NASFAA In the News

'Input-Adjusted' Metrics Key in Developing Fair and Accurate Ratings Systems
December 10, 2014 - "With college ratings growing in significance for both consumers and policymakers, we asked our contributors: What criteria should weigh most heavily in college and university ratings? How should the department hold institutions accountable for these variables?" YEP-DC's blog reports. NASFAA's Megan McClean weighs in as one of the featured contributors.
'Risk Adjusted' Metrics For Colleges Get Another Look
April 28, 2014 - "Today, ... with the Obama administration developing a system that would rate all colleges, it’s no longer just for-profit institutions arguing for a metric based on students’ income and other demographic information," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "...Other groups and experts, including the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and several education researchers who contributed to a 2012 project called Context for Success, have endorsed the idea, too."
10 Tools To Use For A Tailored College Cost Estimate
October 29, 2014 - "For many students, what they'll pay to attend college​ isn't clear. ​But paying for college doesn't have to remain a mystery. 'While [online tools] might not be able to offer​ a precise number, they give families a ballpark,' says Megan McClean, the National Association of [Student] Financial Aid Administrators'​ managing director of policy and federal relations," according to U.S. News & World Report.
115 Education Groups: GOP No Child Left Behind Legislation Is Vastly Underfunded

February 12, 2015 - "The Republican-dominated House education committee just approved legislation, H.R. 5, that is a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act with funding levels that critics say are inadequate to properly support K-12 public education," The Washington Post reports in an article that lists NASFAA a member of the Committee for Education Funding. 

3 Lessons To Teach Mom And Dad About Paying For College
September 9, 2014 - "'[Y]ou can’t expect students and parents to pay the same way they did a generation ago,' says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," according to U.S. News & World Report.
3 Reasons To Get Help During The Financial Aid Process
July 12, 2014 - "Though you can probably do the financial aid process alone, it may make things simpler if you take advantage of the countless free resources out there," according to USA TODAY, which cites NASFAA as an "excellent free resource...,which goes through financial aid and tuition discounts by state and provides information about taxes in regards to financial aid."
4 Strategies For Surviving A College Tuition Increase
December 3, 2014 - "There’s not one thing that drives tuition increases, but many different factors' says Megan McClean, director of policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," according to U.S. News & World Report.
4 Ways Graduate Student Loans Differ From College Debt
March 11, 2014 - "[There are] key differences between federal financial aid for grad students and undergrads. ... 'On the graduate side there tends to be less subsidy,' says Justin Draeger, president and CEO of [NASFAA]. 'You’re just going to see larger amounts of loans, and potentially some work-study,'" according to U.S. News & World Report.
4 Ways To Get In-State Tuition As Fast As Possible
June 20, 2014 - "According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), there are four regions in the United States (southern, midwestern, western and New England) with many states that have 'programs that allow residents to attend university in another state, without having to pay out-of-state tuition,'" USA TODAY reports.
5 Financial Aid, Student Loan Changes To Anticipate In 2015
January 14, 2015 - "The past several years brought some notable changes to student loans and financial aid. ... But 2015 should be different, say experts," according to U.S. News & World Report. "'Generally, we don’t anticipate too many major changes this year,' says Megan McClean, [NASFAA's] managing director of policy and federal relations."
5 Money Moves Every College Senior Should Make Before Graduation
February 5, 2015 - "The countdown to college graduation is on," NerdScholar writes for USA TODAY. "'Bills will come due no matter what and the objective of the financial aid office is to help students keep their finances together and to make sure their debt remains in good standing,' says Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]."
5 Myths About Student Financial Aid
October 20, 2014 - "It's time for thoughts about college applications, which means students are filled with anxiety over whether they will get into their dream school, quickly followed by their (and their parents') panic over how they will pay for it. For those already in school, this is a time of sticker shock as tuition bills for the new semester start to arrive," The Chicago Tribune reports. "'The words 'independent' and 'dependency' can get confusing and often trip people up,' said Justin Draeger, president and chief executive of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. 'It really boils down to whether the federal government views your family as being responsible to help pay for your education — which in most cases, for traditional college-aged students, they do.'"
5 Sweet Tax Breaks For Students

March 27, 2104 - "[T]ax breaks might save you a serious chunk of change when April 15th rolls around. ... '[Tax credits] are a financial benefit, but you don't get it at the time your tuition bill is due,' explains Karen McCarthy, a policy analyst for [NASFAA]," reports.

6 Ways Smartphones Can Aid College Searches

December 11, 2014 - "Choosing the right college at the right price is a daunting task, especially considering nearly two-thirds of Americans think pursuing a degree at any institution has become unaffordable, according to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll," FOX Business reports. "Prices have climbed so far, so fast that ability to pay is the top reason students cite for why they don't go to college or drop out before graduating, says Justin Draeger, president and CEO of [NASFAA]."

7 Ways To Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life

November 18, 2014 - "Following are some tips from college financial experts on steps to take before, during and after college to help ensure that your debt load remains manageable so it doesn't ruin your life," CNBC reports. "It's best to determine in advance how much you will spend in total on college and how much you're willing to borrow, said Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]."

A Move To Simplify The Dreaded FAFSA

January 28, 2015 - "The vast majority of students now fill [the FAFSA] out online, says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," Marketplace reports. "'Skip logic' technology lets them bypass questions that don’t apply. 'The average student today can complete the entire FAFSA, start to finish, in 20 minutes,' Draeger says."


A Proposal To Radically Simplify Student Loan Payments

March 24, 2014 - "Whether students leave college with a degree or without one, they face a dizzying array of challenges—where to live, how to get a job, and increasingly, how to repay their loans. Five organizations, including the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and Young Invincibles, have a proposal that aims to answer that last question with a streamlined and automated alternative to the complex system of repaying loans," Bloomberg Businessweek reports. 

