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Conference News

The following are snippets of news and fun facts published as NASFAA prepares for the 2014 NASFAA Conference in Nashville, TN.

Conference News Items

The latest from Today's News and other sources. 

Special Conference Editions Of Today's News Coming To You Next Week

June 26, 2014 - An abbreviated version of Today's News will be coming to you live from Nashville Monday-Wednesday of next week with exciting updates about all that is going on at NASFAA’s National Conference. East Coast readers can expect the daily issue of Today's News to reach their inboxes an hour later than usual while staff are attending the conference. We hope to see you there!

Examine Obama’s Proposed Rating System With Experts At The NASFAA National Conference

June 24, 2014 - President Obama's proposed college ratings system was one of the biggest announcements in higher education this year — and one that is sure to continue to dominate discussions on improving higher education. In "Measuring Up: Examining the Potential for a Federal College Ratings System," NASFAA's Megan McClean, National Chair Craig Munier, and Marcus Szymanoski of DeVry Education Group will discuss the background of the ratings system, as well as recent developments on the project. Come to 101 DE on from 3:05-4:20 pm on DATE to hear what panelists think it will take to make the endeavor effective.

Get Higher Education Act Reauthorization Updates At The NASFAA National Conference

June 20, 2014 - Congressional activity surrounding the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is heating up, making this session at the NASFAA National Conference especially timely! Hear from NASFAA President Justin Draeger, Glendale Community College's Patricia Hurley, and the University of Georgia's Bonnie Joerschke as they discuss the issues and priorities likely to be highlighted by the U.S. House and Senate during reauthorization. Presenters will also provide an update on the activities of the NASFAA Reauthorization Task Force. Come to 202 ABC on Monday, June 30 from 10:35-11:50 am to get filled in.

Ten Right Answers Wins You a Prize in Nashville!

June 19, 2014 - Welcome to the new Student Aid Index! Optimized for both mobile and desktop browsing, this tool puts key financial aid resources at your fingertips. We invite you to take a trip though this all-new tool on your desktop or smartphone—and win a fun prize at the conference! To receive your special prize, just write down the 10 answers to our Student Aid Index scavenger hunt, along with your name and work email, and bring that sheet of paper to the NASFAA Conference Booth in the Music City Center Exhibit Hall.

Conference Handouts Now Available For Registered Conferees; Still Want To Attend? It's Not Too Late To Register On-Site

June 18, 2014 - Conference attendees: All conference session handouts received from presenters to date are now posted online. NASFAA will continue to post handouts as they are received. You must be logged in as a conference attendee to see the handouts page and PDFs. If you haven't already registered for the conference, there's still time. Online registration has closed, but you can simply bring your completed on-site registration form to the Registration counter at the conference.

RSVP Now To Join Us For A TweetUp At The Conference

June 18th, 2014 - NASFAA and #FAChat will be hosting a "TweetUp" (Twitter Meet Up) at the National Conference on Tuesday, July 1 at 5:25 pm in front of the Information Desk. Please RSVP now to let us know if you plan to join us. It will be a short, informal gathering of fellow Tweeters. Come put a face to a Twitter handle--and snag fun treats! #SeeYouThere!

Tweet With Us During The 2014 NASFAA National Conference

June 17, 2014 - NASFAA's National Conference is still about two weeks away, but the conversation has already started on Twitter! Use #NASFAA2014 now and through the conference to share your experiences, connect with peers, and stay up to date on Nashville happenings. Tweeting will even get you on the big screen, as all #NASFAA2014 tweets will be broadcast via a live feed at the conference, thanks to a sponsorship by SoFi. #SeeYouThere!

Washington, D.C. Politics Come To You At The NASFAA National Conference

June 17, 2014 - From Pell Grant proposals to student debt solutions, Washington, D.C. has been abuzz with higher education discussions lately. At the NASFAA National Conference, you can join in the conversations, too! Come to the "Inside the Beltway Update" to hear the latest on student aid policy, funding, and politics from NASFAA President Justin Draeger, Director of Federal Relations Megan McClean, and Federal Issues Committee Chair Jean Rash. The session will be held Sunday, June 29, from 2:30 – 3:45 pm in 106 ABC.

Final Week To Register For The Conference And Pay Early Bird Rate

May 26, 2014 – This is the final week to register and receive the Early Bird registration discount for the 2014 NASFAA National Conference in Nashville's brand new Music City Center. Need help convincing your supervisor? On the conference website find tools and templates you can use to explain the benefits you and your institution will gain from attending. Register now as the registration fee increases by $100 after this Friday, May 30!

Poll The Pros Results Are In!

