NASFAA In the News

'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."
111 Colleges Are Accused Of Violating Law By Requiring Student-Aid Forms
February 4, 2014 - "More than 100 colleges may be violating a federal law that bars institutions from requiring applicants for federal student aid to submit forms other than the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. NASFAA President Justin Draeger said, "If there is actually a practice where schools would not award federal aid, then those schools should be held accountable. More likely it’s needing to be more clear on the consumer-information pieces."
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."
3 Ways To Boost College Access
November 14, 2013 - Today the Senate is holding a hearing on student aid and college access with a focus on simplification, in advance of the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. In an opinion piece penned for Inside Higher Ed, NASFAA President and CEO Justin Draeger offers three recommendations policy makers can apply immediately to simplify programs and increase college access.
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 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]," Schools.com reports.

5 Ways To Reduce Student-Loan Debt
October 16, 2013 - "In a recent column on how to keep student-loan debt under control, I made the point that we need to apply out-of-the-box, even radical ideas to tackle spiraling college costs and student-loan debt. [T]he National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators sent me its own recommendations, which include letting institutions set loan limits for certain categories of borrowers and making income-based repayment the automatic default for all borrowers," Janet Bodnar writes for Kiplinger's.
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."
After Nearly 15 Years, Education Dept. Revives Fines Against Two Institutions
October 15, 2013 - "Earlier this year, the Education Department suddenly told officials at [the University of Colorado at Boulder and Yale University] they needed to pay up for minor infractions of federal student aid rules alleged to have occurred from 1994 to 1996. Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA], called the delays 'outrageous' and said that his organization will be pushing for legislation that caps the amount of time the Education Department has to make a decision when it reviews an institution’s financial aid program," Inside Higher Ed reports.
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.
Applying For Aid Earlier Would Help Needy Students, Report Says
October 22, 2013 - "What if students received their financial-aid packages earlier in the year, giving families more time to prepare to pay for college? A report released on Monday by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators considers the implications of switching to [two-year-old tax] data, called 'prior-prior year' data," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
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.
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.
Best Time(s) To Help A Kid Succeed
December 6, 2013 - "Students who apply for aid are half again as likely to enroll in college and nearly 75 percent more likely to finish their freshman year, according to an analysis in 2011 by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," the National Journal 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."
College Financial Aid Drops - Families Pinched
October 23, 2013 - "College students paid significantly more out of pocket for their education this year than last, even though tuition rose at a slower pace than at any time in the last decade," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "'Overcoming financial barriers to higher education remains a significant challenge for the nation's low- and moderate-income families,' said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which surveyed its members to help the College Board compile its data."
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."

Column: Three Ways To Fix Financial Aid Form Flaws
December 23, 2013 - "The FAFSA is the key to getting most grants, scholarships and loans, but filling it out can be a nightmare. ... One way to fix the problem is to allow the use of prior-year tax data. A big chunk of financial aid is first-come, first-served, so students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA as soon after the Jan. 1 as possible. ... The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators endorses the change, which it says would help the neediest student," Reuters columnist Liz Weston writes.
Commentary: A Dad Faces A College Savings Gap
November 1, 2013 - "The growing unease that ordinary Americans feel about paying for their children’s college is not going unnoticed, says Megan McClean, director of policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Next year, Congress is scheduled to take up the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and, McClean says, 'college affordability will likely play a very big part of that.' I hope she’s right," Joe Heim writes in The Washington Post.
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 HigherEducationUpdates.com, a division of Mediaplanet.