Advisers Legally Restricted From Providing Students With Certain Loan Information
April 3. 2014 - "Federal laws that restrict what loans advisers are allowed to mention to students mean that students are not provided with information that could save them money, according to Tom Melecki, director of Student Financial Services," the University of Texas' Daily Texan reports. "According to Karen McCarthy, senior policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, one option provided to the University is to advertise a list of approved, independent lenders to students, with the hopes that those lenders recommend alternative loans."
Aid Administrators Back Federal Student Unit Record
August 7, 2014 - "The main group representing student aid administrators has backed a proposal to create a federal database that tracks student progress through higher education and into the workforce," Inside Higher Ed reports.
Another College-Access Issue: Financial-Aid Jargon
November 11, 2014 - "From his office window, Eric Johnson can see the groundskeeping staff clearing off the sidewalk with leaf blowers. Colleges like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he works, pull out all the stops to make their campuses inviting. But rarely, he says, do they work as diligently to create a welcoming presence online, even though that’s where today’s prospective students encounter them first," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.  "Creating good written materials for an aid office is a full-time job, [Pamela Fowler, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor's executive director of financial aid] says, and she encourages her counterparts at other colleges to hire accordingly. 'They all want to do it,' she says, 'but they just can’t seem to get their administrations to give them the funds to do it.'
Are College Aid Planners Worth The Money?
August 14, 2014 - "The college financial aid application process can be tough for any family to manage on their own, but is it worth the money to bring in a professional?" Yahoo! Finance reports. "'The process can seem overwhelming at the onset and perhaps that's why people turn to these advisors, to gain some clarity... We’re really focused on making sure the public realizes that they can get this information without paying for it,'" says Megan McClean, director of policy at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Are We Forgiving Too Much Student-Loan Debt?
November 7, 2014 - "Back in 2007, Congress made a simple promise to student borrowers: Stick with a public-service career for 10 years, making monthly payments along the way, and we’ll forgive the rest of your debt. Now, as the bill gets closer to coming due, a growing chorus of analysts and observers is asking: Was that the right promise to make?" The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "'There’s a moral hazard for the student—whether it’s degree-hopping or whether it’s going too far into debt for any single program,' says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
AwardLetter: A Resolution To NASFAA’s Ethical Dilemma
November 5, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) released an article exploring the ethics of award letter information," CampusLogic reports on its blog.
Awkward FAFSA Decimal-Point Glitch Might Threaten Your Financial Aid
July 24, 2014 - "Thousands of college students are dealing with a confusing Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, which may have, by the way, led to large-scale financial aid woes. ... 'It’s a serious problem,' Jeff Baker, policy liaison at the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, said at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ meeting this week, as reported by TIME. 'We have to fix it,'" Bustle reports.
Because Of Application Mistake, Some Pell Grant Recipients Might Not Be Eligible After All
July 23, 2014 - "'Students who have questions should definitely look at their financial aid report or check in with their financial aid office if they think there may have been an error,' said Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]," the Associated Press reports.
Bill Aims To Ease Student Loan Burden
May 28, 2014 - "The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act — which [Sen. Dick] Durbin co-sponsored with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — would allow students with older, higher-interest loans to refinance at lower rates," The News-Gazette reports. "Dan Mann, UI director of financial aid [and NASFAA treasurer], said the new rates would provide flexibility for students who are struggling to repay their debt by making payments more affordable."
California: Minimum Wage, Not Yet
December 5, 2014 - "Justin Draeger, the president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said there are unexplored complexities with UC Berkeley’s current position but generally the federal government wants its federally funded student workers to make the highest minimum wage in the area," Inside Higher Ed reports.
College Freshmen Need To Beware Of Bait-And-Switch Aid Offers
February 23, 2015 - "Families receiving college financial aid offers this spring should beware: what they see this year may not be what they get next year," Reuters reports. "Most colleges try to offer consistent aid packages throughout a student's career, and there are numerous reasons why grant aid may drop when first-year aid packages are compared to those offered to returning students, said Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
College Kids’ Homeless Hell: Why A Secret, Massive Crisis Is Getting Even Worse
November 17, 2014 - "Student homelessness in higher education is a larger issue than most realize, with tens of thousands across the country homeless," Salon reports. "Salon received numbers from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), who obtained them from the Department of Education via the Freedom of Information Act, as to how many students indicated homelessness on their FAFSA."
College Loan Rates Double As Frustration With Congress Grows

July 1, 2013 - "As student loan interest rates doubled Monday, Republicans and Democrats in Washington criticized each other for failing to come to a last-minute agreement and stave off the increase," the Washington Times reports. “'We’re disappointed that lawmakers were unable to find a bipartisan solution that would bring down interest rates for all federal student loan borrowers — despite the fact that the Obama administration and members of Congress have proposed similar solutions that would bring federal student loan interest [rates] down,' said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."

College Tuition Hikes Slowing, Report Says

November 13, 2014 - "Though college tuition and fee prices still outpaced the rate of inflation in the past year, the average increases were lower than those posted in the past five years, the past 10 years and the past 30 years, according to the report published Thursday by the College Board," The Chicago Tribune reports, in an article that quotes NASFAA National Chair-Elect Dan Mann. 


Commentary: Funding A Dream: Pell Grants Create A Safety Net For Students

April 1, 2014 - "If you think you don't have enough money to pay for college, the U.S. government can help through the Federal Pell Grant Program," NASFAA president Justin Draeger penned for, a division of Mediaplanet.

Commentary: Preparing Your Campus For Prior-Prior Year
February 10, 2015 - "Allowing families to use 'prior-prior year' (PPY) income and asset data when submitting the FAFSA is another attempt at tackling issues of access and affordability," Aaron Mahl writes for University Business. "This provision was introduced last year by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. It has been supported by the National Association of Student Financial [Aid] Administrators and would provide families with more timely communication and transparency about cost and out-of-pocket expenses."
Commentary: Rising College Costs: Stepping Back From Polemics
September 8, 2014 - "In 2010, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) reported that 'increased regulatory or compliance workloads [were] the reason for resource shortages experienced in institutional offices,'" University Business reports.
Congress Gets An ‘F’ On Student Loan Crisis
June 28, 2013 - "While you were refreshing SCOTUSBlog or celebrating the death of DOMA, Congress has been trying and failing to prevent interest rates on federal Stafford loans—the most popular form of college funding—from increasing from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent," the Daily Beast reports. "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, says the July 1 increase is just one part of a larger problem: a patchwork of rules and interest rates for every kind of loan. 'That’s why we think it’s so important to have a long-term, comprehensive solution as opposed to focusing in on one subset of loans.'"
Cosign Of The Times: The Rich Are Borrowing To Pay For College Too
October 22, 2014 - "A new Pew Research Center study shows that from 2010 to 2012, the percentage of middle- and upper-middle-income students who borrowed money for college doubled, and they’re borrowing twice as much money as their peers did a generation ago," Take Part reports. "'The bottom line is more and more people are borrowing in all income brackets,' [NASFAA's Megan] McClean states."
Critics Assail Government's Response To Student-Aid Fraud
June 30, 2014 - "Two years ago, in the wake of an alarming report from its inspector general on fraud in federal student-aid programs, the U.S. Education Department announced that it would write new rules to protect taxpayer dollars from abuse," according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, in an article that quotes NASFAA Policy Analyst Karen McCarthy and Board Member Richard Heath.
DC Students and Colleges Share Their Thoughts on the Student Loan Interest Rates Controversy

June 6, 2013 - "Now that you know what the student loan debate is all about (if not, you should read this), it's time to hear from some of the lesser heard voices who are apt to be greatly impacted by whatever decision is to be made about the interest rates on subsidized Stafford Loans," In The Capital reports. NASFAA is mentioned in the article.

Deadline Nears For Higher Student Loan Rates
June 25, 2013 - "It's crunch time for students who rely on subsidized government loans -- interest rates on them double to 6.8% on July 1," CNN Money report. "'We're advising our schools to tell students that their subsidized Stafford interest rates are going to be 6.8% on July 1,' said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
Don't Risk Retirement When Paying For College Education
May 22, 2014 - "Be aware that changes may be coming to the financial aid application process," The Chicago Tribune reports. "...'Right now, we don't have a very well-aligned process' for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), said Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]."
Driving College Loan Defaults Down
July 29, 2014 - "Outsourcing delinquent borrower outreach to a company focused on default prevention is an aggressive defensive approach that can have a real impact on loan payment rates," University Business reports. "'Default prevention is a laborious process that requires a lot of time and people,' says Karen McCarthy, a senior policy analyst for [NASFAA]. 'These companies know what efforts are fruitful, so time won’t be wasted on tactics that don’t work.'"
Education Officials Vie For Millions In Nebraska Lottery Proceeds
November 19, 2014 - "It's a rare pot of gold — about $17 million in annual lottery proceeds which the state constitution says must be used for education — and school districts and other educators are jousting for a share," The Journal Star reports. "Opportunity grants — which are given to students who qualify or come close to qualifying for federal Pell grants — are an 'integral part' of ensuring access to higher education, said Craig Munier, director of scholarships and financial aid at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln [and former NASFAA National Chair]."
Effort To Make Comparing College Costs Easier Stymied By Congress
May 7, 2014 - "Congressional gridlock could imperil a new effort to make comparing college costs easier," according to Financial Advisor. "The House measure introduced in December has yet to have a hearing in Congress despite sponsorship by frequent vocal competitors on other issues, California Republican Darrell Issa and Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, and support from [NASFAA], the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and consumer groups."
End The Student Loan Tax
October 20, 2014 - "There is a growing and warranted concern over student loan debt in this country. On a daily basis we are reminded about record levels of student debt, stories of struggling borrowers, and general anxiety among Americans about the cost of college. Add to this a little known fact that students and parents are actually being taxed on their federal student loans. It has to stop," Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) and NASFAA President Justin Draeger write in an exclusive op-ed for The Hill.
Enroll All Student-Loan Borrowers In Income-Based Repayment, Report Says
March 20, 2014 - "The federal government should automatically enroll all borrowers in an income-based repayment plan and deduct their payments through employer withholdings, according to a new report by a consortium of five student-aid advocacy and research groups[:] Young Invincibles, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Committee for Economic Development, and HCM Strategists," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Even With Student-Loan Compromise, Rates Will Likely Increase
June 26, 2013 - "A small bipartisan group of senators is close to reaching a compromise to avert the impending increase on student-loan interest rates, but it’s far from a done deal," The National Journal reports. NASFAA President Justin Draeger is quoted in the article.
FAFSA Bill Latest Lob In Higher Ed Law Rewrite

June 20, 2014 - "The Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency Act of 2014 would amend the Higher Education Act in several ways. ... 'We’re with Sens. Alexander and Bennet in the spirit of what they’re doing,' [NASFAA] President Justin Draeger said, adding that 'there are a lot of logistical questions that still need to be answered,'" POLITICO Pro reports. 



