Prior-prior year (PPY) has been one of the most talked about topics at this year’s National Conference as financial aid administrators prepare for the changes that are about to happen on their campuses. During a session Monday afternoon, Roberto Santizo of Scannell & Kurz, Inc., and Samantha Veeder of the University of Rochester outlined steps financial aid administrators can begin taking now to make the transition to PPY easier on their offices, institutions, and students.
Santizo said that there are several best practices aid offices can implement to improve communication and information around PPY, including setting the tuition earlier in the year, rethinking how the school and administrators communicate the value of the college to students and families, and delivering those messages earlier and more often. It is also beneficial to begin coordinating and preparing for any necessary software updates and changes to the flow of communication on campus.
“There needs to be more intentional communication so everyone is swimming together, in the same direction, pursuing the same goal,” Santizo said.
Outside of the financial aid office, there need to be conversations with the admissions office on how PPY will impact their work and how to keep students and families engaged during the lengthened period of time between acceptance and the delivery of aid packages, Veeder said.
And while there are many factors that will be outside of the control of the aid office – such as software updates, new Pell Grant charts, and information on state aid programs – Veeder said there is the potential for an improved work flow. “I think [PPY and Early FAFSA] is really an opportunity for us … to be thinking about how to use this to our advantage to spread out the work flow” throughout the year and possible reduce the burden on employees, she said.
In the immediate future, Santizo and Veeder recommended that financial aid administrators take the following key steps:
Be sure to check out NASFAA’s PPY Toolkit for more resources and information about the upcoming changes!
Publication Date: 7/11/2016