Concern That Pell Grant Program Could Be Depleted
December 4, 2013 - "Some 70 percent of Pell recipients now receive the maximum award, a little over $5,600 which doesn't go nearly as far as it used to. 'It now only covers about 35 percent of the cost of attendance at a four-year public school,' said Justin Draeger, [president of the] National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," YNN 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.'"
Connecticut: Financial Aid Website Clarified After Investigation
February 19, 2014 - "Quinnipiac and more than 100 colleges may have violated the Higher Education Act, according to a Feb. 3 letter from a Maryland congressman to the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. ... Quinnipiac is working with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which will draft a letter to the Secretary of Education explaining the position of the colleges mentioned in Cummings’ letter," The Quinnipiac Chronicle reports.
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."
Default Rates Rise Again
October 1, 2013 - "The rate at which borrowers of federal student loans default on their debt within two years after beginning repayment rose for the sixth consecutive year, reaching its highest level since 1995, according to data released Monday by the Education Department," Inside Higher Ed reports. "Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA], said that the community college rate reflected significant problems with repayment rather than debt loads, since community colleges tend to be less expensive and have lower rates of loan borrowing."
Demystifying College Costs: Fixed-Rate Tuition Plans

January 17, 2014 - "Next to buying a home, college tuition is the biggest expense most people face, but at least homebuyers know the total cost and can plan accordingly. 'It’s kind of strange when you think about it that students and parents are expected to make this enormous investment in a school (and) for the most part they don’t know the final price tag,' says Justin Draeger, president and CEO of [NASFAA]. 'That lack of clarity can really make it hard to be financially prepared,'"FOX Business reports.

 

DOMA Reforms Federal Financial Aid For Same-Sex Couples And Their Children
September 11, 2013 - "Students who are children or legal dependants of same-sex couples may gain access to more generous federal financial aid in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, though the University’s financial aid policy will not change,' Brown University's Daily Herald reports. "The new federal regulations affect all legally-married gay couples and all children of married gay couples, regardless of whether they attend college in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages, said Karen McCarthy, a policy analyst for 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.'"
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."
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.
Estimates Of Reporting Burdens May Understate Aid Offices’ Real Efforts
November 20, 2013 - "A white paper, released on Wednesday by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, calls on the U.S. Department of Education to clarify how it calculates estimates of the regulatory burdens on financial-aid offices," The Chronicle of Higher Education's The Ticker 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.
Experts Pitch Lawmakers On Ways To Cut Pell Grant Costs
December 3, 2013 - "Experts on higher education lending urged House lawmakers today to adopt a series of fixes for the Pell grant system. The grant currently serves nine million students, according to National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators President and CEO Justin Draeger, who testified at a hearing held by a House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee," Talk Radio News Service reports
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 Considers Changing Deadlines To Fall
October 31, 2013 - "Students may be able to have more time for financial aid," The Daily Nebraskan reports. "An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education report[ing] a possible change in the way students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid was released on Monday. ... The change considers using 'prior-prior year' tax data, financial information from two years ago, instead of one year ago." NASFAA National Chair Craig Munier, director at the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said, "I think this is an idea whose time has really come."
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.
Fake Students Steal College Grants
February 16, 2014 - "New national rules require financial-aid offices to spend more time investigating possible fraud. ... 'Everybody’s trying to find that right balance,' said Karen McCarthy, a policy analyst for [NASFAA]. 'You don’t want to completely go overboard and make it such a burden for students doing what they’re supposed to be doing to get the funds they need,'"The Columbus Dispatch reports.
Financial Aid Fee Flap
February 4, 2014 - "The top Democrat on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee on Monday asserted that more than 100 colleges may be violating federal law by either requiring students to submit fee-based forms for federal student aid or insinuating that such forms are needed to access that aid" Inside Higher Ed reports. NASFAA President Justin Draeger said that any confusion over the financial aid forms may be driven by colleges’ efforts to get students to apply for the large amounts of institutional aid available to them.
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 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.
Finding Shock Absorbers For Student Debt

June 14, 2014 - "President Obama last week signed an executive order aimed at easing the debt burden on millions of people who borrowed money for college. Soaring loan costs, he said, have put 'too big a debt load on too many people,' and it’s time to do something about it," Susan Dynarski writes for The New York Times' The Upshot, referencing "Automatic for the Borrower," a report produced by a consortium including NASFAA. 