FAFSA Confusion: College Students Lose Financial Aid Due To Decimal Point Error On Application
July 4, 2014 - "At least 165,000 college students applying for financial aid may have been denied loans and grants because they mistakenly declared themselves millionaires on a federal application. 'It’s a serious problem,' Jeff Baker, policy liaison at the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, said at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ annual meeting earlier this week," The Star-Ledger reports.
Fafsa Fix Will Mean Less Aid For Many
July 21, 2014 - "[NASFAA] is telling its members to take a second look at non-tax-filers with unusually high earned income or a large year-over-year increase," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Financial Aid For Seniors Going Back To School
July 29, 2014 - "The number of graduate and postgraduate students ages 50 to 64 has been climbing steadily, from 625,000 in 2007 to as many as 750,000 in 2011 — a 20 percent increase, according to the National Center for Education Statistics," AARP The Magazine reports. "For most types of federal financial aid, you need to be enrolled at least half time in a degree or academic program. 'You can't just go back and enroll in continuing education or take one class at a time,' says Karen McCarthy, senior policy analyst with [NASFAA]."
Financial Aid Professionals Call For Reporting Changes
August 11, 2014 - "New recommendations from a task force representing financial aid professionals on college campuses call for streamlined reporting requirements, at the same time advocating tracking of individual student outcomes to give consumers better information as they make college choices," Education Week's College Bound reports.
Financial Aid Pros Ponder Loan Servicing
February 3, 2015 - "Congress may be looking for ways to streamline and improve student loan servicing, but there’s plenty that Education Department officials could do on their own, according to a new report from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," POLITICO Pro reports.
Financial-Aid Administrators To Scrutinize Student-Loan Servicers
June 17, 2014 - "In a statement issued on Tuesday, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the National Direct Student Loan Coalition announced that they were forming a task force on servicing issues," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
First College Graduation, Then The Payments
November 9, 2014 - "Mary Walsh is a little leery of getting the mail these days. She's not looking forward to getting the envelope with the first bill for her student loan," The Detroit Free Press reports. "'Some students see the envelope from them and think it's junk mail or a phishing attempt,' [Jesse O'Connell, assistant director for federal relations at NASFAA] said. 'They need to pay attention to what the companies are telling them.'"
Forget Elizabeth Warren
June 10, 2014 - "With summer campaign season underway, the Democrats are looking to rouse young voters by offering them a break on their student debt," Slate's MoneyBox reports in an article that quotes NASFAA President Justin Draeger.
Free Application For Federal Student Aid Applications Open Jan. 1
December 22, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators ... suggests these ways to avoid making the most common mistakes when seeking financial aid," the Omaha World-Herald's Money Talks blog reports.
Free FAFSA Help: MI College Goal Offers Sunday Events
February 3, 2015 - "During the first two weeks of February, high school seniors across the state can receive free assistance in filing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms," The Holland Sentinel reports. "The MI College Goal events began in 2004 as 'College Goal Sunday' as a cooperation between the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Lumina Foundation for Education."
Georgia: Crowdfunding Lends Unconventional Help To Tech Savvy Students
January 16, 2015 - "'Crowdfunding seems to be a way to use technology to do what students have always done, which is to look around to see who in their circle of family and friends is able to help them pay for college,' said Beth Maglione, a spokesperson for [NASFAA]," The University of Georgia's The Red & Black reports.
Georgia: Local Students Brace For Loan Rate Increases
July 2, 2013 - "College students looking to get government loans to help pay for their education may want to think twice before signing on the dotted line after the large interest-rate hike took effect Monday, effectively doubling the rates on student loans nationwide," The Marietta Daily Journal reports. "Because of that increase, when a student starts paying back the loan, the interest will lock in at 6.8 percent, meaning they would pay about $4,000 to $5,000 more over the course of their college careers than under the previous rates," said Ron Day, director of Kennesaw State University’s Office of Student Financial Aid and chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Georgia: WSCC Administrators Present Information On Rural Students
August 7, 2014 - "Washington State Community College's director of financial aid, Shannon Venezia, published a blog post in The Chronicle for Higher Learning online journal and along with Amanda Herb, vice president of enrollment and student success, presented 'The Challenge of Rural Students: Best Practices' at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators' annual meeting," The Marietta Times reports.
Good News: There’s A New Way To Get Out From Under Student Debt
November 21, 2014 - "Two of the biggest private student loan providers have welcome news for struggling grads: Soon, some distressed borrowers will be eligible for lower interest rates and lower monthly payments. 'With federal loans, you have built-in insurance in case of job loss or disability or death,' says Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]. 'These are protections provided to every borrower. Those protections don’t always exist in the private student loan market,'" Time reports.
Here's Your Grant Money, College Students. Don't Spend It All In One Place.
July 14, 2014 - "Last year, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators proposed a 'Pell Well' where students could 'draw' funds as needed, with some limits like prorated payments if they didn't take a full slate of classes," National Journal reports.
Higher Ed Data Bill Band-Aids Over Problems
July 7, 2014 - "[T]o date, the American Association of Community Colleges, Association of Community College Trustees, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and now the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators are all on the record as supporting a unit record system," Ed Central reports.
Higher Ed Groups Respond To Harkin’s Draft Proposal
September 2, 2014 - "Dozens of higher education interest groups submitted comments last week on Senator Tom Harkin’s draft proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act," Inside Higher Ed reports, in an article that includes a link to NASFAA's comments.
Higher Education Advocates Propose Student Loan Repayment Plan
April 7, 2014 - "As defaults and delinquencies among federal student loan borrowers are increasing, a consortium of higher education advocacy and research organizations is calling on Congress to reform the overly complex loan repayment process. ... 'Far too many students needlessly slip into student loan default despite the numerous safeguards like income-based repayment that would keep their loans current,' said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. 'Moving to a system of auto-IBR as proposed in this paper would prevent borrowers who are already facing monumental challenges from the added dire consequences of loan default,'" The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals reports.
Higher Student-Loan Interest Rates Could Have Political Costs
June 28, 2013 - "Senate Democrats... find themselves on the defensive, forced to explain their inaction on an issue that just last year helped the party win the student vote," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators...pointed out that while Congress has a history of staving off crises at the last minute, its recent track record hasn't been that great: Just look at sequestration, the across-the-board budget cuts that took effect in March, despite Congress's efforts to avert them."
How A Financial Aid Mix-Up Created Thousands Of Unwitting Paper Millionaires
July 8, 2014 - "Remember that thing called the decimal point? Federal financial aid applicants are relearning its value the hard way," Slate reports. "Officials at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators told the Chronicle of Higher Education that most colleges will have at least one if not hundreds of students affected by the mishap and will need to reprocess their FAFSA forms to adjust for the mistake."
How Cost Of Attendance May Become A Recruiting Tool
January 14, 2015 - "On Saturday at the NCAA convention, college and athlete representatives from the nation's five wealthiest conferences likely will vote to redefine an athletic scholarship so that it can cover not only the traditional tuition, room, board, books and fees, but also the incidental costs of attending college," USA Today reports. "'I don't think anyone's going to argue with trying to get athletes some more money — scholarship money, institutional funds — but if the way to do it is by manipulating the cost of attendance … then we've crossed over into the absurd,'" Justin Draeger, president of NASFAA, said.
How One University Helps Student-Aid Recipients Make Good Choices
July 1, 2014 - "Duke University is one of a handful of wealthy colleges with very generous student-aid policies," reports The Chronicle of Higher Education's Head Count blog. "The university’s goal is to minimize student borrowing and ensure that students who do borrow take out the best available loans, Alison Rabil, assistant vice provost and director of financial aid, said in a presentation here on Monday at the [NASFAA] annual meeting."
How To Pay Your Student Loans While You’re Still In School
September 15, 2014 - "'If possible, pay the interest on the loan while still in school,' said Megan McClean, managing director and federal relations for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)," reports.
How To Save For College
April 13, 2014 - "One of the most common mistakes parents make ... is deciding not to save any money at all for their child's education out of concern that it might impact their ability to get financial aid in the future. 'If you can choose to save, don't not do it because you're afraid of eligibility,' said Karen McCarthy, a senior policy analyst with [NASFAA]. 'The federal formula for financial aid is driven more by income than by assets, and a student's assets are weighted more heavily than a parent's,'" The News-Times reports.
How to Use Obama's College Scorecard
Feb. 13, 2013 - "President Obama wasted no time fulfilling one of the promises made in last night's State of the Union address, releasing the administration's new College Scorecard earlier today," U.S. News reports.
How To Weigh Student-Aid Offers
March 22, 2014 - "College acceptance letters are now rolling in—as are financial-aid award letters. You might be tempted to choose the school that offers you the most financial-aid dollars. Not so fast. ... 'The largest aid offer might not be the least-expensive option for a student,' says Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA], a nonprofit professional organization," The Wall Street Journal reports.
How To Win The College Scholarship Game
August 15, 2014 - "With tuition and fees at a four-year private college or university averaging $30,094 a year, many students need help making ends meet. The good news is that scholarship money being handed out by corporations, foundations and other private-sector benefactors is on the rise," The Wall Street Journal reports. "If families receive an offer of merit-based aid, they can ask their first-choice school to top an offer from another school, though there is no guarantee the request will be granted, says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
Improving College Accessibility With A Simple Reform
July 11, 2014 - "Last year, [NASFAA] conducted an in-depth review of 160,000 FAFSA applications. It found that about 70 percent of grantees would see no change in their awards if they used the 'prior prior' year's income on their applications," National Journal reports.
In FAFSA Simplification, Complexity
February 9, 2015 - "It seems, all of a sudden, that there’s a rush among policy makers in Washington to chop off questions from the 108-question Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA," Inside Higher Ed reports. "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said that colleges worry that eliminating too many questions on the FAFSA will give them a less precise understanding of their students’ financial capacity."
Income-Based Repayment For All
March 21, 2014 - "All student borrowers should automatically be enrolled in income-based repayment plans because far too many of them default on their debt, Young Invincibles Policy and Research Director Rory O'Sullivan told Morning Education.. A paper written by several higher education groups, including NASFAA, "also suggests that for students to get federal student loans, an institution should have to prove its borrowers can pay off debt," Politico's Morning Education reports.
Is This The End Of The Line For Perkins Loans?
November 14, 2014 - "The Federal Perkins Student Loan Program is in peril. ... 'We're going to have an uphill battle,' said Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]. 'If there's a cost to continuing it, and Congress is faced with that decision point, what will they do?,'" The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Is Your Institution Being Accurately Compared?
March 19 - "Peers in PIRS: Challenges & Consideration for Rating Groups of Postsecondary Institutions," commissioned by NASFAA, "'makes the case that any postsecondary outcomes need to be 'corrected' for various inputs ...and provides examples that speak to the feasibility of 'mission' as a peer-group identifier. 'Having an accurate picture of student outcomes at similar institutions is a worthy goal,' said NASFAA President Justin Draeger in a statement. 'But this must be done thoughtfully lest we do more harm than good,'" eCampus News reports.
KASFAA President Elect Ben Kohl & Government Relations Co-Chair Craig Carlin Attend NASFAA Leadership Conference
March 25, 2014 - "Craig Karlin (Co-Chairperson for Governmental Relations) and Ben Kohl (President-Elect) are very grateful to the KASFAA board of directors and the members of KASFAA for sending them to the NASFAA Leadership and Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.," reports the Oz-Sociated Press, the blog of the Kansas Association of Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA).
Kohl Inducted As President Of Kansas Association Of Student Financial Aid Administrators
April 30, 2014 - "On April 24, at the spring conference for the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, Ben Kohl was inducted as president. ... He also will serve ... on the website redevelopment task force for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," K-State Today reports.
Lamar Alexander Wants To Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
November 3, 2014 - "When the senator unfurled the paper Fafsa at the annual meeting of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, they reminded him that the vast majority of students now fill out the form online, where they can bypass many questions. 'It’s like debating VHS and Betamax in an era of digital video,' said Justin Draeger, president of the association," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Lawmakers Try to Simplify Student Aid

