The intersection of technology, research, financial aid and student access in higher education

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Negotiating on the Title IV Loans Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

Added on by Scott Cline.

I am very honored to write that I have been selected to be the primary non-federal negotiator representing financial aid administrators for the Title IV Loans Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. California and WASFAA are well represented on the committee. The first meeting starts next week in Washington DC.

I will be sharing what I can through Twitter and the CASFAA newsletter. Hopefully, my first tweet will not be next to a pile of snow.

Now for the ask.

I really want to hear from people in the financial aid profession. What do you want to see negotiated in the loan programs? Send me an email scott (a) or a tweet with your thoughts and ideas.

Helpful Habit for New (and Seasoned) Financial Aid Pros

Added on by Scott Cline.

The Department of Education has been publishing a number of the volumes for the 2014–15 Federal Student Aid Handbook on the IFAP website, including, this past week, campus-based programs, and calculating awards and packaging. The department usually gets out the application and the verification volume at least halfway through the main awarding season for traditional schools and the rest of the volumes trickle out throughout the summer.[1]

My habit I got into (by luck or most likely from some wise financial aid professional early in my career), is to re-read the handbook each year as it is published.[2]

There is so much information to keep in your head, working in financial aid, and I have found this yearly ritual of reviewing the handbook as it is published keeps it fresh in my mind that hopefully helps me carryout my day-to-day work.

Grab your iPad or laptop and pick a volume to get (re)aquiented with over the next few weeks. After you finish one, you can move on to another one. If you are a manager or supervisor, do it with your directs together.

  1. There have even been years when some volumes have not been published until mid-fall.  ↩

  2. Ok, sometimes I do skim some of the sections and some years it has been a month or two after they were published.  ↩

College Board National Forum 2013 This Week in New York

Added on by Scott Cline.

Just a quick note that I on my way to the College Board National Forum in New York City that starts Wednesday and runs through Friday.

If you are going to be there, let me know by sending me an email scott @ or on Twitter @scottcline.

If you do follow me on Twitter, it will probably be more active then normal this week with updates from the conference (as well as updates on great meals in New York).

Some Great Admission Travel Advice from Millennial Girl

Added on by Scott Cline.

Aundra Weissert at Millennial Girl has been having some great posts about life in admission travel recently. Including my also highly recommended tip:

Earn points for traveling and staying places. I can’t believe I didn’t do this my first year. Reward points are amazing, especially when you’re trying to reclaim your local life after 6-8 weeks on the road in the fall.

I would highly recommend checking her blog out and adding the feed to your RSS reader of choice (for the next time you are waiting for your plane).

The missed argument in merit- and need-based institutional aid

Added on by Scott Cline.

From Sunday’s NY Times “Freebies for the Rich”:

Raising the tuition and then offering a 25 percent scholarship to four wealthier kids who might otherwise have gone to private school generates more revenue than giving a free ride to one who truly needs it.

The problem with this sentence and nearly every time this argument is made is the author forgets to insert the line “…school generates more revenue to provide a free ride to one who truly needs it.”

For some reason the argument over merit- versus need-based hinges on zero-sum game, instead of seeing it as a pie enlarging equation.[1]

Every college or university with enough level of equity, mission and values would have a school full of talented low-income students, but unless the federal government, state government, endowment or other revenue producing source is paying for it, it is simply not possible.[2]

As state governments continue to reduce educational funding, institutions have been forced to find those offset revenues to pay for the low-income students.

Make no doubt about it, this trend is a reaction to those reductions and this reaction has both intended and unintended consequences.

  1. Yes, there are many nuances to this, especially in the area of public universities with fixed enrollment numbers, but stick with me for a few seconds.  ↩

  2. One of the most recent stories about other revenue producing sources failing a school is Cooper Union, which until this school year, was 100% tuition free.  ↩