A Year in Review: See NASFAA’s Policy Papers from 2015

From student loan servicing issues, to FAFSA simplification and diversity, NASFAA and its members across the country have made strides in influencing important policy decisions around college access and affordability, and financial aid.

Take a look back at the policy papers NASFAA published over the last year:

  • Servicing Issues Task Force Report (February 2015): 
    With the National Direct Student Loan Coalition, NASFAA convened a task force to deliver a report to the Department of Education (ED) with recommendations to improve federal student loan servicing. The recommendations included developing a central loan portal for borrowers, removing servicer branding from communication with borrowers, encouraging ED to provide standard consumer protections in line with other consumer financial products, allowing the use of innovative technologies for communication between servicers and borrowers, and incorporating the regulatory requirements of entrance and exit counseling into ED’s Financial Awareness Counseling Tool.
  • NASFAA Diversity and Inclusion (March 2015): 
    This report emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion to NASFAA. Members also contributed feedback that was used to shape NASFAA’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement, goals, benchmarks, and assessments, as well as recommendations for how to meet those standards.
  • Benchmarking Task Force Report (April 2015): 
    Through a task force convened in October 2014, NASFAA set out to expand its current benchmarking data through surveys. With feedback from NASFAA members nationwide, the task force determined what areas members felt were important to benchmark, including: administrative capability, outsourcing, and financial aid office campus relations.

  • Great Expectations: Implications of Implementing Prior-Prior Year Income Data for the FAFSA (May 2015): 
    Through a third grant from the Gates Foundation for its Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project, NASFAA released a paper exploring the potential concerns and benefits to using prior-prior year income data on the FAFSA, a policy change the Obama administration set in motion in September.

  • Expanding Educational Opportunities for Students: Innovative Learning Models Task Force Report (June 2015):  
    As the cost of college continues to rise, several new platforms for delivery – such as competency-based education, prior learning assessments, and massive open online coursework have materialized, but often are blocked from widespread use due to federal regulations that prevent students from using federal aid dollars to access those programs. NASFAA convened a task force to address these issues, and provide recommendations for how Title IV regulations could be changed to accommodate these types of programs while protecting the federal investment and providing for program integrity.

  • FAFSA Simplification Working Group Report (July 2015): 
    While NASFAA has long been interested in finding ways to make applying for financial aid more streamlined and accessible for students and families, a recent focus on the number of questions on the FAFSA prompted NASFAA to create a working group to develop a model that would simplify the process while still ensuring program integrity and accurate targeting of federal funds. NASFAA’s three-level application model would steer applicants down one of three paths based on their responses to screening questions.

  • Return of Title IV Funds Task Force: Report to the NASFAA Board (September 2015):
    NASFAA convened a task force in late 2014 to make recommendations for simplifying the Return of Title IV funds calculations and process for withdrawing students. The task force determined the current Return of Title IV laws and regulations have run their course, and recommended taking one of three paths: eliminating the requirement altogether; wipe the slate clean before writing a new set of rules; or fixing the current process pending the elimination or refurbishment of the requirement.

 

Publication Date: 12/22/2015


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