January 8, 2015 - "U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) and Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) introduced legislation Wednesday proposing a dramatic slim-down of the form to a simple 'postcard' with two questions: 'What is your family size?' and 'What was your household income two years ago?'" The Wall Street Journal reports. "...Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA], called Wednesday’s bill 'a great opening salvo' in the push to simplify aid applications."


Let’s Shrink the Fafsa, Senator Tells Financial-Aid Officers
July 1, 2014 - "Sen. Lamar Alexander defended his plan to scrap the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before a skeptical crowd of financial-aid administrators on Monday, telling them that the lengthy form is beyond repair," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Leveraging Tax Breaks to Save on Higher Education Expenses
March 27, 2014 - "With April 15 just around the corner, [NASFAA] has just come out with a guide to help families understand the available options from credits, which can directly reduce the amount of taxes paid, to deductions that reduce the amount of income taxed," Education Week's College Bound blog reports.
Making Loan Counseling Count
February 20, 2015 - "The current design, content and length [of the existing loan counseling module] 'drains most users of their attention, focus, and tolerance long before the end,' TG Research and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators found," POLITICO Pro reports.
Making Student Loans More Affordable
June 9, 2010 - "President Obama declared 2014 a year of action – vowing to use the power of his pen and phone to help ensure that hardworking Americans have the opportunity to succeed. And this week will be no different," the White House says in a press release that mentions NASFAA. "Working with student debt researchers and student advocates, the Department of Education and the Department of Treasury will also develop and launch a pilot project to test the effectiveness of loan counseling resources, including the Department of Education’s Financial Awareness Counseling Tool. The lessons learned will be considered for future actions by the Department and shared with outside partners like the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to improve loan counseling activities at colleges and universities throughout the country."
Many Colleges Fail To Report Deals With Student-Aid Contractors
December 10, 2014 - "A 'significant number' of colleges aren’t notifying the Education Department when they contract with outside servicers to administer federal student aid, a lapse that’s made it difficult for regulators to determine whether the contractors are following federal laws, the agency says," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said a number of colleges may simply be unaware of their obligations."
Measuring Colleges’ Access and Diversity Efforts
July 1, 2014 - "Not only do colleges have different goals when it comes to diversity, they don’t all define the term the same way," writes Sarah Pingel in a guest post for The Chronicle of Higher Education's Head Count blog. "Ms. Pingel, a researcher at the Education Commission of the States, is scheduled to speak on this topic at the [NASFAA] annual meeting this week."
Minnesota: Lawmakers Push For Pell Grant Changes

July 9, 2014 - "Last year, [NASFAA] developed a ... year-round [Pell Grant] concept — the 'Pell Well' — that would allow students to draw funds based on their financial needs," Minnesota Daily reports.



