Dec. 3, 2013 -- Today at 10:00 am ET Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives at the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training’s hearing, "Keeping College Within Reach: Strengthening Pell Grants for Future Generations."
Draeger will answer questions and share testimony outlining the history and original intent of the Pell Grant Program, subsequent significant changes impacting the program since its inception, and considerations for future program reform.
NASFAA will be well-represented at the Subcommittee hearing—in addition to Draeger’s insights, Richard Heath, director of Student Financial Services at Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College (and recent NASFAA Board member) will also testify.
Draeger explained that today Pell exists in a more diverse environment than in its early days—but is structured in much the same way it was upon inception. Significant recent changes include the growth of nontraditional students; the increase in the number of students taking remedial coursework in college; the evolution of innovative learning models, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs); and the growing popularity of vocational education.
“Financial aid administrators believe that there are ways to strengthen the Pell Grant Program and make it more targeted and flexible, without undermining the original intent of the program—providing basic access to postsecondary education for qualified, low-income students,” states Draeger in his prepared testimony.
To wit, NASFAA offered the following policy considerations:
“While we agree the program should be evaluated so that it may better meet the needs of current students, we are hopeful that throughout this next reauthorization, and for years to come, the Pell Grant will remain the cornerstone of the federal student aid programs,” Draeger testified.
Other hearing witnesses include:
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents nearly 20,000 financial aid professionals at more than 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the U.S. Based in Washington, DC, NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit www.nasfaa.org.
Publication Date: 12/3/2013