Getting It Right: Analyzing the Accuracy of Federal Burden Estimates for Title IV Financial Aid Compliance
NASFAA has released a brief stressing that greater transparency is needed from the Department of Education in order to gain a better understanding of how administrative burden estimates are calculated with respect to federal regulations governing federal student financial aid.
Getting It Right: Analyzing the Accuracy of Federal Burden Estimates for Title IV Financial Aid Compliance, authored by independent research consultant Carlo Salerno for NASFAA, explores the methodologies used to calculate the level of administrative burden experienced by aid administrators.
The paper points to an inverse relationship between administrative reporting requirements and one-on-one financial aid counseling—e.g. the more time aid administrators spend attempting to comply with regulations, the less time they have to attend to the needs of students and their families. Administrative burden estimates that do not accurately reflect the time and resource constraints faced by college financial aid offices could ultimately end up hurting students, the paper finds.
"Increases in student enrollment and the volume of student aid dollars, coupled with ever- increasing federal regulations, has put a considerable strain on financial aid offices," said Justin Draeger, president of NASFAA. "We want to make sure that the time and costs associated with collecting and reporting information to the federal government don't interfere with the ability of financial aid administrators to continue providing the level of service that students and families both expect and deserve."