 
Fixed Rates Are Latest In College Tuition Plans
December 24, 2013 - "About 320 colleges and universities offered tuition guarantees during the 2012-13 school year, according to an analysis of U.S. Education Department data done by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," the Associated Press reports.
Florida: Increasing Pell Grants Help Tampa College Students
January 12, 2014 - "With the cost of a college education steadily rising, students and the parents who bankroll them might find some solace in knowing the most popular pot of money for need-based financial aid has been climbing even faster," The Tampa Tribune reports.  "I always describe what we’ve seen with Pell in the last five or six years to be a perfect storm," said Megan McClean, a policy analyst for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in Washington, D.C.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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).
Know Before You Owe Act
November 21, 2013 - "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. ... The bill is supported by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, [among other groups]," according to a post on Northern Colorado 5.
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.
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.
Low-Income College Students Not Meeting Financial Assistance Deadlines
November 21, 2013 - "[A] University of Illinois at Chicago study, [published in NASFAA's Journal of Student Financial Aid,] found that students with the greatest need for financial aid, are not submitting applications early enough to receive it," The Chicago Citizen 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."
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."
More Student Debt, Less Payback - Especially For Women
September 23, 2013 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) notes that since the early 1980s, tuition has risen by approximately 7 percent a year, causing two-thirds of students to borrow to complete their degrees," Truthout News reports.
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's Megan McClean Discusses Student Financial Aid On Radio
December 11, 2013 - NASFAA's Managing Director of Policy and Federal Relations Megan McClean discusses student financial aid on America's Web Radio's Education Forum. "We know that we're in a time of great austerity as a country as a whole right now, and so we spend a lot of time trying to protect our programs and making sure folks on the Hill aware of just how important they are and the students they serve," McClean said.
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: With Loan Default Rates High, UNL Offers Solutions
November 14, 2013 - "College students are defaulting on their loans more often than they have since 'Toy Story' was in movie theaters. According to the Department of Education, one in 10 recent borrowers defaulted within the first two years," The Daily Nebraskan reports. Craig Munier, NASFAA 2013-14 national chair and director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, said 61.9 percent of undergraduate students and 46.4 percent of graduate students were indebted to student loans in May 2010 at UNL. And those numbers are likely greater in more recent years."
Neediest Students Most Likely To Miss Deadlines For Aid
November 5, 2013 - "The neediest college students are the least likely to meet the deadlines for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, according to a new study by Mary Feeney, associate professor of public administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The study was published in The Journal of Student Financial Aid, [from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators]," Inside Higher Ed 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 Resources Available As Season For Seeking Financial Aid Kicks Off
January 8, 2014 - "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators has just released a toolkit to help students accurately complete the updated Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that came out in January for the 2014-15 academic year," Education Week's College Bound blog reports.
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.
Nightly Business Report — August 20, 2013
August 20, 2013 - NASFAA President Justin Draeger appeared on the CNBC Nightly Business Report last night, discussing federal financial aid and colleges' increasing reliance on tuition. "The federal government has been putting in more funds, but those funds have not kept pace with that disinvestment over the last 40 years." The segment starts at the video's 10:15 mark.
North Carolina: Carolina Covenant Paves Way For Aid Nationwide
October 22, 2013 - "Amy Barnhart, director of Wright State University’s Office of Financial Aid, ... first heard about the Covenant program at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in July after attending [a] presentation on how to best serve students from low-income backgrounds." The Daily Tar Heel reports.
North Carolina: Rep Accuses Duke And Others Of Violating Financial Aid Law
February 19, 2014 - "One representative has accused more than 100 colleges—including Duke—of violating federal law by requiring financial aid applicants to complete extra forms or not making clear which ones are needed. Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the [NASFAA], said in a statement that he does not think that colleges are withholding federal aid from students who had not filled out the PROFILE, but he agreed that some of their websites could be clearer," The Duke Chronicle 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."
