In January 2015, as follow-up to its 2010 study, NASFAA again surveyed financial aid professionals at its member institutions in an effort to better understand how ongoing regulatory changes are affecting college financial aid offices. The 2015 NASFAA Administrative Burden Survey (published April 2015) revealed the widespread perception that the resource shortages felt by aid administrators are not short-term products of our economy, but rather permanent structural problems without foreseeable reprieve.
NASFAA President Justin Draeger Discusses the 2015 NASFAA Administrative Burden Survey Findings
The most problematic by-product of the issue is that students are the ones who are suffering the most from these shortages. Findings from the study include:
- Counseling staff was the greatest resource need in both 2010 (77%) and 2015 (70%) in order to maintain quality financial aid services.
- Student services areas that suffered the greatest effect from resource constraints included:
- Face-to-face counseling (68%);
- Phone contact (66%);
- Loan counseling (64%);
- Outreach efforts (64%); and
- Focusing on targeted populations (61%).
- Many of the activities underlying the processing of student financial aid also suffered
The recommendations put forth in this report address the causes associated with resource constraints and call on Congress and the Department of Education (ED) to take reasonable steps to reduce administrative burden. The report’s recommendations fall into three broad categories:
- Streamline student aid application processes;
- Eliminate burdensome and/or duplicative regulations; and
- Reform regulatory development processes.
If enacted, the recommendations would allow financial aid administrators to have more time to spend counseling students and to be in compliance with their administrative capability mandate.
Download and view the 2015 NASFAA Administrative Burden Survey report, and also see the related press release.