Thursday, June 26, 2014

Make the Most of #NASFAA2014 (Even If Not Attending)

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Annual Conference begins in just a few days in Nashville, Tennessee! 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.

Attending conferences is a great way to develop professionally and obtain the necessary training to do your job well. However, we don’t always get the chance to attend the conferences we would like. The upcoming NASFAA conference might be that for you, but there are ways you can stay connected and still obtain some vital information from the meetings!

The NASFAA program this year boasts many different types of sessions, such as those about financial literacy, compliance, birds of a feather, policy, town hall, and more. If you’re unable to attend, you might find some live-tweeting helpful. Follow the official NASFAA 2014 hashtag (#NASFAA2014).

Last year, we chatted about making professional connections during NASFAA through Twitter. Those who will be in attendance can find a variety of ways to network with colleagues and many sessions. The speaker lineup is impressive this year, so even if you’re not attending, search the schedule and follow along at the hashtag so you can still benefit from a distance (or learn from more than just the sessions you’re attending). You can also follow the NASFAA twitter account @NASFAA for updates.

And, if you are attending the conference, please RSVP for the #NASFAA 2014 Tweetup!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A @FAFSA Twitter Fail

Twitter can be a powerful tool to build relationships and directly interact with stakeholders.  Unfortunately, one wrong move can be devastating. Misguided humor is sometimes the culprit as with a recent tweet from the Federal Student Aid branch of the U.S. Department of Education.

Usually, humor tends to be politically insensitive, but rarely mocking and offending their own customers and stakeholders. Unfortunately, someone @FAFSA made a bad judgment. They attempted to make a joke out of being poor. Not cool. This tweet reached thousands of people and had many replies, most of which called them out for their bad mistake.

The tweet was eventually deleted -- after being up for over an hour. Hopefully, the folks behind the account can make a public apology for the egregious error. This simply was not funny nor productive. And it offends not only the millions of students who need financial aid to attend college, but the financial aid administrators who help those students.


The FAFSA twitter account has since apologized for the above tweet (see below). Liz Gross, a social media strategist, makes a good point on her blog, regarding the backlash. While it was a mistake and should be getting attention, it's important to note that they publicly apologized and the good they've been doing with social media far outweighs this error.

Friday, June 20, 2014

#NASFAA2014 Tweetup!

In just over a week, thousands of financial aid professionals will be gathering in Nashville, Tennessee for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) 2014 conference. This year, we are partnering with NASFAA for our annual tweetup! There might even be some local treats available!
What is a tweetup, you ask?
A tweetup is an event where people who use Twitter come together to meet in person. Normally we connect with people online after we have met them. At a tweetup, you meet the people you might only otherwise know virtually (maybe through @nasfaa or @thefachat). Like finally putting a name to a face, a tweetup is a great opportunity to better connect with the people in your network and share just a little more than 140 characters at a time. If you have shared tweets with your colleagues the past few days (or maybe even longer), come by to visit with each other in person and enjoy some Nashville snacks courtesy of NASFAA!

Tweetup Date and Location
We're sure you want to soak in the conference and Nashville as much as possible and also network with your colleages. So, please join us as we network on July 1st at 5:25 p.m. (after the last session of the day) at the information desk in the Music City Center.

Please RSVP
It helps to know who is planning on joining us! Please RSVP for the #NASFAA2014 tweetup and feel free to comment on this post or tweet using the official #NASFAA2014 hashtag to spread the word and let everyone else know you're planning to be there so we know who we might expect to meet! We're excited to be able to host this together with NASFAA, so please join us!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Tuesday June 10, 2014 #FAchat: Financial Aid Innovations

What innovations have you implemented in your office? Tells us your great big ideas! Join us Tuesday June 10, 2014 from 12-1pm CST to talk about Financial Aid Innovations for this month’s #FAchat! Let’s talk about everything from Applications to Zero EFC. We’ll talk about innovations in financial literacy, default prevention, imaging documents, productivity and more!