One of the duties of the RMASFAA president is to attend and participate in the NASFAA board of directors (BOD) meetings. I recently attended the NASFAA BOD meeting held in Santa Fe New Mexico from November 5 – 6 2012. Beginning in 2013-2014, all regions will only have one regional voting member and, as you may recall, RMASFAA decided to have the past-president as the voting member to the NASFAA BOD. RMASFAA members who currently serve on the NASFAA BOD are as follows:
- Christi Millard (UT) – representative at large (voting member)
- Terri Gruba (MT) – representative at large (voting member)
- Mary Sommers (NE) – representative at large (voting member)
- Brenda Hicks (KS) – regional representative (voting member)
- Jeff Jacobs (ND) – regional representative (voting member)
- Craig Munier (NE) – national chair-elect (voting member)
- James Swanson (CO) – commission director (non-voting member)
As you can see, RMASFAA is very well represented on the national level. Thank you to all above mentioned RMASFAA members for your service to RMASFAA and NASFAA.
There are numerous activities and events that are being hosted and administerd by NASFAA. During the BOD meetings, the board members are briefed on a variety of issues including conference preparation, advocacy issues related to Congressional bills and action items that need attention. We also hear from Justin Draeger, NASFAA President, and Jeff Baker, US Department of Education, regarding federal issues that are on the horizon where feedback may be requested from the financial aid community.
Some action items that were voted on during this meeting included moving a sum of money to the Dallas Martin Endowment fund, to support a request to the Department of Education to increase unsubsidized loan limits to certain graduate allied health programs, to implement a nominal dues increase of $20 on the base institutional membership fee for the 2013-2014 year, and to add an additional $100,000 to the board designated project development fund, as part of the Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) budget to provide additional staff support by assigning one FTE from the NASFAA Policy Department to the RTF. Each of these issues were vetted appropriately and given much consideration during deliberations.
Additionally, NASFAA is participating in a number of different studies related to student aid eligibility. The Task Force on Student Indebtedness presented their findings to the board. After some tweaking, a report was finalized and will be presented to Congressional leaders and others to possibly use as talking points when visiting with Congressional leaders. NASFAA is working on advocacy and establishing strong working relationships with the White House, Congress and the US Department of Education.
Overall, RMASFAA members are participating in NASFAA BOD meetings and are engaged in the process of advocating for stronger policies and reducing unnecessary burden to students and schools. Participating in the NASFAA BOD meetings is an extremely rewarding experience and I hope I am representing all of you to the best of my abilities. If you have any concerns regarding NASFAA, please do not hesitate to contact myself or anyone else listed above.