about the active and passionate board members who have been elected and appointed to execute the duties and responsibilities of our association.  This board is committed to delivering a year of exciting events and activities.  The committee chairpersons did an excellent job with vetting the list of volunteers.   As you are aware, our association is supported through the efforts of volunteers.  We are pleased that an opportunity to serve was offered to all volunteers.  If you did not submit a volunteer form and wish to assist the association, we invite you to serve as a moderator for the annual conference. 
     Great emphasis will be placed upon providing service to our members by offering innovative and just-in-time training opportunities, engaging members through a communication blog, and surveying the membership for preconference sessions, and webinars.  Here are the President’s Goals for 2017-18:
  •  Develop a mentorship guide for new members, and collaboratively work with State Presidents to engage new members
  • Identify duties and responsibilities for Treasurer-Elect
  • Increase webinars for training and development of members
  •  Assess the New Aid Officers' Workshop
  • Increase the number of SASFAA members earning NASFAA credentials
  • Review and implement Cost Containment Task Force Recommendations

     We would like for you to benefit from the many offerings that will be held on this year as an active participate in the association.  An inaugural Enrollment Management Symposium will be held on October 22-25, 2017, in Orlando, FL.  There are limited spaces, please register early for this event.  Additionally, there will be training sessions offered through webinars designed to meet the needs of our members. 

Please join the regional association by paying $35 for the membership dues by September 15, 2017.  Also, we encourage you to get involved at the state level, and be an active member of your state association.   Members from all states are represented on the regional board.  You may view members from each state by visiting SASFAA’s website.  We are looking forward to a great year with your support.

Sharon Oliver
SASFAA President for 2017-18

Coming in October: Enrollment Management Forum

     Join us for SASFAA’s inaugural Enrollment Management Forum, October 23 – 24, 2017 at the Embassy Suites, Lake Buena Vista Resort, in Orlando, Florida. 

     To many financial aid professionals, enrollment management is this mysterious function at our institution. We know it involves admission, and somehow financial aid. Perhaps we even see retention efforts spearheaded by the enrollment manager… the Great and Wonderful Oz who lives in the Emerald City and sends flying monkeys to spy on financial aid people. Who is this Oz? How did Oz get to be in that position? How do financial aid professionals move into such great and mighty positions? 

Virginia Welcome and News 

     Welcome to the VASFAA Community!   As President for the 2017-18 year I am very excited and honored to be serving this association and its members during the celebration of its 50th Anniversary! 
     VASFAA, established in April 1968, has maintained its mission to promote the professional growth and collaboration of its members in order to serve fairly the needs of students, families, and institutions in matters related to financial and informational resources supporting student’s postsecondary education goals over the last 50 years.  This mission will continue on.
     This year’s VASFAA theme is:
“Coming Together - Celebrating 50 Years of Serving Students, Families, and Institutions”
The VASFAA Executive Board, appointed Committee Chairs, and committee volunteers are already hard at work in preparation to meet the goals outlined during the transition retreat held in June 2017.  These groups have been charged with increasing membership and participation within the association, developing improved communication, and promotion of professional growth and training through workshops, webinars, and the annual conference.  I am very enthusiastic about what this year offers to help VASFAA “Come Together"
     VASFAA is a dynamic organization with financial aid professionals from all sectors.  This organization has a great deal to offer its members and each and every one of its members has a great deal to offer it in return.  Whether you like to give back through volunteerism, have a desire to network with “like-minded” folks, share your knowledge of the industry conducting sessions, or as a participant in training opportunities, VASFAA has value!  As Vince Lombardi said, “The achievements of an organization are the combined efforts of each individual.” The key to VASFAA’s success is its members and their participation. 
     I am excited to be working with such a dedicated and passionate group financial aid professionals, celebrating 50 years of VASFAA’s success, and embarking on an exciting future ahead.  The 50th Anniversary will be held April 29 – May 2, 2018 at the brand new Hilton Main in downtown Norfolk, VA.  We would love to have you join us to celebrate our 50 years of serving students, families, and institutions.

