Beginning in fall 2014, a working group composed of representatives from NASFAA and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) embarked on a yearlong effort to identify and examine ways to make financial aid research more relevant to financial aid practitioners. To inform our recommendations, we surveyed NASFAA members, reviewed the research literature on financial aid, and facilitated a number of focus groups across the country.
This report presents the findings from the outlined work above along with recommendations for how research can better inform the practice of financial aid administration. In addition to our recommendations, this study identified three main themes as a result of the feedback from, and conversations with, financial aid administrators. The themes are as follows:
Taken together, these themes contain a general thread of the need for stronger communication between the research community and financial aid practitioners on the front end to determine topics for research and the most desirable form for consumption.
With these themes in mind, we offer the following recommendations to help better facilitate conversations between practitioners and researchers and to ensure that research is both applicable and digestible:
The findings from this study provide an opportunity to better connect the work of academic researchers and the practices of financial aid professionals and the collaboration looks forward to helping our respective members put these policies into practice.
Publication Date: 1/21/2016