May 15, 2014 – The 2014 National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, is quickly approaching and NASFAA could not be more excited to share the experience with our members! We recently asked what you are most looking forward to and nearly 36 percent of respondents said it’s the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Update, followed closely by 34 percent who said they can't wait to network with colleagues. Speakers Ron Clark, Hendrick Smith, and Sen. Lamar Alexander also are a large draw, grabbing 15 percent of the responses. If you have yet to chime in, take the poll and peruse past Poll The Pros questions and results.

Wondering Who Is Already Registered For Nashville? Check The National Conference Attendee List

May 15, 2014 – NASFAA's National Conference is your chance to network, learn, and catch up with old friends (and new). Now you can see who has already registered for the 2014 NASFAA National Conference. The growing attendee list (currently over 1730 registrants) is a great planning tool. Search by last name, state, or school. Check back weekly as the list is updated to maximize your time in Nashville. Don’t miss having face time with someone who works across the state or the country who shares your financial aid challenges. 

Take a Moment to De-Stress at the Relax and Recharge Lounge

May 14, 2014 – Starting on Sunday, June 29, and open through Tuesday, July 1, a Relax and Recharge Lounge (sponsored by Discover Student Loans) will be open to conference attendees. Enjoy a seated massage from a professional masseuse while your laptop or mobile device is charging.

Gold Star Award Winner to be Announced at the 2014 NASFAA National Conference 

May 13, 2014 – NASFAA's newest award, the Gold Star Award, recognizes innovative ideas in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency. This award is open to individuals working at NASFAA member institutions; member institutions; regional associations; and state associations. The Gold Star award (which replaces the State and Regional Awards) honors up to three ideas each year.  

Poll The Pros: What Are You Most Looking Forward To At the 2014 National Conference?

May 13, 2014 – Did you miss last week's Poll the Pros question? The NASFAA 2014 National Conference in Nashville is fast approaching and we want to know what it is you're looking forward to most. Take the poll to let us know and to see how your colleagues responded. And don’t forget to check out past Poll the Pros questions to place your vote and find out where your colleagues stand on other questions everyone's curious about!

NASFAA Needs YOU! Volunteer To Help With Local Arrangements At This Year's National Conference

May 12, 2014 – Volunteers are needed June 28 – July 1, 2014 to assist with local arrangement responsibilities at the National Conference in Nashville, TN. Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet and greet your colleagues from all over the nation! Please select a volunteer opportunity that interests you and email NASFAA Local Arrangements Chair Karen Hauser at k.hauser@vanderbilt.edu with your name, school name, email address, and phone number (preferably cell), along with your assignment preference. Thank you to those of you who have already sent emails offering to volunteer!

It's Not All Work In Nashville

May 7, 2014 – We've got lots of fun in store and you won't want to miss it! Relax with old friends, network with members, or chat with exhibitors at Sunday's Opening Reception and Monday evening's "Un-Wine-d Hour." Pose for a picture in the photo booth and upload it to Facebook or Twitter if you like. The First-time Attendees Lounge is a great place to meet other first-time conference-goers. And be sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall to talk with staff at the NASFAA Booth and hear some live country music from a local performer!

NASFAA Membership To Hold Business Meeting July 1 In Nashville

May 6, 2014 – Per NASFAA's Bylaws, NASFAA's annual Business Meeting will be held at 12:10pm on Tuesday, July 1 at the NASFAA National Conference at the Music City Center (Ballroom B/C) in Nashville, TN. The meeting will include an awards presentation, remarks of appreciation and recognition, a report from the Treasurer, a report from the chair of the Association Governance Committee and the passing of the gavel from 2013-14 National Chair Craig Munier to 2014-15 National Chair Eileen O'Leary. 

Show Off Your Financial Aid Pride With A NASFAA Baseball Cap Or Sun Visor

May 1, 2014 – NASFAA caps and visors make great gifts for those hard-to-buy-for colleagues and bosses. Wear your cap or visor on the job, on vacation, and around the house. And don't forget to sport your cap or visor at the NASFAA Conference in Nashville's Music City Center this July! They are one size fits all, fully adjustable, and just $15 a piece (shipping included). Order yours today!  

Student Loans, Gainful Employment, Consumer Disclosure & Financial Literacy Among Hot Topics At NASFAA’s 2014 National Conference

April 28, 2014 – Known to many as "America's Educator," Ron Clark will kick off the conference with a lively opening session speech on Sunday, June 29 at 12:45 p.m. Clark, whose innovative projects working with minority students in low-income areas earned him national attention, will share his adventures in the classroom and speak of his experiences teaching in Harlem. Attendees will also hear from Sen. Lamar Alexander (Monday, June 30, 12:00-1:15 pm), former Secretary of Education and current ranking Senate Republican overseeing education, labor and health, as well as former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent Hedrick Smith (Monday, June 30, 9:00-10:15 am). More information >>  

Thank You To Our 2014 Platinum And Gold National Conference Sponsors

April 24, 2014 – NASFAA would like to extend a hearty thank you to all of our sponsors, and a special recognition to our Platinum and Gold sponsors. Platinum Level includes Discover Student Loans, MOHELA, Oracle, Sallie Mae, and Inceptia, and Gold Level includes American Student Assistance, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates, Student Aid ServicesTG, and Socle Education. Their financial support and on-site participation make our conference more valuable to our attendees. Please visit the exhibit hall and speak directly with the companies to learn how their products and services can help you achieve your goals.

