National Conversation Initiative

NCI 2010Our National Conversation Initiative on Access and Aid for Student Success in Postsecondary Education fosters dialogue and builds consensus for effective student aid reforms, with the goal of enacting reforms that remove financial barriers to postsecondary education.

Begun in 2008, the project started with a year-long effort to gather input from thousands of financial aid professionals, public policy experts, and data from more than 40 related research studies. In April 2009, we published the initial project report proposing a coherent framework of 30 integrated recommendations for remaking the student aid system so it is more effective and efficient.

Since the launch of the preliminary recommendations, we continue to gather input from financial aid administrators and experts. The National Conversation continues, and we annually issue an update to highlight progress that has been made - or not -  through regulation, legislation, or other initiatives. 

2010 National Conversation Initiative Report

The 2010 report highlights progress towards, and setbacks to, our initial policy recommendations as a result of recent regulations, legislation, and other initiatives.

National Conversation Initiative

The National Conversation Initiative on Access and Aid for Student Success in Postsecondary Education fosters dialogue and builds consensus for effective student aid reforms

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National Conversation Initiative Preliminary Recommendations, 2009

A first look at policy and practice recommendations for system reform, generated by our comprehensive nationwide dialogue with practitioners and policy experts.

NCI: Assessing Ability to Pay Under a Simplified System

Envisions how an Income-to-Poverty Ratio could be used as an eligibility indicator for federal student aid programs, and considers further system implications.

NCI: Restoring Responsiveness to Campus-Based Funds

Creating a single campus-based program would reduce administrative burden and provide  flexibility to adjust packaging policies to respond to prevailing
economic and social needs.

NCI: Sample Simplified FAFSA

An example simplified FAFSA, incorporating National Conversation Initiative recommendations. This proposed streamlined application was delivered to the White House Council of Economic Advisors for consideration in FAFSA system redesign.

NCI: Simplification - Eight Recommendations

Eight specific recommendations for an efficient and effective process that eliminates roadblocks to access while maintaining system integrity.