Statement from NASFAA President Justin Draeger on the Passing of Jeff Appel, Federal Student Aid's Director of Policy Liaison and Implementation

November 30, 2019 – NASFAA on Friday was notified about the passing of Federal Student Aid's Director of Policy Liaison and Implementation Jeff Appel. 

NASFAA President Justin Draeger issued the following statement on Jeff's passing:

"The financial aid community mourns the loss of our friend and colleague Jeff Appel. To know Jeff is to know true selfless public service. In a town with so much pomp and ego, Jeff stood out as the exception. He was often the smartest person in the room, having always done his homework to comprehend the nuances and complexities of every issue. Despite his expertise, Jeff consistently listened more than lectured, sought to understand before being understood, and expertly balanced lofty ideals with real-world pragmatism. Jeff's motivations were always clear: giving students equal opportunity to postsecondary education. His commitment to college access and success are unparalleled.  

Personally, I am deeply saddened by Jeff’s passing and will miss working with him on an ongoing basis. Even as I mourn his loss, I am committed to honoring his legacy by emulating his example in my professional and personal life. Jeff never worked as a financial aid administrator, but over the many years that he worked with our profession, he most certainly became an endearing member of the financial aid community."

To request an interview with a NASFAA spokesperson, please email [email protected] or call (202) 785-6959.


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 28,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit

Publication Date: 11/30/2019

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