Thank you
Biz Daniel

VASFAA President 2017-18

Monday, June 19, 2017

This Week in Legislation - Week of June 19, 2017

Week of June 19, 2017
·         This week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. While neither chamber is expected to consider student financial aid-related legislation, the House will consider H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act that provides funds to states, community colleges, and high schools to improve and promote career and technical education programs.
·         On Tuesday starting at 8:30 a.m., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Gallup, and the American Institutes for Research (with the support of Strada Education Network) host an event to highlight their “Launch My Career” tool. Launch My Career, a state-specific consumer information resource for traditional and nontraditional students, was launched in 2016 to provide program-level outcomes information. The event will highlight how to use the tool to help students identify personally and professionally satisfying career pathways, as well as how the education and business communities can work together to promote these pathways for students. Participants in the event include: Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President, Center for Education and Workforce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research, and President, College Measures; Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Education and Workforce Development, Gallup; Amelia Bozeman, Executive Director, Business Education Partnership Foundation; Laura Chrisco, Director of Design and Implementation for Texas OnCourse, University of Texas at Austin; Kim Clark, Senior Writer, Money Magazine; Paul Fain, News Editor, Inside Higher Ed; and Robin Wise, President and Chief Executive Officer, Junior Achievement - Rocky Mountain, Inc.
·         On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) hosts a discussion titled, “Promoting Affordability and Accountability in the U.S. Higher Education System.” The discussion will focus on how states, institutions of higher education, and the federal government can work to promote affordability and accountability. Participants include: The Honorable Tim Scott (R-SC); Sheila Bair, Former President, Washington College, and Former Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Mitch Daniels, President, Purdue University, and Former Governor, State of Indiana; Dr. Mariko Silver, President, Bennington College; Dr. Alisa White, President, Austin Peay State University; and moderator Kimberly Hefling, Senior Education Writer, Politico.
·         On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” Witnesses include: Zachary Wood, Student, Williams College; Frederick Lawrence, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Phi Beta Kappa Society; Isaac Smith, Student, University of Cincinnati College of Law; Dr. Fanta Aw, Interim Vice President of Campus Life, American University; Professor Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California Los Angeles School of Law; Richard Cohen, President, Southern Poverty Law Center; and Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP.
·         On Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., the Brookings Institution hosts a discussion titled, “The Lamppost Theory: Why Economic Policy So Often Comes up Short.” The event will discuss what politicians and economists can learn from each other, and what this all means for the prospects for tax reform in 2017. Participants include: Alan Blinder, Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution; Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA); Vin Weber, Partner, Mercury, LLC; and moderator David Wessel, Director, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy.
·         On Tuesday at 12:45 p.m., House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivers his first major speech on tax reform during an address at the National Association of Manufacturers 2017 Manufacturing Summit: The Resilience of the American Economy. Following his speech, Speaker Ryan will participate in a question and answer session.
·         On Tuesday at 2:30 p.m., the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government holds a hearing on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Witnesses include: The Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC; The Honorable Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, FCC; and The Honorable Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, FCC.
·         On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee considers the nominations of Russell Vought to serve as the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Neomi Rao to serve as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB.
·         On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government holds a hearing on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for the Office of Management and Budget. The sole witness will be The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director, OMB.
·         On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) hosts a public event on student loan servicing at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. The event will feature remarks from CFPB Director Richard Cordray and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.
·         On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee holds a hearing entitled, “Fostering Economic Growth: Regulator Perspective.” Witnesses include: The Honorable Jerome Powell, Member, Federal Reserve System Board of Governors; The Honorable Martin Gruenberg, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; The Honorable Mark McWatters, Acting Chairman, National Credit Union Administration; Keith Noreika, Acting Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and Charles Cooper, Commissioner, Texas Department of Banking, on behalf of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.
·         On Thursday at 1:30 p.m., Education Secretary Betsy DeVos delivers remarks at an event hosted by the National Archives titled, “National Conversation on Rights and Justice: Building a More Perfect Union.” The Secretary will speak during a session regarding “Enlightened and Engaged: Education for Democracy?”
·         On Friday at 2:15 p.m., Federal Reserve Board of Governors Member Jerome Powell gives a speech titled Central Clearing and Liquidity” at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Symposium on Central Clearing in Chicago, IL.
This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This Week in Legislation - Week of June 12, 2017