More Protection Is Needed For Private Student Loans
July 21, 2013 - "With the confirmation of Richard Cordray, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is poised to extend greater protections to students and parents who borrow private education loans," NASFAA President Justin Draeger writes in The New York Times' Room for Debate on the "Consumer Finance Agency's New Clout."
Myths & Facts: Student Debt Crisis

April 25, 2013 - "In a post for University Business, Justin Draeger of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators stated that the myth that 'increases in student aid drive up college costs' is one that lawmakers use 'when justifying proposals to cut federal student aid spending,'" Media Matters for America reports.

NASFAA In the News

Recent media appearances and interviews.

NASFAA Offers Education Tax Benefit Guide
June 27, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has released a series of guides to inform families about tax benefits that could help them afford college," Black Enterprise reports.
NASFAA Offers Tools To Help You Find Money For School
August 25, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has created an interactive map, to help students locate state funding options," Black Enterprise Magazine reports.
NASFAA Releases Student Aid Recs
August 8, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is out with a set of recommendations targeting the reporting burden on schools and students," POLITICO reports in its Morning Education newsletter.
NASFAA Task Force Report: Servicing Issues
February 26, 2015 - "A recent report from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) made recommendations to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on ways to improve federal student loan servicing," New America's Postsecondary National Policy Institute reports.
Nebraska: NU Offers Financial Aid Help To Victims Of Severe Storms
June 28, 2014 - "The University of Nebraska has announced that it will make financial aid adjustments to help students and families in areas that have been declared federal disaster areas after being ravaged by severe weather," the Kearney Hub reports. "The idea emerged from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where Craig Munier, director of the office of scholarships and financial aid [and NASFAA National Chair], said his office was contacted by students from affected areas."
Nebraska: Students Learn To Manage Their Finances In The Face Of Rising Debt
November 24, 2014 - "The average debt for UNL undergraduates post-graduation is $20,567. But the average indebtedness data can be misleading, said Craig Munier, director of the UNL Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid [and former NASFAA National Chair],"  the Daily Nebraskan reports.
Need Financial Aid For College? It's Almost Time To Apply
December 4, 2014 - "Laurie Wolfe, a board member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, says preparing now can make the [FAFSA filing] process less stressful," the Greenburg Daily News reports.
Need Financial Aid? Now's The Time

January 4, 2015 - "The financial aid application period is 18 months long, running from Jan. 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, for the 2015-16 school year," The News-Gazette reports. "But students shouldn’t dawdle — money runs out early for some grants, including the need-based Illinois Monetary Award Program, said Dan Mann, UI director of financial aid [and NASFAA National Chair-Elect]."

New College Students Taking On Less Debt, College Board Reports
November 13, 2014 - "New college students are borrowing less, even as tuition hikes continue to outpace inflation in the United States, the College Board reports," according to United Press International. "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said legislators should avoid the temptation to cut student aid during economic downturns."
New Report Suggests Ways To Ease Applying For And Dealing With Loans
February 10, 2015 - "The financial aid realm is notorious for its 100-plus-question form and the headaches it creates for students — but a new report offers proposals to simplify the financial aid and loan repayment process," The Daily Tar Heel reports.
New Research Points To Gaps In Student-Loan Counseling
June 30, 2014 - "Each year a larger share of new graduates leave four-year colleges with student-loan debt, and the average balance of those who borrowed is higher, too," The Chronicle of Higher Education's Head Count reports. "To help fill that hole, TG, a nonprofit organization that guaranteed loans in the discontinued federal bank-based program, has undertaken a four-part research study in consultation with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
New Tool Breaks Down Federal Policy
July 3, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has created a new, interactive Federal Budget Tool to help administrators (and proactive parents and students) ascertain the answers to [federal budget process] questions, and to navigate the process through which the federal student aid programs are funded each year," eCampus News reports.
New UofL Financial Aid Director Back To Where Career Started
June 4, 2014 - "Sandra J. Neel, the University of Louisville’s new executive director of financial aid [and former NASFAA board member], has come full circle," UofL Today reports.
Obama College Ratings System: White House Debuts Bare-Bones Framework For Public Comment
December 19, 2014 - "People should see the framework as a way to 'learn where the department of education is prioritizing their efforts,' said Jesse O'Connell, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators assistant director for federal relations," International Business Times reports.
Ohio: Scholarship Change Draws Ire
June 5, 2014 - "The University of Akron is facing accusations it pulled a bait-and-switch on perhaps hundreds of its scholarship students," Inside Higher Ed reports. "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said that when the association lobbies about changes to federal aid policy, it always seeks to make any changes affect only new borrowers. That’s so that existing students' expectations about existing policies can be met."
Opinion: Is College Still A Good Investment?
October 8, 2014 - "There is so much noise in the conversation about the value of higher education that it has become increasingly difficult to know if it is worth the time and money to go to college to earn a bachelor's and perhaps a master's degree," Eileen O'Leary, NASFAA chair and assistant vice president and director of student financial assistance at Stonehill College, writes in an opinion piece for HigherEdJobs.
Opinion: Origination Fees: A Hidden Student Tax
November 19, 2014 - "Congress has hijacked the discussions around federal student loans, asserting that they are somehow a burden to the government. Considering they generate more than $50 billion in revenue annually, nothing could be further from the truth," Arthur F. Kirk Jr., president of Saint Leo University, and Melinda S. Clark, assistant vice president of financial aid at Saint Leo University, write in an opinion piece for The Hill. "In fact, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has been calling for an end to loan origination fees for several years, and renewed that message to Congress last summer in its proposals for student financial aid reauthorization."
Opinion: The Case For Raising The Student Borrowing Age In The US
February 20, 2015 - "The rationale for a minimum student borrowing age — and no such standard currently exists at the federal level, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators — would be exactly the same as the one for the drinking age," Gary Silverman writes in a Financial Times opinion piece.
Opinion: The Long Term Impact Of Student Loan Debt On Universities
September 24, 2014 - "The financial aid office – the place where students figure out how they are going to pay for school. ... But some financial aid offices aren’t helping students," Robert Farrington writes in a Forbes opinion piece. "However, some colleges and universities are starting to understand this and are trying to change the mindset. In fact, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators recently had their annual conference and this was discussed at length."
Parent PLUS Loan Requirements Revisions Get Mixed Initial Reviews
October 23, 2014 - "The U.S. Department of Education Wednesday announced additional changes to the Parent PLUS Loan requirements, which have been the source of much controversy recently," Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports. "'Although the typical borrowing profiles of parents and graduate/professional students are very different, currently ED applies the same credit standards to both parent and graduate/professional borrowers (i.e., PLUS borrowers must have no adverse credit history in order to borrow),' said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, in a statement submitted to the department ahead of the rule changes."
Payroll Withholding Offers New Path For Income-Based Repayment By Student Loan Borrowers
December 18, 2014 - "Enrolling Americans with student loan debt in an automatic Income-Based Repayment system and automating their repayments through employer payroll withholding could substantially simplify the student loan system and lessen the number of loan defaults, contends three higher education research and advocacy organizations in a new policy paper," Diverse: Issues in Higher Education reports.
Pell Grant Protection Act Calls For Summer Education Funding
June 11, 2014 - "Amid 2011 budget cuts, Congress decided to withdraw year-round Pell Grants, leaving about 1 million students to find an alternative way to finance their summer education. In April, a handful of U.S. senators and representatives announced they’re trying to bring the grants back. Karen McCarthy, senior policy analyst for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), "says NASFAA is excited about its possibilities. 'There’s no downside to it from the student perspective,'"USA Today reports.
Pennsylvania: Charter Pupils Get $100,000 Scholarships To Widener U.

