RMASFAA Fall Conference Sessions

The conference EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION has been extended one week!
Register today to save $100 by submitting your conference registration before September 15th.

The conference “artists” have been designing a colorful agenda to assist you in discovering the fine art of financial aid. 

Sunday, October 14

Opening General Session – Gus Gustafson
Raised on a farm in Lyons, Nebraska, Ron “Gus” Gustafson was a standout basketball player in high school in spite of having lost his right arm and shoulder in a tragic childhood farm accident. After a knee injury ended his collegiate basketball career, he was devastated. But, once again, his faith and courage sustained him and he redirected his energies, building outstanding academic and business careers. Gus is an entrepreneur at heart and has started and sold numerous businesses. He has a passion for people and builds people through his businesses. He is passionate, funny and has a gift of sharing his story! Start your Conference off with this joyful message. Gus will change your attitude!

Monday Morning General Sessions:
Justin Draeger – NASFAA National Chair, Justin will provide a “Washington” Update for us as well as a review of NASFAA’s current work on our behalf.  He will be anxious to hear from you on your concerns and questions so come prepared!

NASFAA Reauthorization Task Force – Believe it or not the Higher Education Act will need to be reauthorized sooner or later.  NASFAA is already at work on considering what and how our programs can and should be changed.  This is your chance to be in the ground floor of these discussions. This discussion will be led by two RMASFAA members who are members of the NASFAA Reauthorization Task Force:  Robert Gamez from Kansas State University and Craig Munier from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Tuesday Morning General Session:  Jeff Baker, U.S. Department of Education

Break-Out Sessions for Monday October 15 & Tuesday October 16 (some will be repeated)

Verification 2013-2014 – If you just feel like you have your arms wrapped around Verification for this year, just wait until the 2013-2014 process begins.  Dave Bartlett, Regional Trainer from the U.S. Department of Education will be updating us on the verification process for the upcoming year.

The “flip” side of Verification – From the School perspective . . . we are convening a panel of aid administrators from our region to discuss how they implemented these new verification rules for 2012-2013, what they learned and what they might change going forward in this world of data retrieval and tax transcripts. This will be a great opportunity to discuss, ask questions and share ideas with your colleagues.

Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility – How are you monitoring and updating financial aid awards for Pell Grant lifetime eligibility?  Have you developed some procedures in your office that may work for others?  Join a panel of financial aid administrators to discuss this new requirement, how we are identifying impacted students, notifying them and tracking this important statutory change.

Keeping Your Boss Informed – If you are a Director or Associate Director you may long for the good old days when financial aid issues rarely came to the attention of your campus CEO or Board of Trustees.  In the current environment, student aid issues are often front and center on our campuses.  During this session we’ll talk about ways to keep your boss informed with the right information at the right time. 

The “Shopping Sheet” – The Department of Education has published a shopping sheet, a document intended to provide college-bound students with school specific information in a standardized format. The point is to give students and families a way to compare student aid offers easily.  Justin Draeger will talk with us about the driving forces behind the development of the Shopping Sheet and how institutions might choose to implement it. 

The Federal Direct Loan Program – Keeping Up with the Changes! – Congress has made a lot of changes to the Federal Direct Loan program over the past couple of years.  So during this session we’ll take a deep breath and review the changes that have already occurred and those to come.

Return of Title IV Funds, Yikes! For Modules! – Return of Title IV is always a process that draws a crowd. But this year, we were required to implement new rules for R2T4 for “module” programs.  So how have we done?  Jeanne Mott will help us think through these changes and how we have done implementing them. Jeanne will also discuss drops, withdrawals and class attendance issues during this session as well.

Scholarship Administration 101 – Often the administration of scholarship programs lands in the Office of Financial Aid.  But we don’t always spend time discussing this responsibility at conferences. So now we are.  A panel of your colleagues involved in the management of scholarship programs will discuss the complexities and challenges of this important task. Come with questions and suggestions to share with your colleagues!

The “Flip” side of Scholarship Administration – A panel of scholarship providers will be talking to us about scholarship administration from their perspective.  How do they like to communicate with student aid offices?  Do we make their job (providing funds to help our students) easier or more difficult?  How can we work together to better assist students?

Financial Aid Award Notices – Best Practices – So much attention is being paid now to how we inform our students of their aid eligibility and what the “net” cost will be to attend our institutions.  Even with the shopping sheet, we are still using award notices. Are you considering changes yours?  Come to this panel to hear how several our colleagues are responding to these pressures.  We will include in this discussion some of the Best Practices developed by NASFAA’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Award Notices.

