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Sessions & Speakers

Unpacking the Development of Cost of Attendance: Findings, Changes, and Discussions

Session Type:

Concurrent Session
In this session, findings from a recent study — "Exploring the Development and Decision-Making Process of Cost of Attendance at American Colleges and Universities" — will be presented along with COA changes under FAFSA simplification. Following the presentation, a forum will be provided for colleagues (or panel) to discuss COA development best practices and strategies.

Tuesday, June 18

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

S102 ABC

Session Speaker

Michael Ruggless

Michael Ruggless

Program Specialist, Federal Student Aid
U.S. Department of Education

Sector: Unspecified

Michael Ruggless joined Federal Student Aid (FSA) in March 2019, where he developed the Department’s training program for new financial aid administrators for the annual FSA training conference and worked to support the policy implementation and administration of the campus-based programs. Before joining FSA, Michael began his career in higher education as a graduate assistant and financial aid administrator at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Since then, he has spent nearly a decade at higher education institutions as financial aid administrator at Saint Louis University and Johns Hopkins University. Michael joined FSA’s Policy Implementation and Liaison Group in November 2019 and is currently a program specialist where his policy research and work largely focus on the use of FAFSA® and federal tax information (FTI) data under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Higher Education Act (HEA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Privacy Act. He is also a subject matter expert on approval and consent for purposes of FAFSA and income-driven repayment (IDR), student consumer information, cybersecurity, FSA ID, SAIG agreements, and the Department’s execution of matching programs and system of record notices under the Privacy Act. The scope of his work broadens to include policy and implementation activities under the FUTURE Act, FAFSA Simplification Act, and the STOP Act. Prior to his career in higher education, Michael earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SIUE in social science and secondary education, and curriculum and instruction. He earned his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Saint Louis University. His doctoral research focused on institutional development of cost of attendance at American colleges and universities. His research interests include the implications of policy implementation of financial aid programs at institutions of higher education, federal student aid, developing and implementing cost of attendance, and college pricing.

Session Moderator

Michael Ruggless

Michael Ruggless

Program Specialist, Federal Student Aid
U.S. Department of Education

Sector: Unspecified

Michael Ruggless joined Federal Student Aid (FSA) in March 2019, where he developed the Department’s training program for new financial aid administrators for the annual FSA training conference and worked to support the policy implementation and administration of the campus-based programs. Before joining FSA, Michael began his career in higher education as a graduate assistant and financial aid administrator at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Since then, he has spent nearly a decade at higher education institutions as financial aid administrator at Saint Louis University and Johns Hopkins University. Michael joined FSA’s Policy Implementation and Liaison Group in November 2019 and is currently a program specialist where his policy research and work largely focus on the use of FAFSA® and federal tax information (FTI) data under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Higher Education Act (HEA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Privacy Act. He is also a subject matter expert on approval and consent for purposes of FAFSA and income-driven repayment (IDR), student consumer information, cybersecurity, FSA ID, SAIG agreements, and the Department’s execution of matching programs and system of record notices under the Privacy Act. The scope of his work broadens to include policy and implementation activities under the FUTURE Act, FAFSA Simplification Act, and the STOP Act. Prior to his career in higher education, Michael earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SIUE in social science and secondary education, and curriculum and instruction. He earned his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Saint Louis University. His doctoral research focused on institutional development of cost of attendance at American colleges and universities. His research interests include the implications of policy implementation of financial aid programs at institutions of higher education, federal student aid, developing and implementing cost of attendance, and college pricing.



Note: Speaker and moderator information is self-reported.