Friday, December 13, 2013

#FAtech: Utilities Apps

More mobile apps financial aid administrators use.  Today's category includes "utilities" apps, for lack of a better term! Apps for calendars, weather, contacts, passwords, etc.

1. Calendar (native): Free

Sync your calendar(s) so you can access your meetings, calendar notes, and to-do list from your device. A calendar app or widget should be native to your device.

2. Yahoo! Weather: Free

See the weather like never before - only Yahoo Weather combines stunning photos with the most accurate forecasts. Winner of an Apple Design Award 2013! Download at iTunes or Google Play.

3. CardMunch (iTunes): Free
The app that turns your business cards into contacts, now with LinkedIn integration. Easily see LinkedIn profile information for your new contacts -- and connect with them in a single click.
4. CamCard (Android): Free

CamCard reads business cards and save instantly to phone Contacts. It syncs all your cards across smartphones, tablets, computers and the web app.

5. Pad Info (iTunes): Free

See your iOS statistics for remaing Battery playback time, memory, disk, IP-address and device values.

6. Scan (iTunes)/QR Code Reader (Android): $1.99

Scan (iTunes) or QR Code Reader (Android) is the fastest and most user-friendly QR reader and barcode scanner available.

7. DataVault: $9.99

The Leading Password Manager. DataVault stores confidential information related to credit cards, bank accounts, logins, memberships, etc. using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), widely recognized as the most powerful technology to secure data. Download at iTunes or Google Play.

8. KeyRing: Free

Never carry plastic or paper loyalty, membership, library cards or coupons again! Download at iTunes or Google Play.

9. Logmein (iTunes): Free

From your couch, on the train or in the air – get anytime, anywhere access to your PC or Mac. Remotely control your PCs and Macs over WiFi/3G with the free LogMeIn app on your iPad or iPhone. It works with computers that are running LogMeIn Pro or LogMeIn Free*. You can remotely access your files, run your applications and control your desktops from anywhere. With everything at your fingertips, you’re finally free to go.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

#FAtech: Cloud Apps!

Last week, we conducted our first Twitter chat collaboration with folks from #SAchat using a new #FAtech hashtag.  During the conversation, a question was posed regarding technology tools.  We've done some informal surveys of mobile apps financial aid administrators use, so we thought we'd share.  Today's post is the mobile apps in what can be considered the "cloud" category.

1. Dropbox: Free

Bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere.  Any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, your device, and even the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can take everything that matters to you on the go.

Download Dropbox on iTunes or Google Play for FREE

2. Google Drive: Free

Google Drive is one safe place for all your stuff. Upload photos, videos, documents, and other files that are important to you, then access what you need wherever you go, on any device. Get going with up to 15GB of storage.

Download Google Drive on iTunes or Google Play for FREE.

3. Skydrive: Free

SkyDrive is the place to store your files so you can always have them with you. When you upload photos or videos from your device to SkyDrive, you can get to them whether you’re on your PC, Mac, tablet, or phone. With SkyDrive, you can easily access, manage, and share files on the go.

Download Skydrive on iTunes or Google Play for FREE.

4. CloudOn: Free

Unleash your productivity. CloudOn makes Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) files more accessible and useful on your device letting you edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations from anywhere with all the functionality you need.

Download CloudOn on iTunes or Google Play for FREE.

5. Rackspace: Free

Just because you’re not in the office, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have control over your infrastructure. You can manage your cloud infrastructure on the go. With Rackspace, you can  view and create first and next generation Rackspace Cloud Servers; view the details and status of each specific server; and manage each server individually. You also have direct links that enable you to call Rackspace’s award-winning Fanatical Support by phone straight from the app.

Download Rackspace on iTunes or Google Play for FREE.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Talk Tech: #FAtech

The #FAchat community will be chatting with the #SAtech community for December's #FAchat.  We'll be discussing the use of technology in financial aid and student affairs. A collaborative discussion on a topic that has become ubiquitous in our work environment.

