Advocacy Update - April 2024

Dear NASFAA Members,

We don't have to tell you how challenging the last few weeks have been for the financial aid community. You've been living that reality, day in and day out.

NASFAA understands that every member's voice is valuable, and we thank you for elevating your concerns with us through emails, phone calls, and messages in our Slack communities. We want to assure you that your concerns are being heard loud and clear, and your feedback is invaluable in helping us navigate the path forward.

Advocating for better public policy is more art than science — and as such, we understand it's important for NASFAA to demonstrate how we're elevating your voices on a daily basis in our advocacy efforts.

With that in mind, we want to share a few ways we've been communicating your concerns with the Department of Education, policymakers, and other key stakeholders:

NASFAA Engagement With Members

NASFAA is in constant communication with NASFAA institutional members, both formally through our board of directors and other committees and task forces like our FAFSA Simplification Implementation Working Group, and informally through ongoing conversations. NASFAA staff are also monitoring NASFAA communities, responding to AskRegs questions, and fielding inquiries through all other NASFAA communication channels. We receive many more communications from NASFAA members than we can respond to in a given day, but we read them all.

NASFAA Engagement With ED

NASFAA staff speak with the Department of Education operations and political leadership every day, often multiple times a day. We discuss everything from their decisions to messaging. Sometimes they take our advice, and sometimes they don't. As you know, things are constantly changing — sometimes too quickly for us to provide regular updates to members — and at times the most effective strategy may be to have certain conversations behind closed doors, bringing your concerns directly to the decision makers at ED. Please trust that even when it might not be readily seen, your voice is having an influence.

NASFAA Engagement With Lawmakers

NASFAA is keeping both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill informed of what's happening with the Better FAFSA rollout. Earlier this morning, NASFAA testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development in a hearing titled "FAFSA Fail: Examining the Impact on Students, Families, and Schools." NASFAA's 13-page written testimony constructed a comprehensive narrative of the last two years' mishaps to ensure our members' and students' stories will continue to be told. NASFAA also constructed a timeline of events in the FAFSA simplification implementation process that visually depicts the steps and missteps that have led to the current state of affairs.

NASFAA Engagement With the Press

NASFAA continues working with the press to highlight issues with the FAFSA publicly. In the last two weeks, NASFAA has been extensively quoted in every major and industry news outlet — dozens of individual outlets that have been reprinted hundreds of times. Our press releases have tens of thousands of views. We have become the go-to source for distilling obtuse updates and guidance in ED's electronic announcements, blog posts, and press releases these days, which often have so much political spin they are indecipherable.

As we move forward, please know that our commitment to transparency and accountability remains unwavering. We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of our advocacy and welcome ongoing dialogue to ensure our association maintains an environment of mutual trust and openness.


Helen Faith Justin Draeger
Helen Faith, FAAC®
NASFAA 2023-24 National Chair
Justin Draeger
NASFAA President & CEO



Publication Date: 4/10/2024

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