NASFAA has been working to assist students displaced by college and career school closures since mid-2015 when Corinthian Colleges, Inc. abruptly shut down, leaving many of its students with debt, but no degree and no idea where to turn for counsel. This work—which began as a collaboration among NASFAA and four other entities—led to the creation of what is now known as www.nextstepsed.org, a ticketing portal where affected students can submit requests for help with financial aid questions, and more. After submitting tickets, students are contacted by volunteers with the know-how needed to help them figure out their best course of action.
While the participating organizations and funding sources have changed since the project's inception, NASFAA, with the help of a devoted network of volunteers, has been unwavering in its commitment to connecting students with seasoned financial aid administrators. The ticketing system was scheduled to be shut down in December 2018 and replaced with a knowledge base with consumer-tested information to assist current and future displaced students.
To date, this project has assisted more than 5,000 students in navigating their options regarding closed school federal loan discharge, Universal Borrower Defense, and Pell Grant eligibility restoration, and NASFAA is pleased to announce that thanks to generous grant funding from Lumina Foundation, this effort will now be able to continue until December 2020. The Assisting Displaced Students Working Group will be tasked with responding to questions submitted by students via the online ticketing portal about financial aid and closed-school federal loan discharge. Working group members will provide NASFAA staff liaisons with ongoing feedback from student tickets for additional counseling areas needed or questions to be shared with the Office of Federal Student Aid. Review the working group charter for more details, and, if interested, complete the volunteer form by Friday, June 14.
Publication Date: 5/29/2019