What's your favorite thing about technology? What are some of the tech skills you have developed in your role as a financial aid administrator or student affairs official? What kinds of technology do you use most often? In what ways can we harness technology to improve college affordability? In what ways can technology help us to collaborate and become more efficient?

All of this and more at today's #FAChat. Join us between 12-1 pm CST.  Note that today's chat will be hosted and moderated using a new hashtag: #FAtech!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

11/12/13 #FAchat Transcript: All About Conferences

Please take a look at our #FAchat discussion on the calendrical coincidence of 11/12/13.  Since Twitter released a new service of timelines, we're trying it out.  The 'transcript' is now a timeline and has been posted on Twitter.  Also trying the embeddable content, see below.  Thanks for joining us and feel free to peruse yesterday's tweets and join us again next month when we will be collaborating with #SAtech (with @SATechTalk) and conducting our #FAchat using an #FAtech hashtag!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#FAChat Topic for 11/12/13: All About Conferences

Conference season is in full swing, and we want to talk about it! What's your favorite thing about conferences? What are some of the best presentations that you've seen? What do you present on most often? What are presentations that you haven't seen, but would like to? What's the best conference that you've been to thus far? A conference that you haven't been able to attend yet, but would like to? All of these questions and more at today's #FAChat. Bring your chattin' fingers (and your lunch, if necessary) between 12-1 pm CDT.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Social Media: This Time It's About You

This post was authored by #FAchat contributors and participants, Karla Weber (@ItsJustKarla), Financial Aid Counselor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Justin Chase Brown (@jstnchsbrwn), Financial Aid Associate Director at the University of Missouri; and Liz Gross (@lizgross144), Social Media Strategist at Great Lakes Educational Loan Services. An earlier version of this article first appeared in the 2012-2013 NASFAA Now - Annual Impact Report [PDF] (membership login required to view the full report).

When someone says “social media” you probably think about outreach to students and parents. But have you considered what a powerful tool social media can be for exchanging ideas with colleagues? Despite being tied to the office, social media allows you to receive information instantly, engage in targeted discussions, publish ideas, and participate in activities from a distance. By following the “Four C’s” of social media—consumption, conversation, creation, and conferences-- you can utilize powerful tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and the NASFAA website to network, learn, and advance your career.

CONSUMPTION: Quick, Concise News You Can Use

Information is everywhere and can be accessed in many forms. Social networks like Twitter offer a venue to collect useful information that helps you stay “in the know.” You don’t have to be a “tweeter” or even have a Twitter account to participate. For example, to follow NASFAA without a Twitter account, you would send a text to 40404 with the statement “follow NASFAA” – omitting the quotation marks. Used this way, Twitter is like a listserv, but it is sent to you via text message and doesn’t clog your inbox.

Speed is the beauty of Twitter. Reading micro-communications of 140 characters or less takes less time than constantly perusing information on the web. In addition to being more concise, Twitter delivers information quicker than print news, websites, or emails, and can even be directed to your smartphone. A good example of lightning-fast information delivered by Twitter occurred when ED tweeted details about the upcoming 2013 FSA Training Conference well in advance of sending information via the IFAP portal. You can know about a significant occurrence on your campus, in your state, or across the nation before your supervisor asks you how it will impact student aid.

If you don’t want instant information delivery, you can also schedule a brief time to read tweets that have been posted in the last few hours or days. This provides an instant overview of what’s happening in the field.

Twitter is just one way to receive updates. By simply “Liking” the Facebook page of a professional association such as NASFAA, you can read news from the financial aid community while you’re reading updates from friends and family in your home community. LinkedIn allows you to join NASFAA’s group and others and receive direct updates on new or continuing financial aid-related discussions taking place among other LinkedIn users in your email box.

CONVERSATION: Don’t Just Listen – Engage!

Forums like Twitter are also great for discussion. You can ask questions, get advice on a program, or collect resources or opinions on a specific topic. Posting a question to a wide, national audience of your peers can yield quick results from people you trust. Responses can also lead to new professional relationships, brainstorming sessions, and productive future discussions.

