Financial Aid

Across Party Lines

Presidential campaigns share financial aid advice

With the presidential election campaign heating up, it’s not just jobs and the economy worth paying attention to. Financial aid administrators from 900 institutions in all 50 states got a glimpse into how their niche would be affected by both presidential candidates when James Kvall, policy director for Obama for America, and Scott Fleming, an education policy advisor for Romney for President, spoke at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) national conference in Chicago in July.

The Gainful Employment Ruling

Continuing efforts to improve financial literacy for borrowers

Despite Federal District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras’ ruling that negates a primary metric of the U.S. Department of Education’s “gainful employment” regulations, the DOE still has authority to regulate gainful employment programs and schools should continue to look for ways to promote the financial success of their students.

Reports, Reports, and More Reports

Every college or university student financial aid office produces reports—tons of them—specific to their particular institution. However, some reports are common to all. One is the annual FISAP (Fiscal Operations Reports and Application to Participate), which summarizes data for the just-completed award year and keeps a financial aid office eligible for federal funding, explains Mary Hillstrom, assistant director of operations for the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Office of Student Financial Aid. The university has 13 campuses; 12 have implemented Oracle PeopleSoft.

Oceans of Data

Financial aid offices are drowning in a sea of reports, but the right tools and strategies can throw them a life raft.

The maxim “publish or perish” may be associated with the way faculty operate, but financial aid office administrators would likely agree it describes their situation, as well. Rather than publishing academic work, these employees are tasked with producing reports critical to their continued operations. And as anyone who has worked in student financial aid for even just a few years will vouch, the number of reports they’re running has become a veritable deluge.

Flexible software platform helps Hofstra University’s continuing ed division soar

Higher Reach by Jenzabar streamlines marketing efforts, student registrations, financial processes and reports
In the olden days—prior to April 2011—reconciling financial information at Hofstra University’s Continuing Education division was labor-intensive and time-consuming.
Today, the system is streamlined and general ledger reconciliation is seamless, thanks to Higher Reach by Jenzabar, a leading continuing education software platform.

Predictive Modeling: A Tool, Not the Answer

Benefits and cautions of using historical data to predict the future

If you still watch TV with commercials, you may have seen an ad recently talking about using data to improve your business—the bakery that mined its sales data to discover that people buy more cake on rainy days, for example. Everybody’s talking about “big data” and “data science,” basically applying sophisticated analytic techniques to large datasets. And one of the things they’re doing is predictive modeling—using historical data to make predictions about the future.

Financial literacy to the rescue: Teaching students what they owe before they owe it

American Student Assistance’s SALT program helps Indiana students manage their debt.

Jack Gochenaur was hearing scary stories around campus. Some financial aid students didn't know whether they'd received loans or grants to pay for their education. Many had no idea what they'd need to earn to meet their monthly loan payments.

"I have students who reach their senior year and during exit counseling, it's the first time they know how much money they owe," said Gochenaur, Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer of Manchester College, a 1,300-student liberal arts college in North Manchester, Indiana.

Something, he realized, had to change.

B-School Outreach Scholarships

Committing to diversity and stressing inclusion with full scholarships

A common objective for business schools across the country is development of leadership skills. For this reason, MBA programs utilize team-based assignments, incorporate leader development in the core curriculum, and include a plethora of leadership and service opportunities in co-curricular offerings.

Michigan Leads Nation in Loan Default Actions

Michigan means business when it comes to going after student loan defaulters. Michigan college students graduate with a slightly higher debt than the national average, and about one in 10 Michigan student loans winds up in default—on par with the national average. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit has been far more aggressive in pursuing defaulters than in other states.

Keeping Tuition Within Reach

Moving past the traditional university structure to help students

As college acceptance letters began popping up in mailboxes across the country this year, incoming students were left once again with the daunting task of choosing the right school. While cost has always been a consideration, more students than ever before are now considering it as a key factor—not only in terms of which school to attend, but whether they go to college at all.

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