June 5, 2014 - "Widener University announced that it would award $100,000 scholarships to every eighth-grade student who graduates from Widener Partnership Charter School in Chester," The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "'The earlier the better,' Jesse O'Connell, a spokesman for [NASFAA], said about awarding scholarships to eighth graders. 'It kind of gets them thinking that college is possible and finances aren't a barrier.'"

Pennsylvania: Lincoln Seeks To Lure Students With A Promise Tuition Won't Rise
September 15, 2014 - "Lincoln University's promise got Aitza Hedgemond's attention: The incoming freshman's annual tuition would remain at $11,836 all four years, guaranteed. 'Certainly this is something that has been coming up more in the past several years,' said Megan McClean, director of policy and federal relations for [NASFAA]. 'We think it's always beneficial when you can provide predictability for students and parents,'" The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Polis Introduces Legislation To Address Crisis Of Rising Student Loan Debt
November 21, 2013 - "Rep. Jared Polis , D- Colo. (2nd CD), issued the following news release: Today, Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), along with Representatives Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Tim Bishop (D-NY), introduced legislation to tackle the rising student loan debt crisis by bringing fairness, common sense, and transparency to the student loan process," according to ...'The financial aid community stands behind The Know Before You Owe Act, which takes the important step of requiring full institutional certification of all private student loans, just as is currently required on all federal student loans. Private student loans often lack important consumer safeguards like the income-based repayment options and guaranteed deferments of federal student loans. This bill will allow aid administrators to provide better counseling on debt management by giving schools a fuller picture of students' financing options. The Act also excludes federal student loans from Health and Human Services from the definition of a 'private education loan,' providing a much-needed fix to a legislative provision that has caused confusion to student borrowers for years. NASFAA urges Congress to support this legislation.' - The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
Problem With Online FAFSA Makes Some Low-Income Filers Look Like Millionaires
July 3, 2014 - "An update to this year’s federal student-aid application is making some low-income filers look like millionaires—and could cost some their federal student aid," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Colleges will have to reprocess those individuals Fafsas and notify the students of any revisions in their awards. Colleges that offer institutional aid will have to reallocate their own money as well—a 'double whammy,' said Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]."
Quiet Players, Deep Pockets

December 9, 2014 - "Student loan guarantee agencies faced an uncertain future in 2010, when the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress eliminated government-backed private lending," Inside Higher Ed reports, in an article that cites Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation's collaboration with NASFAA. 

Redefining Loan Repayment
January 14, 2015 - "One commonly proposed method to curtail high default rates is an income-based repayment (IBR) plan, under which students repay their loans based on a set percentage of their income, rather than paying an arbitrary monthly minimum," the Young Education Professionals' Recess blog reports in an article that references NASFAA's co-authored report, "The Case For Payroll Withholding."
Repayment Strategies For Your Student Loans
January 11, 2014 - "[S]tudent loan default rates rose steadily from 4.6 percent in 2005 to over 10 percent in 2011, according to the federal data. Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, thinks he knows why," CNBC reports. "The counseling sessions aren't reaching a key cohort of borrowers, he said, and those borrowers may be less motivated than most to repay their loans."
Report: Pay Off Student Debt Like Social Security
December 17, 2014 - "It sounds like a simple solution: Enroll student loan borrowers in an income-based repayment plan, and they'll have no reason to miss payments and get into financial trouble. But expanding that repayment method to millions of borrowers could lead to unintended consequences that could further burden those in debt, according to a new report from youth advocacy group Young Invincibles, Washington-based think tank the New America Foundation and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," U.S. News & World Report writes.
Resources for Students and Families About Financial Aid
July 1, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ website features a series of pages for students and parents. Through videos, short narratives and graphics, NASFAA discusses the basics of financial aid on the federal and state levels, tax breaks, cutting costs and more," the American Council on Education's Higher Education Today blog reports.
Retiree Confident In Interim Director Of Scholarships And Financial Aid
January 23, 2015 - "In his new role as interim director of Scholarships and Financial Aid, James Volkmer understands it’s a job that can seem mundane and straightforward," The Daily Nebraskan reports. "Volkmer’s fervent belief in keeping students a priority of the office of SFA follows the distinguished legacy of Craig Munier, who announced his retirement in December after working for 16 years as the director of SFA at UNL." Munier served as NASFAA National Chair in 2013-14.
Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage Will Affect Student Aid For Such Couples
June 27, 2013 - "The Supreme Court's decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 will result in the fairer treatment of married gay students, financial-aid experts say, giving the government a truer picture of the students' ability to pay for college," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. NASFAA President Justin Draeger is quoted in the article.
Saying 'Here’s How' Rather Than 'You Can’t'
April 7, 2014 - "I wanted to call our blog readership's attention to an article that was in a recent NASFAA newsletter because I thought it was particularly helpful at this time of year when financial aid offices (and admissions recruiters) are having conversations with families about aid packages," Kathy Kurz writes on Scannell & Kurz's blog.
Sequestration Budget Cuts: Which WI Counties Have the Most Federal Employees?
Feb. 28, 2013 - "Unless Congress reaches a last-minute agreement on the sequester by Friday, the huge budget cuts slated to kick in have the potential to affect more than 6,200 federal employees working in Milwaukee County," reports. "Barring any kind of deal, the Obama administration will have to impose $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts to military and domestic programs on Friday, according to The New York Times. Those cuts would be the start of $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade. The numbers in the graph above show the number of federal employees in Wisconsin by county in 2012, according to the latest figures from Eye on Washington, a DC-based lobbying firm that tracks federal employment. It compiles the data from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. While much has been written on how the current sequestration battle in Washington could affect the national economy, these numbers are meant to give readers a sense of the sequestration at the local level. Of the 6,200 federal employees in Milwaukee County, more than 3,900 work for the Department of Veterans Affairs and about 800 are employed by the Department of Defense. On Sunday, the Obama administration released a report that showed Wisconsin could see more than $27 million in federal cuts if the sequester takes effect. And a report released this week by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators said the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee could lose about $40,000 in federal work study grants."
Should All Students Be Able to Borrow? Maybe Not, Says One Group
Feb. 13, 2013 - "When the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation asked 16 organizations to 'reimagine' the financial-aid system, one grant recipient saw an opportunity," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. The article discusses NASFAA's RADD report.
Should Taxpayers Help Foot The Bill For Advanced Degrees?
April 24, 2014 - "The Congressional Budget Office has released projections for the Department of Education’s profits over the coming decade. The U.S. Department of Education is expected to generate $127 in profit on loans to students and their families. About three quarters of that profit is expected to come from graduate students, despite the fact that students pursuing advanced degrees make up a smaller portion of the lending market," 89.3 KPCC reports. “In a perfect world, what we really want to see is the government providing opportunity to students at the graduate or undergraduate level… At the graduate level, our goal here ought not to be a significant return on our taxpayer investment. Whatever earnings we’re making on these programs, let’s reinvest them back into our student programs or into our students directly,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger during the radio segment.
Should Your Student Loan Payments Be Withheld From Your Paycheck?

January 12, 2015 - "What if — along with the federal, state, local, Social Security and Medicare taxes that are automatically withheld from every payroll check — student-loan borrowers could also have their payments extracted from that as well? That’s precisely what the New America Foundation, Young Invincibles and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators are proposing in their recently published, thought-provoking report: The Case for Payroll Withholding — Preventing Student Loan Defaults with Automatic Income-Based Repayment," reports.