Discussions also take place at, where members can comment on features in Today’s News, Student AidPerspectives, Voices from the Aid Office, and other online publications. Your ideas can lend to the richness of the discussion, and reading others’ viewpoints can provide you with new insights. NASFAA’s LinkedIn page, now with nearly 4,500 members, is another excellent place to post questions and participate in discussions with other financial aid professionals. LinkedIn also allows you to network with colleagues on a one-to-one basis, and provides useful tools for seeking new staff or taking the next step on your career ladder.

Another easy way to be a part of the conversation is to follow topic-based chats on Twitter, like #FAchat (@theFAchat), founded by NASFAA members, Justin Chase Brown and Melissa Haberman.  #FAchat is a monthly chat geared toward financial aid topics held on the second Tuesday of each month from 12-1 CST.  Many aid administrators, policy wonks, financial aid researchers, and other stakeholders have participated in #FAchat. Other Twitter chats where you can discuss higher education and financial aid issues are #EMchat (enrollment management), #SAchat (student affairs), and #FinLit (financial literacy) – and there are many more from which to choose. Twitter chats allow for topic-based conversation using hashtags.

Listservs, like FinAid-L and NASFAA’s Graduate and Professional Listserv, are one of the older forms of electronic social networking, but remain a useful tool for collaborating with others in the field. Using a “digest” setting allows you to receive messages in a single daily email rather than multiple individual emails in your inbox. You can also set up IFAP announcements as RSS Feeds that are sent directly to your email inbox so you never miss an important electronic announcement or Dear Colleague Letter.

CREATION: When You’ve Got It, Share It

Social media provides the opportunity for anyone and everyone to express thoughts on a variety of topics and develop a publicly available professional portfolio. You probably have unique knowledge about policy and procedures, staff training, or workplace dynamics that would contribute to the professional dialogue. You may want to help to show new financial aid professionals the ropes, or share best practices based on your experience. Consider starting your own blog (free via sites such as Blogger or WordPress) or contributing to another individual or organization’s blog as a guest. If you don’t have the time to blog, you may consider Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to share with colleagues. You may even wind up serving as a mentor…via social media platforms!

CONFERENCES: Be Part of the Experience – Even from Miles Away

When you can’t attend a conference or other training event, you can still stay connected with the conversations happening there via Twitter. Many national conferences now have designated hashtags (a code, starting with the # sign [hashtag] that allows you to receive all tweeted updates that include that code). For example, NASFAA’s 2013 conference hashtag was #NASFAA2013, and the 2013 Federal Student Aid Training Conference hashtag will be #FSATC2013. People attending the conference tweet about sessions and information they are learning, allowing those back home to follow the activities and even send questions back to have answered. You can also see your friends at the conference and read ongoing updates in NASFAA’s Facebook newsfeed and photo stream. You don't even have to have a Twitter account to search for hashtags at - try it out!

Put Yourself Out There

Social media can enrich your experience as a financial aid professional and keep you on top of what is happening in this fast-moving field. Clearly, you need to be mindful that what you post on the Internet is public, no matter how private a forum (or even listserv, for that matter) may seem.  But provided you keep your professional activities professional, you should be able to take advantage of social media tools to connect, interact, and engage with your colleagues without leaving your office!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy National Financial Aid Day!

Financial Aid Day is a special day that is set aside to celebrate and recognize the contribution of all Financial Aid Professionals across the United States of America for helping students realize their college dreams and for being so ever effective at helping our institutions accomplish their mission.
The Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (EASFAA) chronicles the founding of Financial Aid Day on Oct. 20, 2010. Celebrated every third Wednesday of October, Financial Aid Day recognizes the professionals who help students overcome financial barriers to college.
For more information about National Financial Aid Day, visit!
Thank a Financial Aid Officer today!