New This Year! NASFAA University Half-Day Workshops 

April 21, 2014 – NASFAA University will be offering two half-day workshops in conjunction with the NASFAA National Conference.  The workshops are free to registered attendees, but additional registration is required. Walk-in seats will be offered as available, but pre-registration is highly recommended.  The Verification session, held Monday, June 30 from 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm, will provide an overview of verification principles and will guide participants through the verification process. The Return of Title IV Funds session, held Tuesday, July 1 from 9:00 am - 11:50 am, will give an overview of the R2T4 provisions, including withdrawal date and length of program. Register to day to save your seat!  More information >> 

Plan Your Activities Now For The National Conference In Nashville

April 17, 2014 – MyPlanner can help you organize your time at the NASFAA 2014 National Conference so that every minute counts! You can search the conference schedule and create a personalized list of events and sessions you wish to attend. Need solutions from a vendor? Search for exhibitors, read their profiles, and request an appointment. The MyPlanner link is also available on the upper right of the NASFAA Conference site.

Still On The Fence About Attending The 2014 NASFAA Conference?

April 15, 2014 – There are plenty of reasons to go! Check out the nearly 100 sessions, including those offered by the Department of Education; explore the two, new NASFAA University half-day workshops, which will take place during the conference at no additional fee to registered conferees; and consider attending the pre-conference sector caucuses for your institution type. If you need help explaining the value of the conference to your supervisor or institutional president, download the customizable justification letter. Don't miss this great opportunity to learn and network with your financial aid peers from across the country. Early bird registration ends May 30.

Use Program at a Glance for Key Details About Conference Highlights

April 9, 2014 – Use the Program at a Glance tool to learn the times, dates, and speakers for your "can't miss" sessions, exhibit hall hours, networking events, caucus meetings, Department of Education Town Hall Meetings, and lively keynote speakers including Ron Clark, Hedrick Smith, and Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Department Of Education To Offer 17 Action-Packed Sessions At 2014 NASFAA Conference

April 3, 2014 – Seventeen Department of Education interest sessions, including a Federal Town Hall Meeting, will address today’s hot topics, including: Consumer Disclosure Requirements and Tools; How Different Types of Academic Terms, Including Those with Modules, Affect Title IV; How FAAs Report Changes Impacting Institutional Eligibility, Return of Title IV Funds; Verification; What FAAs Must Know About 150% Direct Subsidized Loan Limits; FAFSA & Application Processing Update; Direct Loan Processing Tips and Tools; and much more! Most sessions will be offered twice so that you won’t miss any of the action and updates. Check out all the Department of Education sessions planned for Nashville now.

Network With Your Peers At Sector Caucus Meetings In Nashville

March 6, 2014 –  NASFAA will hold pre-conference caucus meetings for community colleges, proprietary institutions, four-year publics, and independent colleges at Nashville's Music City Center on Sunday, June 29, from 10:30 am to 11:45 am. In addition, on Monday, June 30, the Graduate & Professional Initiatives Committee (GPIC) will hold its sector networking breakfast from 8:00-8:45 am. To attend any of these events, you must be registered for the conference, as a full registrant or as a daily registrant for Sunday or Monday. NASFAA policy staff, along with representatives from other associations, will be present to facilitate the discussions and collect feedback. More information >> 

Thinking Of Attending The NASFAA Conference This Year?

Feb. 28, 2014 – Purchasing sessions from last year's conference is a low-commitment way to try out our conference programming and gain valuable information on best practices in financial aid administration. Session recordings from the 2013 NASFAA Conference also serve as a great means of staff development and training. Plan a series of brown-bag viewing lunches or assign staff to watch the sessions on their own or in small groups based on topic areas. Conference session recordings are available now individually or in discounted packages in NASFAA's online store. Remember, if you attended the 2013 conference in Las Vegas, all session recordings are yours, free of charge! And all members have access to the Department of Education sessions, complimentary.

Fun Facts

Explore, discover, and enjoy your stay in Nashville. 

A New City on the Banks of the Cumberland

Nashville was founded on Christmas Eve 1779 along the banks of the Cumberland River. Two teams of pioneers set forth from the Carolinas to found the new city. Upon arrival, they immediately began building Fort Nashborough. Among the pioneers was Rachel Donelson, daughter of Captain John Donelson, who would later become the wife of President Andrew Jackson. Located in Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville, self-guided tours are allowed daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, free of charge. Come to Nashville early or stay late and stroll along the riverfront to visit this historic fort.