So How Much Will It Cost To Send Your Child To College This Year?
May 7, 2013 - "Across the country many parents are experiencing a variety of emotions," the Huffington Post reports. NASFAA is mentioned in the article.
Some Proposals to Remake Student Aid Would Harm College Access, Panel Warns
July 1, 2013 - "In a report released late Sunday night, the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance urges lawmakers to give 'special scrutiny' to five ideas that it says could 'worsen inequality in college completion,'" The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said the advisory panel's report raises 'valid concerns' about the effect that changes in the student-aid system could have on low-income and minority students, but he argued that such concerns shouldn't prevent an 'open discussion about how we improve student-aid programs to foster access and success.'"
Streamline Consumer-Information Process, Says Financial-Aid Group
August 6, 2014 - "A nine-member panel was convened by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to study federal requirements for consumer-information disclosure," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker reports.
Student Debt Burdens Seniors

September 19, 2014 - "It's important for colleges, universities, financial aid administrators to be thinking about ways that they can experiment in getting information to [students] that will be effective in helping them manage their loan debt as they leave school," NASFAA President Justin Draeger said in an interview for CNBC's Nightly Business Report.


Student Debt Declines For Third Straight Year
January 5, 2015 - "Might the cliche of the forever-indebted college student someday become a fable?" University Business asks. "'When we paint the need to borrow for higher ed as a crisis, there is a damaging effect for students thinking about going to school,' says [NASFAA's Megan McClean]. 'The more we see these numbers level off and the more we share that, this will help remove the stigma around borrowing and pursuing higher education.'"
Student Debt In Mind, Education Dept. Renegotiates Loan Servicers’ Contracts

August 29, 2014 - "In June the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the National Direct Student Loan Coalition announced the formation of a task force to focus on possible improvements in the servicing contracts," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker blog reports. 

Student Loan Default Rate Drops To 13.7%
September 24, 2014 - "Things are finally starting to look up for student borrowers, with fewer of them defaulting on their loans," CNN Money reports. [But among for-profit institutions] "'We're seeing a persistently high default rate at those schools that serve at-risk students,' said Justin Draeger, the president [of NASFAA]."
Student Loan Rates Double Without Congress' Action
July 2, 2013 - "College students' interest rates are at the mercy of Congress. The interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans doubled from 3.4 percent Monday and could stay doubled unless Congress fulfills its pledge to restore lower rates when it returns from the Fourth of July holiday," the Associated Press reports. "We're telling members to advise students that interest rates are going up,' said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
Student Loan Servicers To Be Scrutinized By Task Force
June 18, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators announced yesterday that it is teaming up with the National Direct Student Loan Coalition on a joint task force that could put new pressure on student loan servicers to improve the repayment process," MainStreet reports.
Student Loan System in U.S. has Deep Structural Problems
May 14, 2014 - "America’s long regnant and self-destructive spirit of disinvestment in society has produced not only the world’s most heavily indebted student population but also a huge tax evasion problem, and the reform legislation Senator Elizabeth Warren and about two dozen co-sponsors proposed last week are not likely to undo the damage," The Voice of Russia reports.
Student-Aid Group Recommends Steps To Improve Loan Servicing For Borrowers
February 4, 2015 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators conducted a survey of its members to identify problems in the student-loan-servicing industry, which has drawn scrutiny from consumer advocates and federal regulators," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker blog reports.
Student-Aid Group Releases Revised Ethics Documents
May 1, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators released on Thursday updated versions of its Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker reports.
Student-Aid Group Suggests Changes In Loan Forgiveness For Public Service
July 31, 2014 - NASFAA's "Public Service Loan Forgiveness Task Force offers several policy recommendations for improving the loan-forgiveness program," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker reports.
Student-Aid Leaders Call For Alternatives To Obama’s College-Rating System
July 1, 2014 - "The departing chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators offered his alternative on Monday to President Obama’s forthcoming college-rating system, calling for a system based on 'social responsibility,'" The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Student-Loan Counseling Has Room For Improvement, Study Finds
February 19, 2015 - TG "worked with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to create recommendations for improving the content of, design of, and policies for exit counseling,"The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker blog reports.
Students Who Fail To Fill Out FAFSA Could Be Missing Out, Analysis Finds
March 14, 2014 - "About 2 million students have missed out on 'free' money toward college assistance, simply because they didn’t apply for it," The Daily Nebraskan reports. NASFAA National Chair Craig Munier says, "For many years I’ve always told families, ‘Don’t assume that you’re not eligible.’ The best way to find out if you’re eligible is to apply because the process and the eligibility criteria used by the federal government can change from year-to-year, so your experience from three years ago may not still be relevant."
Summit County’s Congressman Jared Polis Pushes Budget, Flood, Student Debt Initiatives In House
November 22, 2013 - "U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, was busy this week championing efforts for a balanced budget, flood relief for Colorado’s energy sector and a commonsense solution to the rising student loan debt crisis," according to Summit Daily. "The crusade began Wednesday when Polis teamed up with California Democrat Barbara Lee in penning a letter to chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees making a case for parity between defense and non-defense cuts in any sequestration deal. The letter was signed by 64 members of Congress."
Tackling Diploma Debt
September 2, 2014 - "'The six-month grace period goes very fast if you’re not in graduate school or don’t have a full-time job,' says Karen McCarthy, a policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," Financial Advisor reports..
TEACH Grant: A Trojan Horse Of Debt

February 4, 2015 - "The data is in, and lest there be any doubt, the federal government is pulling a bait-and-switch on aspiring teachers, the likes of which might make even the most unscrupulous lender blush," NASFAA President & CEO Justin Draeger writes in an op-ed in The Hill.


Tennessee: College Financial Aid Officers Skeptical Of Reforms
June 30, 2014 - "Speaking to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators at the group’s national conference on Monday, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., presented six proposed additions to the 1965 National Higher Education Act for its reauthorization this year," The Tennessean reports.
Tennessee: Sens. Rand Paul, Lamar Alexander visiting Nashville on Monday
June 28, 2014 - "U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Rand Paul will be in Nashville on Monday to host a roundtable discussion about the Affordable Care Act with state health care professionals," The Tennessean reports. "Alexander will also speak... at the [NASFAA] national conference at the Music City Center."
The Battle For FAFSA Simplification Begins

February 9, 2015 - "'We have a limited pool of funds, and you’re taking a pool of applicants and trying to figure out the relative financial strengths to each other,' Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, told Inside Higher Ed," Red Alert Politics reports.


The Future Of College Financial Aid: An Interview With Justin Draeger
June 5, 2014 - "With college costs continuing to rise and the US economy still sputtering, financial aid for college is more important than ever to families trying to foot the bill. The big question then is what is the future of college financial aid? For that answer I turned to the man at the top, Justin Draeger, the President of the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)," Forbes reports.
The PLUS Loan Problem
August 16, 2013 - "This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced changes to the PLUS loan underwriting standards that may help previously denied PLUS loan applicants obtain loans," NASFAA President Justin Draeger writes in an opinion piece for Inside Higher Ed. "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators offers three recommendations to add vital consumer protections to Federal PLUS loans."
The Sequester: Shenanigans or Serious Business?
Feb. 28, 2013 - "If the federal government imposes the $85 billion "sequester" cuts, which could go into effect Friday night, the changes may not be immediately apparent for many metro Atlanta residents," reports. "Many of the departments and agencies likely to be affected, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are themselves unsure how they would be affected. "It is not clear how individual field offices will be impacted by the implementation of the sequester," said Stephen Emmett, spokesman for the FBI's Atlanta field office. Politico reports that the Atlanta-based disease detectives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could see their funding cut, hampering their ability to mobilize if there is a public health crisis. CDC Director Tom Frieden told POLITICO: “It would impact every CDC program. It would make us less able to find and stop outbreaks.” Federal funds flow to state health departments, but Georgia health officials said it's too soon to say how services to the public would be affected. "If sequestration does occur, which and to what extent programs will be impacted is not clear," said Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam. Atlanta's Universities could lose funds to help low-income students. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has offered estimates on how much could be at stake in lost opportunity grants and work-study funds for students."
The Smarter Way To Borrow For College

December 8, 2014 - "Follow these steps to ensure you’re making the best decisions on student loans," The Fiscal Times writes. "'Students often start their search for schools based on things like location, faculty, and extra curriculars,' said Megan McClean, director of policy and federal relations for [NASFAA]. 'Cost and affordability also need to be part of college fit.'"

