Administrative Burden

Financial aid offices and the student services they provide are being strained by increasing regulatory and administrative burdens. The 2010 NASFAA Administrative Burden Survey (published Feb. 2011) demonstrated that 9 in 10 of the more than 1,000 responding NASFAA members reported having fewer resources to dedicate to critical student services that promote college access, success, and successful student loan repayment. Services feeling the pinch included face-to-face counseling, extra attention for target student populations and outreach efforts.

NASFAA President Justin Draeger Explains How Administrative Burden Negatively Impacts Students

Other factors that are straining financial aid office resources include:

  • Greater numbers of aid applicants
  • More applicants needing their application to be updated due to changes in family finances
  • More applications needing to be verified
  • Compliance with new, complex year-round Pell Grant regulations
  • New regulations that are unrelated to the student aid programs

To alleviate the resource shortage most financial aid offices are experiencing, NASFAA recommends:

  • Streamlining student aid programs by consolidating current programs into one grant program, one loan program, and one campus-based program.
  • Streamlining the student aid application processes to eliminate hurdles low-income students continue to face when applying for and receiving financial aid.
  • Eliminating regulations that are duplicative and that don’t apply to student aid so that financial aid administrators will have more time to devote to students.

“The sheer size and scope of federal regulations and other administrative burden has pushed financial aid offices to the breaking point,” said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. “Our specific policy recommendations, if enacted, would alleviate administrative and regulatory burdens so financial aid offices can do more to increase student access to and success in college, and decrease cumulative student debt.”