Involving Business Officers in your State Associations – This session is for state presidents and conference planners!  Our colleagues in Kansas have long included fiscal officers in their conferences.  As we look for ways to increase our revenues and reach out to these important colleagues, come hear our Kansas has been so successful in building this bridge.

NASFAA Listening Session – Do you have questions about how NASFAA works or
have concerns about some aspect of federal student aid that you want NASFAA to address? Now is your opportunity to talk with the National Chair of NASFAA, Ron Day and Chair Elect, Craig Munier about your professional association and how it can better serve your needs. 
Ask the Fed – Regional Trainer, Dave Bartlett will be available to take any questions you have about any aspect of federal student aid administration. Do you have a difficult situation you are unsure how to handle?  Bring your questions to Dave and he will do his best to help.

Financial Aid, Persistence and Graduation – What is the Link?  — The Department of Education and members of Congress seem more and more interested in knowing how our students persist and graduate.  This could very likely be a major issue going into reauthorization.  During this session we’ll talk about the role of the financial aid office in helping our students stay in school and graduate on time. 

IPADS on Campus – The University of Nebraska at Kearney has been working with Apple to find ways to integrate IPADS into the classroom and on campus to increase learning and engagement.  Come hear more about the potential uses of the IPAD and brainstorm on how you might be able to use an IPAD to help students on your campus, even in the financial aid office.

The Fine Art of Packaging — The balance between being fair and being equitable.  There is no place in our profession where this challenge is more apparent than when we are packaging student aid awards. So during this session we will review the basics of financial aid packaging, but then go a step or two beyond the basics.  How do you re-package aid when additional scholarships or other resources are received by your students?  We all are often asked by student and parents, how will my award change if . . . . How do you answer this question?  And, perhaps the bigger question is – what impact has “enrollment management” had on the concept of access and affordability?  Come to this session for an opportunity to learn and share with your colleagues.

What Does a Successful Default Prevention Plan Look Like on Your Campus?
Let’s offer our students some stability!  While the economy might waiver and our future is unknown, our ability to help students navigate through college and manage/budget their finances is well within our grasp.  Let’s explore together building a default management plan and establishing initiatives to manage our three year cohort default rates.

Approaches to Teaching College Students about Money:  Examples of College Financial Education Programs – Receive great advice and tips about three different campuses financial education programs from our panel experts, such as:
* 5 tips when creating a financial education program* How to involve students in delivery of a financial education program* 3 key things NOT to do when creating a financial education program * Key collaborators/partners in creation of a financial education program

Taking the Fear Out of Facebook (and other Social Media) –
Join a Robb Cummings from Sallie Mae along with several of our colleagues from different school types to discuss how to utilize social networking to improve communication with students and families. Communication is no longer a one way street. Current students, prospective students, and parents are using social media to connect to university offices. We’ll talk about common concerns and fears about Facebook and you’ll walk away with best practices from other schools on how they are using social networking to get ahead.

Servicing Direct Loans – We will convene a panel of representatives from the servicers for the Federal Direct Loan program who will talk about their role in the program and how they are working with the Department of Education to help our borrowers. If you have questions or concerns about servicing issues, come to this session and discuss them with this expert panel. 

Wednesday, October 17 – Closing General Session &Celebration of Financial Aid Professionals Days
Senator Ben Nelson – Democrat – Senior Senator from the State of Nebraska
As a young man at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Nelson spent his Sundays serving as a lay minister to rural Nebraska congregations. Foreshadowing his future in public service, Nelson chose law school over the ministry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1963, a master’s degree in 1965 and a law degree from the University of Nebraska in 1970.

Following his time as a student, Nelson enjoyed a successful career in insurance law. He served as CEO of the Central National Insurance Group, as chief of staff and executive vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and as director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance.

In 1990, Ben Nelson entered Nebraska politics by running for Governor and defeated the incumbent by 4,000 votes. In 1994, Nelson was the first Nebraska Governor to be elected to a second term in two decades. He was re-elected with 74% of the vote and the largest margin of victory for a Nebraska Governor in half a century.

In 2000, Nelson ran to represent the people of Nebraska in the U.S. Senate. Nelson, a conservative Democrat, carried the day even as Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush easily won Nebraska, illustrating that Nelson’s connection to the people goes well beyond party labels or partisan politics. After his first term in the Senate, Nelson was re-elected with 64% on the vote in 2006.  He will end his term in the U.S. Senate this year, choosing not to run for re-election.

Ben Nelson and his wife, Diane, continue to live in Omaha. They have four children, Kevin, Sarah, Christie, and Patrick, as well as five grandchildren.

One thought on “RMASFAA Fall Conference Sessions

  1. Pingback: RMASFAA Fall Conference Sessions « RMASFAA Blog | Student Financial Aid

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