Speaking Engagement Session Offerings

Here are the topics available for NASFAA Speaking engagements. Learn more about the speakers and request a speaker for your upcoming event.

Inside the Beltway Update

This NASFAA Federal Update will provide an overview of the latest happenings in Washington, including a high-level landscape of the current  political climate in D.C. with a focus on federal financial aid policy and how it has impacted students and institutions in recent years. Overall trends in student aid will be discussed including recent legislative and regulatory activity, reauthorization proposals and predictions for how student aid funding will fare in future budget negotiations. Movement within the Department of Education concerning negotiated rulemaking and updates from Federal Student Aid (FSA) will also be discussed. The session will also provide an overview of NASFAA-led projects, services, and advocacy efforts. Lastly, while the COVID-19 pandemic is still in effect, updates related to funding or relief measures will also be covered. 

Speaker Options: Justin Draeger, Rachel Gentry, or Karen McCarthy

Advocacy and You

This session will touch on the main principles of successful advocacy strategies. An overview will be given of how NASFAA enacts those strategies at the federal level through relationships with congressional staffers, the Department of Education, and the presidential administration. In addition to highlighting useful NASFAA tools and resources, the session will cover tips and strategies on how to successfully advocate at the grassroots level, and outline how you can plan your own advocacy event.

Speaker Options: Justin Draeger or Rachel Gentry

The Federal Budget and Student Aid

Between fiscal years, sequestration, and continuing resolutions, the federal budget process can seem a bit overwhelming. This session will cover the nuts and bolts of the federal budget process with special attention given to how the process impacts funding of the federal student aid programs. In addition to highlighting the basics of the process, the session will also feature predictions for future funding!

Speaker Options: Justin Draeger or Rachel Gentry


Get an update on association activities, professional development and training opportunities, and the volunteer and public policy work of the association. Learn how you can get involved.

Speaker Options: National Chairs 

Using NASFAA Tools

Membership has its privileges! Remember this slogan from the '90s?  It is very applicable to the tools NASFAA offers its members. From compliance and policy insights to training and "Beltway" insights, make sure you are making the most of your benefits and staying on top of what's happening in the aid community.

Speaker Options: Justin Draeger, Rachel Gentry, Karen McCarthy, Dana Kelly, or National Chairs 

Top AskRegs Questions

NASFAA's AskRegs service fields thousands of questions from aid administrators each year. This session takes a look at the top questions submitted over the last year, as well as those rated as most useful by the NASFAA membership. Find out what your colleagues are asking and if your practices align with NASFAA responses.

Speaker: Dana Kelly or another designated NASFAA TRA staff member dependent on timing

Direct Loan Quiz Show

Wondering if you are prorating loans correctly? Do you know what to do when a borrower's loan amounts are in unequal disbursements? In this Q&A-style webinar, we will test your knowledge on key aspects of the Direct Loan program and share guidance NASFAA received from the U.S. Department of Education. Explore some of the most frequently asked questions related to packaging, originating, and disbursing federal Direct Loans received by our NASFAA AskRegs service. (Note: Return of Title IV Funds or Verification can be substituted as the focus for this session.)

Speaker: Dana Kelly or another designated NASFAA TRA staff member dependent on timing

Professional Judgment Best Practices

Professional judgment (PJ) is sometimes viewed as one of the more challenging aspects of Title IV program administration. There are both explicit and implicit guidelines that must be followed in relation to other aspects of Title IV federal student aid administration. This session will explore guiding principles and best practices that can be applied on your campus.

Speaker Options: Dana Kelly, or another designated NASFAA TRA staff member dependent on timing

Communicating Up: The Art of Communication and Overcoming the Curse of Knowledge

Few understand the nuances, art, and science of financial aid quite like those in the aid office. But sometimes when we know a subject too well, that knowledge can stand in the way of effectively explaining it to others on campus, most especially institutional presidents. Join NASFAA President Justin Draeger as he discusses how aid administrators can more effectively "communicate up" about the needs of the financial aid office and the students they serve.

Speaker: Justin Draeger

Finding Motivation in Tough Times

Financial aid administration is hard, even in normal times. But every few years, what is normally a tough job becomes nearly impossible, with a pandemic and a recession that's testing the mental and emotional health of our students and each one of us. This is one of those years that makes even the most dedicated aid professional ask: "Why am I doing this?" Join NASFAA President Justin Draeger as he shares his personal tips on how best to find motivation in tough times.

Speaker: Justin Draeger

Developing Your Career in Financial Aid

Explore how to leverage a wide range of learning opportunities and relationships with colleagues to further your professional career. In this session, discover how growing your expertise and enhancing your professional competencies can help you continue to be of maximum value to your institution and your students. Please note that NASFAA may incorporate individuals from your association to enhance this discussion.

Speaker: Dana Kelly

Dealing with Difficult People

Difficult People. We all have worked alongside of them, experienced them in passing, or worked for and/or supervised them. We know that challenging individuals will always be part of lives. What are the various personality types of these people? Since it is impossible to change someone else, what are strategies to cope and control what you can control? This will be a fast-paced and interactive session.             

Speaker: Brent Tener

History and Structure of Enrollment Management

How did we get to where we are with Enrollment Management (EM) models and why have we seen this change over the past few years? What are common organizational structures that are used at institutions and how do these evolve over time? This session will include participant involvement in discussing the current EM structure, if any, at their particular schools.          

Speaker: Brent Tener

How to Overcome Five Major Dysfunctions in the Development of Teams

Individuals who are currently in leadership positions or who are aspiring to leadership opportunities often struggle with creating and maintaining a team. How do you build trust, deal with conflict, establish commitment, embrace accountability, and attend to results? Patrick Lencioni's book, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team," approaches these topics and offers solutions to assist individuals in leadership roles. This interactive workshop will provide you skills to take your leadership to the next level.   

Speaker: Brent Tener

Politics, Ethics and Leadership

When working in leadership positions, you often find that you are balancing ethical and political considerations. This session will explore both concepts and how you can develop, as a professional, these two very important skills.  

Speaker: Brent Tener

Working with Your Money (Not Theirs)

As financial aid administrators, we are really good at working with other people's money, but how good are we in working with our own? This session will include a practical look at the key elements of a solid personal financial plan, including the best way to save for retirement. This session will be particularly useful for those individuals who are relatively new in their professional career.          

Speaker: Brent Tener

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