The Solution To The Student-Loan ‘Crisis’? Depends On How You Define It
June 25, 2014 - "Student-loan debt is widely perceived to be a problem, even a crisis. Experts, advocates, and policy makers have been debating how to tackle it for years, and with the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act on the horizon, those conversations are likely to pick up steam," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "'We know there are instances where students are borrowing too much,' says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators."
There's Something Broken In America's Financial Aid System

June 13, 2014 - "The last lines of defense between teens and decades of debt are generally college financial aid offices. ... 'I can guarantee that students are doing entrance counseling because schools face program reviews and audits all the time,' says Justin Draeger, president and CEO" of NASFAA to Yahoo Finance!, adding that "The timing of entrance counseling is not great. You’re doing it at the same time as you’re moving on to campus, enrolling in classes, buying books. There’s a lot going on competing for a student’s attention."

There’s A Way To Dramatically Lower Student Debt Payments, But Hardly Anyone Uses It
December 29, 2014 - "The White House has enacted broad initiatives to give students more options for repaying their loans. Yet only 14 percent of Americans with federal student debt are enrolled in government plans that allow them to lower their payments if they’re not making enough money to cover them, according to data from the Department of Education," The Washington Post reports, in an article that mentions NASFAA's latest co-authored report, "The Case For Payroll Withholding."
This Program Improved College Graduation Rates. So Why Was It Abandoned?
June 3, 2014 - "A group of Democratic senators led by Mazie Hirono of Hawaii has introduced a bill to restore summer Pell Grants. Among other options being discussed by the House education committee is a 'Pell Well' of funds from which students could withdraw over the course of their educations, regardless of the time of year," according to The Hechinger Report. "'Higher education has changed pretty dramatically in the past decade,' [NASFAA's Justin] Draeger said. 'We’re talking about courses that don’t run on traditional schedules. Year-round Pell helps get at that.'"
This Week: FAFSA Simplification / The Wisconsin Idea
February 13, 2015 - In the latest installment of Inside Higher Ed's This Week podcast, NASFAA President Justin Draeger weighs in on proposals to simplify the FAFSA.
Tips To Manage Student Loan Defaults
August 13, 2014 - "A literature review published in the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ Journal of Student Financial Aid stated, 'The majority of the research we reviewed suggested that completing a postsecondary program is the strongest single predictor of not defaulting regardless of institution type,'" Community College Daily reports.
To Reduce Loan Defaults, Automate Payroll Withholding, Report Says
December 17, 2014 - "With student-loan default rates rising, a growing number of policy makers, think tanks, and advocacy groups are calling for automatically enrolling some or all borrowers in income-based repayment, or IBR," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker blog reports, in a post that cites a new report from NASFAA, New America, and Young Invincibles.
Top Links For Finding Financial Aid
August 20, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has developed [a] page with links to all of the state’s financial aid programs," Patch reports.
Tuition And Borrowing Growth Slows

November 13, 2014 - "College prices are still climbing, but they’re doing so at a slower pace than they were for the past several years, and the amount of money borrowed for higher education last year fell for the third straight year, according to two reports released today by College Board. Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA], said this year’s reports are good news over all," Inside Higher Ed reports.


Turning Financial-Aid and Admissions Staffs Into an Enrollment Team
June 30, 2014 - "Training admissions and financial-aid staff members to do one another’s jobs can be a challenge, but it can make for a smoother enrollment process for students and their families. Ms. Weaver, the university’s director of financial aid, is scheduled to present on the topic this week at the [NASFAA] annual meeting, in Nashville," said Melanie Weaver in a guest post for The Chronicle of Higher Education's Head Count blog.
University Business: Support for Proposed Legislation from Financial Aid Administrators
Feb. 22, 2013 - Rep. Tom Petri’s proposed overhaul of federal student loans encompasses a number of concepts and concerns that have gained growing attention recently as political rhetoric surrounding student loan reform heats up. Critics of the existing loan programs cite increasing complexity, unpredictability, and fiscal instability in the programs as they are currently structured. This article was penned by NASFAA’s Brittany Hackett and originally published in University Business magazine.
Utah: Experts Say Now Is The Time To Apply For College Funding
January 5, 2015 - "The start of 2015 opened up an opportunity for college-bound students in Utah and across the U.S. who need help paying for tuition," Utah Public Radio reports. "'It's a good time to sit down with the family,' [Laurie Wolfe, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators member] said. 'And start talking about,'What do we need to be looking at?’ I highly encourage people to get hold of a copy of that application now, look through it, pull together the documents that you need.'"
Vendors Vie For A Piece Of The Default-Management Pie
July 3, 2014 - "Inside the exhibit hall at the conference of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators here this week, companies that help colleges keep their student-loan default rates down competed for financial-aid officers’ attention," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
Virginia: Bill In General Assembly Would Require Colleges To Post Consumer Data Online
February 7, 2015 - "A bill in the General Assembly would require colleges and universities to list 'consumer information' — including average tuition and fee increases over the past 10 years — on their websites," The Daily Progress reports. "[NASFAA's Karen] McCarthy said she’s not familiar with the General Assembly measure, but as a rule, policymakers should be asking families what information is important to them."
What A GOP-Led Congress Means For Higher Ed
November 4, 2014 - "Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said that advocates for student aid may find themselves in the position of having to stave off reductions or fight for at least flat funding," Inside Higher Ed reports.
What To Do When You Haven’t Saved A Dime For College

November 12, 2014 - "'PLUS is a tricky program because you want families to have access to education, but at the same time you want to make sure they are not being burdened by excessive debt,' said Jesse O’Connell, assistant director for federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, The Washington Post reports.

What’s Missing From The Merit-Aid Debate
July 1, 2014 - "Merit aid has a bad reputation: Critics say that when colleges use it, they reduce the need-based aid available to low-income students. Jon Boeckenstedt disagrees," The Chronicle of Higher Education's Head Count reports. "For many colleges, merit-based aid is a necessity, he said during a presentation here on Tuesday at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ annual meeting."
Where Are We Now With The FAST Act Proposal?
December 22, 2014 - "Megan McClean, managing director of policy and federal relations for [NASFAA], says the group supports the bill’s 'spirit of simplification' but is worried about shortening the FAFSA too much," NerdScholar writes for USA TODAY.
Why American Students Are Struggling With – And Defaulting On – Small Debts
February 23, 2015 - "Student loan balances climbed to $1.2 trillion at the end of 2014, and delinquencies are rising even as they fall for most other types of debt," PBS NewsHour reports. "Judy Woodruff learns more from Megan McClean of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and William Elliott of the University of Kansas."
With Decimal Mistake, Students Become Millionaires
July 7, 2014 - "Low-income students have inadvertently presented themselves as millionaires on an application for federal financial student aid — making it less likely they will qualify for grants and loans. ...[NASFAA] was encouraging applicants with questions to reach out to their institution’s financial aid office," the Associated Press reports.
Young Immigrant Finds Opportunities For Education
July 19, 2014 - "According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, DACA recipients do not fit into any of the U.S. Department of Education's categories for eligible noncitizens, and are ineligible to receive federal financial aid and most state financial aid," the Herald-Tribune reports.
Your Call: What Do Students And Parents Need To Know Before They Take Out Student Loans?

August 27, 2014 - On August 27, NASFAA's Director of Policy and Federal Relations Megan McClean was a featured guest on San Francisco's KALW Local Public Radio show, "Your Call." Tune in to the recording for McClean's interview and question-and-answer session.


Your Financial Aid Could Be Taken Away Thanks To One FAFSA Mistake
July 24, 2014 - "For any students who believe they may have made an error when filling out the FAFSA form online, Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, suggests you contact your financial aid office to make sure you're still eligible to be awarded a Pell grant or other need-based federal aid," In The Capital reports.