NASFAA members from Virginia and Maryland institutions late last month traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with congressional staff members on Capitol Hill to discuss pressing issues in student financial aid, including the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and campus-based aid programs.
The members—Elayne Peloquin of the University of Lynchburg and Wanda Smith of Stevenson University—met with staffers from several congressional offices, including those who sit on education committees.
Peloquin said participating in the pipeline event was "a remarkable experience" that allowed her to inform congressional leaders and their staff "of the impact that proposed legislation has on federal student aid programs, and ultimately on student success."
"Of vital significance were the discussions pertaining to strengthening the federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs," she said. "Given that NASFAA coordinated all details of the Hill visits, advocating as a financial aid professional, on behalf of my university and students, was effortless and truly rewarding."
Smith said she enjoyed hearing from different offices, and learning more through the thoughts and positions they shared on student aid issues.
"I especially enjoyed speaking with those staff members that were sincerely supportive of us taking the time to speak with them and giving them an ‘on-the-ground’ perspective of how this cause impacts our students and families," she said.
Publication Date: 4/9/2019