Monday, October 14, 2013

#FAChat Topic for 10/15/13: Show and Tell: Fall Projects

What projects are you currently working on or planning to work on over the next few months? Any new communication or outreach projects? Developing new policies and procedures for financial aid funds or programs? How about new data projects or analysis/assessment of your current efforts? Please join us as we do a little show and tell this month! Feel free to brag about your efforts or even your wish list of projects! #FAChat is NORMALLY held on the second Tuesday of each month from 12-1 CST, but we had to change it up this month, due to all the moderators being at MASFAA conference. We'll try to be back on schedule next month!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#FAChat Topic for 9/10/13: Customer Service

What's the best way to provide customer service in the financial aid office?  Does your office have any innovative strategies to avoiding long lines or waits on the phones?  Do you just want to get ideas from others?  Discuss these topics and more at the next #FAChat, coming your way from 12-1 CST, on Tuesday, September 10.

Monday, July 8, 2013

#FAchat Topic for 7/9/13: Connecting Through #NASFAA2013

This week’s #FAchat will center on the upcoming 2013 NASFAA National Conference held in Las Vegas.  Join us Tuesday, July 9, at 12:00 p.m. CST for #FAchat!

The NASFAA National Conference is the premier event serving the student financial aid community.  Nearly 3,000 student aid professionals from across the nation attend the conference each year to teach, learn, network, and share best practices – and who knows how many follow along through the Twitter backchannel via the official conference hashtag: #NASFAA2013.

Our chat will focus on how to connect with your colleagues through NASFAA whether you are attending the conference or not. Be sure to watch the event via the #NASFAA2013 Twitter feed July 14-17. You can also participate in financial aid discussions year-round via #fachat.

2013 NASFAA National Conference
Location: ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas
Dates: July 14 – 17, 2013
  • The conference program is now available online.
  • We encourage you to use the NASFAA MyPlanner Tool whether you are attending or not to see when certain sessions are being held in case you want to see if anyone is live-tweeting.
  • Follow the NASFAA Twitter account: @NASFAA.
  • There are several concurrent sessions that include social media, which might be those that are more active on Twitter as well as some of the general sessions (all times in Pacific Time Zone):
    • Opening Session: Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, Keynote: Sunday, July 14, 10:30am-11:45am
    • Diversity Caucus: Sunday, July 14, 2:30pm-3:45pm
    • NASFAA Policy & Advocacy Update: Monday, July 15, 9:00am-10:15am
    • Closing Session & U.S. Department of Education Federal Update: Wednesday, July 17, 8:30am-11:00am
    • How to Network with Networks: Using Social Media as a Means to Advance Your Financial Aid Career: Tuesday, July 16, 2:30pm-3:45pm
    • New Ways to Communicate with Students, Part 1: Tuesday, July 16, 9:00am-10:15am
    • The ABC’s of Using Technology to Communicate with Students: Tuesday, July 16, 9:00am-10:15am
    • New Ways to Communicate with Students, Part 2: Tuesday, July 16, 10:35am-11:50am



Monday, July 1, 2013

NASFAA 2013 #FACHAT Tweetup Invitation

by Liz Gross (@lizgross144)
In just two weeks thousands of financial aid professionals will be gathering in Las Vegas for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators 2013 conference. In case you haven’t checked the weather, we’re in for 100+ degree days. But don’t worry - #FACHAT will keep you cool with two, yes TWO tweetups.