Athens Meets Nashville

Nashville's Athena is the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world? She stands at an impressive 42 feet high in the temple of the Nashville Parthenon, which was originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition. This replica of the original Parthenon in Athens serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture and stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, just 2.5 miles from the NASFAA Conference location! Come to Nashville early or stay late to visit the Parthenon.

Belle Meade Plantation Is Known For History, Horses, And Hospitality

Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville was once the preeminent stud farm and nursery for the premier horse industry. A horse named Iroquois, bred at the Belle Meade farm, was the first American horse to win the English Derby. Two other famous horses can also trace their lineage back to Belle Meade: Seabiscuit and War Admiral, both made popular again by the 2001 best-selling novel Seabiscuit. Visitors can explore the property, including the massive carriage house and stables built in 1892, and can partake in a complimentary wine tasting in the property's winery. The Plantation is located just 7 miles from the NASFAA Conference location. 

The Famous Ryman Auditorium

After one Sunday afternoon sermon, Captain Tom Ryman, infamous for breaking up tent revivals, became an instant convert and immediately began raising funds to build a church. Upon his death in 1904, the church he built became known as the Ryman Auditorium. The famous hall would later host such performers as Enrico Caruso, Katharine Hepburn, and Bob Hope, and was home to the Grand Ole Opry for three decades. Not surprisingly, in both 2003 and 2004, the Ryman was named the best concert venue in the nation by Pollstar. While you're in Nashville, be sure to check out the Ryman for today's best music by artists of all genres.

Good To The Last Drop

Rumor has it that the "good to the last drop" slogan used by Maxwell House Coffee was originally coined by President Theodore Roosevelt upon sampling the coffee at Andrew Jackson's estate in Nashville. Maxwell House, founded by the Cheek family, was sold in 1928 and the proceeds were used to purchase a 55-acre estate, situated just 8.5 miles from the NASFAA Conference location. The estate currently operates as Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art and features stunning gardens and collections of paintings and sculptures that you won't want to miss while in Nashville.

History Is On Display At Cheekwood

In 1937, Nashville native Will Edmondson was the first African-American artist to have a historic one-man exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Edmondson, the son of former slaves, created limestone carvings of animals, angels, Biblical characters and even celebrities. Today, his sculptures are on display in the permanent collection at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art which is home to 600 paintings and 5,000 prints, drawings and photographs.

A Musical and Architectural Wonder

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is an architectural wonder in itself. One side of the building is a RKO-style radio tower while the main building, with windows resembling a piano keyboard, ends in a Cadillac tailfin-style flourish. The website is almost as fun as being there with lots of original programing videos and information about exhibits. Just next door to the Music City Center, plan to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame to get the true Nashville experience. Check the website for hours and upcoming events. And don’t forget to register now for the NASFAA National Conference!

Music City Becomes Static Free

In 1941, Nashville was granted the first FM broadcasting license in the United States and was thus the first city to enjoy static-free music on the radio. Nashville later became known as “Music City” when WSM radio announcer David Cobb referred to it as such in a 1950 NBC radio broadcast of The Red Foley Show. Listen to the live WSM radio shows online or visit the Grand Ole Opry in person to get a real taste of Music City, USA! 

 

In Nashville They Go-Go for Goo Goo

Did you know...Standard Candy Company, founded in 1901, created the Goo Goo Cluster, a true Nashville delight marrying peanuts, caramel, marshmallow and milk chocolate for a tasty cluster of candy? Today, Standard Candy Company uses more than 3 million pounds of chocolate a year. Legend has it that the “GOO” in Goo-Goo stands for Grand Ole Opry.

 

Vinyl Lives On in Nashville

 United Records Pressing, a vinyl pressing plant in downtown Nashville, is one of only four remaining vinyl manufacturers in the nation. Operating since 1949, United has pressed millions of records for artists like Elvis Presley, Lionel Richie, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and N'Sync, as well as for numerous hip-hop and reggae musicians.

Visit The Home Of Andrew Jackson

 The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, boasts a driveway in the shape of a guitar. Legend says that the driveway was so shaped to please his daughter-in-law, Emily. Nashvillians like to think it was a good sign of things to come. Highlights of a visit to The Hermitage include President Jackson's mansion, spectacular gardens, and a museum filled with historical information. The Hermitage is located 20 minutes from downtown Nashville. 

Visual Arts In The City Of Music

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984, is located in what was formerly Nashville's main post office. The Center opened in April 2001, and since that time has hosted a spectacular array of art from the region, the country, and around the world. The exhibitions change every six to eight weeks.  The museum is located in downtown Nashville within walking distance of the NASFAA Conference.