Week of June 12, 2017
·         This week, both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. However, neither chamber is expected to consider student financial aid-related legislation. This week, the Trump Administration is expected to hold a series of events focused on expanding apprenticeship program for blue-collar workers, including announcing new executive actions to promote job training.
·         Today at 4:00 p.m., the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government holds a hearing on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal for the U.S. Department of Treasury. The sole witness will be The Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury. 
·         On Tuesday and Wednesday, all day, the Federal Reserve holds a two-day meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee. The minutes for each regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee, which include a description of economic and financial conditions, are made available three weeks after its policy decisions are posted in the Federal Reserve Board’s Annual Report.
·         On Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Budget Committee holds a hearing on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal. The sole witness will be The Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury. 
·         On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice holds a hearing entitled, “Lawsuit Abuse and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.” Witnesses include: Rob Sweeney, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mobile Media Technologies; Becca Wahlquist, Partner, Snell and Wilmer; Hassan Zavareei, Partner, Tycko and Zavareei, and Adonis Hoffman, Founder and Chairman, Business in the Public Interest. 
·         On Wednesday starting at 9:00 a.m., the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosts a discussion on a new report analyzing how marriage, childbearing, and the “success sequence” are linked to financial well-being and how policymakers, educators, and other civic leaders can promote smart choices among today’s young adults. The event titled, “Millennials and the ‘Success Sequence’: How do Education, Work, and Marriage Affect Poverty and Financial Success Among Millennials?”, features Wendy Wang, Senior Researcher, Insight Research Consulting; W. Bradford Wilcox, Visiting Scholar, AEI; Ron Haskins, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Annie Lowrey, Contributing Editor, The Atlantic; Ian Rowe, Chief Executive Officer, Public Prep Network; Michael Farkosh, Director of Curriculum and Assessment, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School; Kesi Wilson, Alumni, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School, and Graduate, Philips Exeter Academy; and Daisha Rivas, Student, Girls Prep Bronx Middle School.
·         On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management holds a hearing entitled, “Agency Approaches to Reorganization: Examining the Office of Management and Budget’s Memorandum on the Federal Workforce.” In this hearing, the subcommittee will examine the processes that agencies are pursuing to reorganize, streamline, and make their operations and organizational structures more effective. Witnesses include: The Honorable Ellen Herbst, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Lee Lofthus, Assistant Attorney General for Administration Justice Management Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Don Bice, Associate Director, Office of Budget and Program Analysis, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Michael Stough, Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation Division, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
·         On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development holds a hearing entitled, “Helping Americans Get Back to Work: Implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.” Witnesses will be announced at a later date. 
·         On Thursday at 11:00 a.m., the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee meets to consider S. 410, the Shawna Hill Post 9/11 Education Benefits Transferability Act; S. 473, the Educational Development for Troops and Veterans Act; and S. 882, to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the entitlement to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs for members of the Armed Forces awarded the Purple Heart.
·         On Thursday at 11:00 a.m., National Journal hosts a free webinar titled, “What’s Next for Financial Reform?”, which will address whether the Trump Administration will embrace the Financial CHOICE Act or pursue its own plan, and outline what to expect in finance policy going forward. National Journal participants include: Hunter Hamrick, Finance Policy and Data Visualization Fellow; Francis Torres, Policy and Data Visualization Fellow; Alistair Taylor, Director of Strategic Content and Presentations; and Dan O’Brien, Network Science Initiative Research Analyst. 
·         On Thursday at 3:00 p.m., the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) hosts a free webinar titled, “Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination.” During this webinar, staff of the MSRB and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will review the standards of professional qualification for municipal advisors and discuss the enrollment process for taking the MSRB’s Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50).
·         Friday is the deadline for the public to provide comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the draft 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which was released on April 11, 2017. The Department is reporting a net burden increase of 5,790,741 hours for 2018-2019.
This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This Week in Legislation - Weeks of May 30 and June 5, 2017

Week of May 30, 2017

·         This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in recess for the Memorial Day holiday. Federal lawmakers will return to Washington, DC for legislative business on Monday, June 5, 2017.

·         On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book. Eight times a year, the Fed releases its Beige Book, a summary of current economic conditions for the 12 Federal Reserve Districts based on anecdotal information gathered through reports from Bank and Branch Directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources.

·         On Thursday at 8:00 a.m., Federal Reserve Board of Governors Member Jerome Powell gives a speech titled, “Thoughts on the Normalization of Monetary Policy” at the Breakfast Meeting of The Economic Club of New York in New York.
·         On Thursday starting at 9:30 a.m., Strada Education Network and Gallup release the results of their Education Consumer Pulse, a three year study of U.S. adults about their perspectives and experiences with postsecondary education. During the event, attendees will hear opening remarks by Bill Hansen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Strada Education Network; learn about the reports’ findings from Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Education and Workforce Development, Gallup; and hear reaction from a panel of experts, including: Carol D’Amico, Executive Vice President, Strada Education Network; Les Lenkowsky, Special Counselor to the Dean, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; Teresa Lubbers, Commissioner, Indiana Commission for Higher Education; and Johnny Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

·         On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosts a panel discussion titled, “Is it Time to Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act?” During the event, Richard Sylla, Professor Emeritus of Economics, New York University Stern School of Business, will provide remarks on the history of the Glass-Steagall Act. Other participants include: Martin Baily, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; Oliver Ireland, Partner, Morrison and Foerster LLP; Paul Kupiec, Resident Scholar, AEI; Norbert Michel, Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation; and moderator Alex Pollock, Distinguished Senior Fellow, R Street Institute.