What is a tweetup?
A tweetup is an opportunity for folks who have been tweeting with each other (say, using the #fachat or #NASFAA2013 hashtag) to meet in person. It’s one way to guarantee you’ll see a familiar face among the crowd of conference attendees. There’s no formal agenda, just chat like you would normally…you just don’t need to wear out your thumbs. Afterwards, you’ll have gotten to know some excellent colleagues just a little bit better. You may even end up collaborating on something for next year’s NASFAA conference because of the connections you made!
Tweetup Dates & Locations
We’re sure you want to see a bit of Las Vegas, so we’re not going to add another event to your schedule on top of the already packed conference. We’ll meet up in conjunction with the Sunday and Monday night networking receptions. You can come to just one meetup, or double up and attend both.
  • Tweetup #1:
    • Sunday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m.
    • Meet in the exhibit hall at a table behind the Department of Education’s booth.
  • Tweetup #2:
    • Monday, July 15 at 5:00 p.m.
    • Meet in the exhibit hall at a table behind the Department of Education’s booth.
Please RSVP
Justin, Karla and Liz will be saving table space for us and marking them with super cool #FACHAT & Twitter bird tabletents. To help us know how many places to save, please RSVP using this Google form.
If you have any questions about the tweetup, feel free ask them in the comments, or contact Justin (@jstnchsbrwn), Karla (@itsjustkarla), or Liz (@lizgross144).


Monday, May 13, 2013

#FAchat Topic for 5/14/13: ED Workforce HEA Reauthorization Discussion

This week's #FAchat will center around the request from @EDworkforce to comment on HEA Reauthorization from April 25th.  The request for comment can be found on the Committee on Education and the Workforce website.

The requests asks for input on the ways to:

  • Empower students as consumers in higher education,
  • Simplify and improve the student aid and loan programs,
  • Increase college accessibility, affordability, and completion,
  • Encourage institutions to reduce costs,
  • Promote innovation to improve access to and delivery of higher education, and
  • Balance the need for accountability with the burden of federal requirements.
We have put together a series of questions to explore these topics and plan to share the results of the discussion with @EDworkforce. Please join us for this important topic tomorrow 5/14/13 at noon Central Standard Time.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Future of FAFSA: Questions on Collecting Parent Information

Contributions from: Justin Chase Brown - The University of Missouri, Melissa Haberman - University of Wisconsin Colleges, Jayme Jarrett - Ohio Northern University, Susan Johnson - University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Recent changes were announced to the 2014-2015 FAFSA leaving some administrators with questions about how to handle these changes. Below are some of our thoughts. Please let us know yours.

Summary of Changes
Beginning with the 2014-2015 FAFSA, dependent students will be required to include on the FAFSA information from his or her legal parents (biological or adoptive) regardless of the parents’ marital status or gender, if those parents live together. Previously, if the parents were unmarried only one parent was included on the FAFSA.


First of all, who is a parent for FAFSA? The FAFSA defines a parent as the biological or adoptive parent of the student. Legal guardians and grandparents are never considered a parent for the FAFSA. If the parents are unmarried the student uses the parent he or she lived with the most in the last 12 months. If he or she did not live with either, the parent who provided the most support in the last 12 months is used. If that parent is married, his or her spouse is included.

In the past, that has left students who live with both their parents unable to list them both on the form if they were unmarried. This change will have a significant impact for LGBT families and how their forms are filed. In addition, there are a significant number of unmarried parents living together that are not LGBT as well.  

- Questions from FAchat Contributors -

General Questions

The Dear Colleague letter has stated that at this time the IRS Data Retrieval Process will not be updated to allow retrieval of tax information for two persons who filed taxes separately. How will administrators configure their systems to recognize when the retrieval tool was used for one parent and a tax transcript will be still need to be collected for the other? Could this situation occur?

Will the screening questions for who is eligible to use the Data Retrieval be changed? Will aid administrators be able to see the answers to these questions?

In light of this effort to better capture parental support, will other questions on the FAFSA be updated to make it more clear what students should include?  “Money received, or paid on your behalf (e.g., bills), not reported elsewhere on this form” has never been clearly defined.

If parents are living together unmarried, would there be any circumstances in which a professional judgment determination would be used to remove one parent from the household size and remove his or her income?

Same-Sex Parents

How common is it for same-sex parents to have both legally adopted the child? If they are living together, but only one is a legal adoptive or biological parent only that person should be listed. Will this be clarified for parents?

What documentation if any, would either or both parents need to provide to prove they are a legal or adoptive parent of the student? Will there be schools who require documentation and others that don’t? Will this be treated consistently?

