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Breaking Barriers: Bridging Worlds in Prison Education and Student Advising

PEP Web Center IconFriday, June 14, 2024, 3:30 p.m. CT - Sunday, June 16, 2024, 1:00 p.m. CT

Hyatt Regency Milwaukee Hotel
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Applications are now closed. 

As part of its 2024 National Conference, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) will be facilitating an in-person convening for financial aid administrators (FAAs) and prison education program administrators (PEP administrators). In partnership with NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), this convening aims to bridge the gap between the financial aid and prison education communities and provide attendees a better understanding of the complexities faced by each group. It is critical that PEPs ensure they are acting in the best interest of students; the programs will be measured based on metrics that mandate equitable and high-quality advising. Advising looks and feels different inside carceral facilities, requiring colleges to modify their standard advising practices to successfully support these students who are impacted by incarceration. The focus of this convening will be on the creation and delivery of the entire spectrum of student and academic advising services for students who are incarcerated.

This three-day convening will leverage the expertise of current practitioners in both financial aid offices (FAOs) and prison education environments. PEP administrators will gain insight into the intricacies and statutory responsibilities managed by the FAO, as well as guidelines for student advising and admissions that are compliant with auditable financial aid requirements, and FAAs will benefit by learning more about the constraints and challenges of working in a prison environment, the extraordinary complexities of being a confined student, and the obstacles faced by students who enroll on a campus after confinement. 

Event programming will focus on advising for students who are system-impacted, prison education program planning and administration, and borrower debt and default management. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from formerly incarcerated students, and participate in a reentry simulation designed to illustrate some of the challenges that can arise when trying to navigate and transition back to life after incarceration.

Costs, Travel, and Logistics

There is no registration fee for this event. NASFAA is able to provide a travel allowance to support attendee participation.

Each PEP administrator may receive up to $1,750 in reimbursement for eligible travel expenses, including round-trip airfare, two nights of hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and per diem for their time at the pre-conference event.

With many FAAs already planning to attend NASFAA’s 2024 National Conference, also held in Milwaukee, (where most conference attendees arrive on Sunday), NASFAA is able to cover additional travel costs for Friday and Saturday for FAAs participating the pre-conference PEP event, including two additional nights of a hotel stay and two days of per diem. Each FAA may receive up to $1,000 in reimbursement for eligible travel expenses. FAAs are encouraged, but not required to also attend the NASFAA 2024 National Conference.

More information on travel accommodations and reimbursement will be provided to accepted applicants closer to the in-person convening. If your travel expenses will exceed the published limits above, please contact the planning committee to discuss. 

Institutional & Individual Eligibility

This event will accommodate 100 participants from 50 institutions. There will be two leaders from each institution: one financial aid administrator and one PEP administrator. Institutions should be active in the space of prison education or demonstrate they are actively working to become an approved PEP. In order for an institution to be eligible to participate in this event, they must have the appropriate leader from the financial aid office and the PEP program in attendance.

This work is generously sponsored by a grant from Ascendium Education Group.