Oregon: How Will The Government Shut-Down Affect COCC?
October 16, 2013 - "'Due to lapse in funding, the U.S. government has shut down.' 'What we’ve been told by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is that in the short term everything is functioning as normal,' [said Central Oregon Community College's Financial Aid Director Kevin] Multop," The Broadside reports.
Pell Grant Abusers
February 5, 2014 - "The nation’s staggering national debt of $17 trillion fuels most of the steamy debates in Congress these days, and just about every government program is being scrutinized, including the $33 billion Pell Grant Program," MyNewOrleans.com reports. "Forty-one percent of college undergraduates received annual Pell Grants of $5,500 in 2011-’12, according to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Seventy-one percent got some kind of governmental assistance, including loans and campus part-time jobs, the organization says on its website."
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: Temple Wants To Aid Working Students
February 9, 2014 - "Temple University is offering $4,000 grants as a financial incentive to keep students who need to work to pay college costs focused on completing their degrees on time," The Philadelphia Tribune reports. "According to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the percentage of full-time, full-year dependent undergraduates with unmet need is highest among families earning less than $30,000 annually and families in the middle-income bracket earning $45,000 to $74,999."
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 HispanicBusiness.com. ...'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]."
R.I. Senator Works To Manage Interest Rates On Student Loans
September 23, 2013 - "A market-tied system ... has benefits for students and parents because student loan rates 'are more predictable and understandable,' said Megan McClean, director of policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," the Brown Daily Herald reports.
Rating (And Berating) The Ratings
February 7, 2014 - "The Obama administration on Thursday released hundreds of pages of formal comments on its proposed college rating system, documents that mostly underscore the deep reservations that many higher education leaders have about the plan but also highlight pockets of support," Inside Higher Ed reports. "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators suggested that the government consider selecting 10 common metrics that would apply to all institutions, then give colleges flexibility to choose five more, say, from a set of 40 or so others that they believe 'best reflect the institution and its students. This could provide valuable context to the standardized ratings done by the federal government.'"
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."
Resource Guide: Online Financial Tools Can Help First-Gen Students Reach Their College Completion Goals
October 30, 2013 - "There are now far more tools available online to help students and their families get a baseline understanding of college costs and financial aid resources," according to the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation blog. One "favorite:" "The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) website, which includes an interactive map that allows users to easily research financial aid programs by state."
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.
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.
Second Round Of Gates Project Aims For 'Convergence' On Financial-Aid Reforms
September 12, 2013 - "The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, continuing to explore ideas for using financial aid as a lever to improve student success, has selected the grant recipients for the second round of its Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project, foundation officials have told The Chronicle," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. NASFAA is participating in a the Young Invincible Consortium with seven other groups.
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," Patch.com 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."
Short-term Shutdown Should Have Little Effect In Illinois
October 1, 2013 - "Most Chicagoans won't notice a short-term federal government shutdown, but the effects could start to be felt by some if the stalemate lingers a few weeks, officials from Springfield to City Hall to college campuses indicated Monday. [T]there could be ramifications [for universities] if the shutdown extends beyond a week, most notably if colleges and universities need assistance as they administer various financial programs, said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators," the Chicago Tribune reports.
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.
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 Loan Legislation May Help Colleges Explain Aid
September 18, 2013 - "Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association for Student Financial Aid Administrators, says a major benefit for institutions is that they no longer need to explain to students why federal student loan interest is out of step with market rates. 'Generally speaking, federal student loans are a safer option, but trying to explain those benefits at a time when they could get a private loan for 6 percent versus 8 percent has been very difficult,' he says," University Business reports.
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 Releases Proposed Changes In Ethics Documents