Does this open the door for religious schools to use the information from the FAFSA to discriminate against a student because of his/her parents’ living situation? Say, for admission, institutional aid, or other?

Will either or both same-sex parents be eligible to apply for a PLUS loan on the student’s behalf?

In the case of adoption, does the age of the student at the time of adoption matter? Example: If one parent in same sex couple is biological parent, and other did not adopt student until student was older than 13. (Age at time of adoption is significant for questions determining who is considered a parent for dependency status.)

Divorced/Separated Parents

This change states that if the biological/adoptive parents of a student are living together regardless of marital status both are included on the FAFSA. As aid administrators have seen frequently, with the current economy many parents are divorcing, but still living together for financial reasons (unable to sell the house). We would like to clarify if the parents are divorced/separated and living together are both still included on the form?  

What if parents are divorced and still living together, but a court has severed all parental rights of one of the parents? Therefore, no longer a legal parent. Still include both?

What questions do you have?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ever Have One of Those Days?

Ever have those days in the office where you thought long and hard about climbing out your window and running away from all the craziness that’s inside your office, disappearing off where no one could find you?  For me, it was the first day of spring semester, and I have to set the scene for you just a little: We have a decent-sized staff for our student population, but we also do several functions that many schools house in their registrar’s and bursar’s offices.  We’re also not the kind of school that cancels classes if you’re not paid throughout the semester – students just rack up late and interest fees and have holds placed on their accounts so they can’t register and get transcripts and such.  You guys know the drill.  As you can imagine, busy place the first day of a new semester, right?

And I knew that it was going to be a bad day because we had a staff member out on medical leave, so we were short-staffed, and then to get to work and find out that the other assistant director is out with her sick son was just the icing on the cake.  Half our counseling staff gone, there’s one who is still new (less than 5 months on the job, fresh out of college), and then me.  Fantastic – let’s start the day.  Students were piling in left and right trying to figure out why they couldn’t register for classes, trying to explain to me why they needed more aid, and from what I’m seeing, these are not the best academic students.  We try to give them a pass for one semester, but 3 or 5 or 7?  I’m getting things figured out for these students, but then I can’t get in touch with the controller’s office to get the holds removed so that they can register – always problematic.  I know that they’re just as slammed as we are today, but I’m calling, emailing, IMing, texting, sending smoke signals, Hedwig, whatever I can think of – why can’t we just be in the same darn location like any normal campus?

I’m prone to migraines.  I don’t know why, but ever since my son was born, it happens.  Stress, smells, not enough sleep, not enough food, weather changes – that stuff will bring them on.  I didn’t get a chance to eat lunch at a normal time, and I get a student in my office that had just gotten off a plane – literally – and come into my office to get her aid straightened out.  I’m familiar with her, because we’ve emailed and talked on the phone countless times before she decided to come to Ohio from Florida.  It was going to be a long appointment, because she hadn’t done any of her direct loan stuff, and she had been offered a Perkins loan as well, which I had to explain the terms of and how to obtain through our third-party servicing system.  This student comes in, and I’m not sure if she normally wears that much perfume or if she had put it on because she’d just gotten off the plane, but I’m choking in it.  It smelled like a bottle of some 80’s issue Avon old lady juice had exploded in my office.  My student workers out at the front desk are giving me sympathetic looks as I take her back, because they know about my headaches, what kind of day I’ve had, and how long this is probably going to take.  I somehow make it through twenty minutes of explaining everything in her awards package, all of her student loans and how they’re obtained, and send her on her way.  The smell lingered long after her, so of course, being the cold January Ohio day that it was, I opened my window.