Week of June 5, 2017

The NCHER Daily Briefing will be on a publishing break next Monday, June 5, through Wednesday, June 7, due to the 2017 Spring Convention. 

·         This week, both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business. However, neither chamber is expected to consider student financial aid-related legislation.

·         On Tuesday and Wednesday, all day, insideARM hosts the third annual First Party Summit in Frisco, TX. This event is billed as the industry’s first-ever and only summit focused totally on the unique challenges of first party collections, outsourcing, and customer care. 

·         On Tuesday, all day, the CATO Institute hosts a half-day summit event titled, “Banking Unbound: The CATO Summit on Financial Regulation,” in Charlotte, NC. Participants include: Thaya Brook Knight, Associate Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, CATO Institute; Mark Calabria, Assistant to the Vice President and Chief Economist, CATO Institute; George Selgin, Director, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, CATO Institute; Brian Knight, Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University; Emily Ekins, Research Fellow and Director of Polling, CATO Institute; and Kelly King, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BB&T Corporation.
·         On Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., the Brookings Institution’s Center on Regulation and Markets and Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy brings together four experts with differing views on preserving or modifying Orderly Liquidation Authority in a discussion titled, “Is Dodd-Frank’s Failure Resolution Regime Failing?” Participants include: Ben Bernanke, Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Brookings Institution; David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Hester Peirce, Director, Financial Markets Working Group and Senior Research Fellow, Mercatus Center at George Mason University; Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; and moderator David Wessel, Director, The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy.

·         On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the Federal Reserve releases its “Consumer Credit – G.19” report, which includes the amount of outstanding federal and private student loans.

·         On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) holds a summer meeting of its Consumer Advisory Board with CFPB Director Richard Cordray to discuss credit visibility, credit products, trends and themes, and small business lending.

·         On Thursday at 12:00 p.m., the Federal Reserve releases its “Financial Accounts of the United States - Z.1” report, which examines the assets, liabilities, net worth, and consumer credit (including student loans) of households, nonprofit organizations, and nonfinancial corporate businesses. The Z.1 report is released four times a year, in March, June, September, and December.


This information is shared by SASFAA's Legislative Affairs' Committee and NCHER.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Nudging Students Toward Smart Borrowing

For Publication


Nudging Students Toward Smart Borrowing

Using loan summaries to help borrowers better understand their loans.

As students increasingly rely on loans to finance part or all of their college education the need for relevant, timely information to help make informed borrowing choices has become more critical than ever.
Students themselves are indicating a need for such initiatives, as demonstrated through a number of surveys that uncover numerous confusing concepts for loan borrowers. Consider the following:
·         48% of borrowers either don’t know or incorrectly estimate the amount they have borrowed.1
·         28% incorrectly believe they have no federal loans at all.1
·         94% of student borrowers do not understand their loan repayment terms.2
The ramifications for borrower confusion can be significant. When students do not invest in or avail themselves of existing loan counseling resources, those students, as well as schools and society at large, suffer from the effects of over borrowing, lower degree attainment, increased attrition, and student loan default.
A number of schools and states, however, are using a simple yet innovative approach to help students actively manage loan debt as they progress toward degree completion. These institutions use loan summaries, sometimes called “debt letters,” to supplement loan counseling practices and expand on financial education outreach—keeping students apprised of their individual borrowing levels and allowing them to make informed choices about future repayment scenarios.
Loan summaries/debt letters are a simple, low-touch effort to keep student borrowers engaged in the active management of their loans while in school. While letters can vary among institutions, commonalities include a summary of current aggregate borrowing, estimated monthly repayment amounts, and resources for learning more or obtaining help. These summaries are strategically scheduled to be delivered at times when students are making financial aid and/or course registration decisions, thus providing a highly-effective, just-in-time intervention for borrowers.
Inceptia’s newest research brief, Loan Summaries: Nudging Students Toward Smart Borrowing, examines how three different universities administered their loan summary initiatives and the corresponding results on student behavior. The results offer support that this simple, lost-cost practice can impact not only borrowing behaviors, but also academic performance and enrollment persistence. Furthermore, the brief offers best practice considerations for schools looking at implementing loan summaries as to support student success.
The research brief and a recorded webinar diving deeper into the brief’s findings and offering insight and strategies on how loan summaries help borrowers better understand their loans can be viewed at inceptia.org/smart-borrowers.
1. Akers, E. and Chingos, M. (2014, December). Are College Students Borrowing Blindly? Brookings Institution. Retrieved from: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Are-College-Students-Borrowing-Blindly_Dec-2014.pdf
2. Rathmanner, D. (2016, January). January 2016 Student Loan Borrower Survey. LendEDU. Retrieved from https://lendedu.com/blog/January-student-loan-survey.