February 4, 2014 - "A task force of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators on Monday submitted proposed revisions in its ethics documents to its members for their feedback," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. NASFAA has an important role in shaping the profession’s standards, said Justin Draeger, its president. "If we don’t police ourselves and hold ourselves to the highest standard,'" he said, "we’re inviting others to do it for us."

 

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.
Students Turn To Crowdfunding Sites To Help Cover School Costs
February 16, 2014 - "Crowdfunding websites are slowly becoming a new way to pay for college costs. ... Justin Draeger, president and CEO of [NASFAA], said it may be too soon to tell if this fundraising method catches on with college students. '... It’s really about just using technology to do what students have done for a really long time, which is look around in their immediate family and circle of friends and say, Who would be willing to help me basically pay for college?'"The Herald-Sun 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."
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 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," Patch.com 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 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."

 
 
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.'"
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.
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.
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.
Two-Year-Old Tax Returns Could Expedite Your Student Loan
October 28, 2013 - "When it comes to student loans, knowing how much to apply for and where to get the best deal is all-important. But knowing when to apply in time to meet application deadlines can spell the difference between whether or not aid is available at the start of a semester. A report on the matter, 'A Tale of Two Income Years,' was released last week by Washington, D.C.-based NASFAA," MainStreet.com reports.
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.
UOU: How Universities Are Suing Alumni Who Owe
January 7, 2014 - "[C]olleges are in a tricky position [when Perkins loan borrowers default], says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Because Perkins loans involve federal funds, schools have a responsibility to collect what is essentially taxpayers’ money," Al Jazeera America reports.
Using The Web, Students Ask ‘Crowd’ To Help Pay For College
February 3, 2014 - "As students confront rising college costs and a labyrinthine financial-aid process, some are turning to crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe to cover their expenses," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
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.
Video: Prior-Prior Year Income Data With NASFAA's Gigi Jones
December 18, 2013 - In a video for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), NASFAA's Director of Research Gigi Jones discusses findings from the NASFAA report "A tale of Two Income Years: Comparing Prior-Prior Year and Prior Year Through Pell Grant Awards." "The two major points that we wanted to highlight are the idea of early awareness as well as simplifying the FAFSA process. Prior-Prior Year does get at both," Jones told NACAC.
Virginia: Federal Government Shutdown May Have Slight Impact At The College Of William And Mary
October 4, 2013 - "As day four of the government shutdown begins, day-to-day operations at the College of William and Mary remain unchanged," The Flat Hat reports. "In terms of student aid, Director of Financial Aid Ed Irish was reassured by a statement released by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. ... 'Because most of the Federal Student Aid programs are forward funded (i.e., funding for the current award year primarily comes from last year’s budget), most of the funding is already in place for the 2013-14 award year,' the NASFAA statement said."
Washington, D.C.: Four Years After Recession, Nearly One-Tenth Of Aid Recipients Appeal Final Package
September 5, 2013 - “[N]early 10 percent of students receiving financial aid appealed their packages from GW this fall," The GW Hatchet reports. NASFAA Policy Analyst Jesse O'Connell "said most students are appealing their universities' financial aid decisions due to financial hardships, not necessarily related to the recession."
West Michigan Students, Financial Aid Officers Share Concerns Over Rising Loan Default Rates
October 2, 2013 - "Across the state, the number of students failing to repay their loans is on the rise, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education on Monday, Sept. 30. 'The fact that a half-million defaulters could have used deferments, forbearances, or income-contingent repayment plans to avoid the awful consequences of default—but didn’t—underscores the need to keep student loan indebtedness in check and provide struggling borrowers with easy-to-reach resources,' said Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]," MLive 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."
Why Admissions And Financial-Aid Professionals Should Work Together
September 18, 2013 - "Fortunately, I have an incredibly talented staff, a strong network of fellow aid directors, and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators to provide me with the information and resources to successfully navigate financial aid. But what resources are readily available to college admission counselors to help them assist students and families through the financial-aid process?" Chris George, assistant vice chancellor for enrollment and director of financial aid at the University of Denver, writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education's Head Count.
Why Students Have No Idea How Much College Costs

February 5, 2014 - "As the price of college continues to outpace the rise in inflation, many students and their families are making tuition costs a top priority in the application process. But getting an accurate sense of how much a diploma is going to cost can be hard to do," FOX Business reports. "Colleges are highly subsidized, [says] Justin Draeger, president of [NASFAA]. 'State and federal appropriations, institutional aid and alumni donations make up the bulk of their funding and they can change at any time and affect the prices students and parents pay.'"

 
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.
Work Study Awards Mostly Safe After Sequester Hits GW
August 21, 2013 - "The University lost about $80,000 in federal work study money this year because of huge federal spending cuts. [U]nder sequestration, the future of the program is up to Congress, and [NASFAA's Director of Policy and Federal Relations Megan] McClean said the program is unlikely to get a reprieve from the legislature in coming years. 'Under the amount that needs to be cut from sequestration, or the amount of money that we need to save, it's hard to imagine a scenario under which we wouldn't have to take money from every program,' McClean said," The GW Hatchet 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.