General Sessions

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Opening Session – Hill Harper – Featured Speaker

12:45pm - 2:15 pm 

Hill Harper ThumbnailHill Harper is an award-winning actor, best-selling author, and philanthropist. Harper starred on the CBS TV drama CSI: NY from 2004 to 2013. As of March 2013, he joined the USA Network spy drama Covert Affairs. Harper is the author of four New York Times bestsellers and he has earned seven NAACP Image Awards for his writing and acting. He is founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship, scholarship, and grant programs. 

Harper graduated magna cum laude as valedictorian of his department with a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and cum laude with a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School. He also holds a master’s degree with honors from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and has Honorary Doctoral Degrees from Winston-Salem State University, Cheyney University, Westfield State College, Tougaloo College, Dillard University and Howard University.

Welcome Reception

4:45pm – 6:30pm 

Join National Chair Eileen O’Leary in the NASFAA Exhibit Hall and network with your colleagues from across the nation. This is a great way to reconnect with colleagues you have not seen in the past year, meet new friends, and learn about the products and services offered by our exhibitors. Be sure to stop by the NASFAA booth and meet the NASFAA staff.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Debate: Is There A Student Loan Crisis?

9:00am - 10:00am 

View the Debate video

Do you believe the U.S. is experiencing a student loan crisis? Come lend your voice to a lively debate on this topic, held at the New Orleans National Conference in a 9am General Session on Monday, July 20. Two teams will present vigorous, reasoned arguments on whether student debt has grown to crisis levels for students and the economy. Audience members will play a role in determining the winner by voicing their opinion via text message both before and after the teams make their case.

Beth Akers and Andrew Kelly will be advocating that there is no U.S. student loan crisis. Akers is a fellow in the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy, and Kelly is a resident scholar in education policy studies and the director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Asserting that this is a real student-loan crisis happening in our country will be Mark Huelsman, Senior Policy Analyst at Demos, and Kevin Fudge, manager of government relations and community affairs at American Student Assistance. Moderator John Donvan, the host of of Intelligence Squared U.S. debates since 2008, will keep the debate lively.

Luncheon—From Idea to Reality: NASFAA’s Policy Initiatives

12:45am - 2:15pm 

As reauthorization of the Higher Education Act continues to gain momentum, it has never been more important for the voices of financial aid administrators to be heard on student aid issues. NASFAA President Justin Draeger will detail NASFAA's proactive policy work and legislative positions and provide ways members can lend their voices to higher education access and success.

Networking Event—Un-Wine-d Hour

4:15pm - 5:30pm 

Join your colleagues in the NASFAA exhibit hall to speak with colleagues, exhibitors, NASFAA staff, and share some fun moments at the Photo booth (Facebook moments).

NASFAA’s 50th Anniversary Parade


Join us as we close down the streets between the Hyatt Regency (conference headquarters) and the French Quarter, picking up conference attendees at each hotel along the way. In addition to nearly 3,000 financial aid professionals, the parade will include a high school marching band, a brass jazz band, and some fun surprises.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Luncheon & Annual Business Meeting

11:30am – 1:30 pm 

Join us for lunch as you will hear from your departing National Chair Eileen O’Leary and Incoming Chair Dan Mann on the state of the association and our future. We will also celebrate the accomplishments of your colleagues as we present a number of awards at this luncheon. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Closing Breakfast

8:30am – 11:00am 

Join your new National Chair Dan Mann at this closing session. Attendees will hear from the U.S. Department of Education’s Jeff Baker, director of Federal Student Aid, and Lynn Mahaffie, acting deputy assistant secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation, about updates to the Department of Education’s Title IV activities and initiatives. Topics will include the President’s Title IV budget proposals, including the status of sequestration; changes to Title IV programs as a result of the Supreme Court’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) decision; the new FSA ID; and an update on the Department’s regulatory efforts.

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