I OPENED MY WINDOW.  Now was my chance to just go ahead and just climb out, right?  I mean, why not, after the day that I’ve had?  It’s 2 pm, no lunch yet, dealing with all of THIS…

I ran to our back area as quickly as I could and grabbed my lunch, getting away from the temptation of the open window (and also the smell in my office).  I only took 10 minutes, because really, that was all the time that I had.  I know we’re supposed to take a lunch hour, but who has time for that anymore?  I replayed the absolute horror of the business and rush of the day in my mind as I walked back toward my office with the open window and terrible smell, and I saw that ledge just beckoning me, once again, to climb over and run away…

But I had another student to see.

This one was different, though.  She was a senior, one that had done everything right.  Her bill for this semester was unexpectedly larger because she had held a previous refund on her account and forgotten about that, so she was wondering what to do, how to get her balance paid.  It was a small one (by our standards), and I was looking at everything.  0 EFC.  Senior with a 4.0 GPA.  Already a decent amount of loan debt.  I remembered my director saying that we had some SEOG left to spend, and so that’s exactly what I did.

When I told her, this girl…cried.  A lot.  And gave me 5 hugs.  Over covering a small balance. 

And that, my friends, is why we don’t climb out the window, no matter how bad we may want to.  No matter how many students in a row we get that don’t do what they’re supposed to do, that want more money when we may think they don’t deserve it or need it, that come to your school when they probably shouldn’t be there and we have to figure things out for them, “but the coach promised me this,” no matter how many of those type students we may see, the next one that walks in your office may be the girl like that one.  Who’s grateful for anything that you can do for her.  Who cries and hugs you and sends you the thank you email (and we all know we don’t get those that often), who offers to be your office assistant.  Whose life may be changed because you took the time to help her with her aid.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Capitol Hill College Affordability Hearings

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) is set to expire this year, which means the 113th Congress has the opportunity to reauthorize (although the last time it expired, it took five years to reauthorize).  Nevertheless, the topic of college affordability and student financial aid is making the rounds around Capitol Hill (and this is just the beginning).  Yesterday, there were two back-to-back hearings, one in Senate committee and one in House of Representatives subcommittee.  See Libby Nelson's article today from Inside Higher Ed, "And So It Begins."

Here are some highlights:

#SenateHELP Committee Hearing (#FixFinAid, #FAchat)

House of Representatives #EDworkforce Hearing (#FixFinAid, #FAchat)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Highlights from 3/12/13 #FAchat: Professional Development

The good news is that we have had a lot of folks using the #FAchat tag on twitter this week. The bad news is that we were only able to go back far enough to get the end of the chat. Our apologies for the partial Storify. A full transcript can be viewed here

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March #FAchat Topic: Networking & Professional Development

Join us on Tuesday, March 12, at 12 pm CST for #FAChat.

Discussion Topic: Networking & Professional Development

Conference season is approaching, which is a great tool for networking and professional development, even if you are unable to attend (by following the conference hashtag on the backchannel).  In this chat, we will be discussing how financial aid professionals can take advantage of conferences and other professional development opportunities.  We will also include an opportunity to discuss upcoming presentations, collaborations, and upcoming conference hashtags.  There are also several calls for session proposals and we encourage participants to connect and collaborate in sharing knowledge to the financial aid community.

Please join us on Tuesday, March 12 from 12-1pm CST to discuss networking and professional development for financial aid professionals and other enrollment management professionals.

If you have not joined #FAchat before and you have a Twitter account, you can join via TweetChat at during the time of the chat.  If you do not currently have a Twitter account, but would like to follow along with the chat out, you can do so at the Twitter website.

See you Tuesday!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reimagining Aid Design & Delivery Project

In September 2012 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided grants to 14 organizations working on postsecondary financial aid solutions. The organizations represent a mix of thought leaders from business, higher education, civil rights and public policy. The grants are part of the Reimagining Aid Design & Delivery (RADD) project. This project is intended to spark a discussion about how financial aid can be used to increase student success, especially for low-income and middle-income students.

White Paper

2/22/13 12:00 pm - Editors Note - Looks like the credit goes to Carolyn Henrich at the University of California for putting the original list together that has been circulating. Thanks Carolyn!