05 Nov What’s going on in EASFAA?

By Alex Muro, Director of Financial Aid, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

First webinar of the year – September 25

EASFAA webinars are offered at no cost exclusively to EASFAA members. Given that an annual membership to EASFAA is $50, attending even just one webinar is an excellent return on investment.

The first EASFAA webinar of the year was “Ask the Experts” on September 25. Past EASFAA Presidents Bill Cheetham and Tom Dalton, who have over 50 years of combined financial aid experience at a variety of institutions, helped answer questions such as:

“If a student files a 2016-2017 FAFSA using 2015 tax information, will they be required to file a 2017-2018 FAFSA also since it will be the same information?”

There will likely be several more webinars throughout the year. Last year’s topics included:

  • Washington Word on the Street (Federal Update)
  • Veterans’ services
  • Verification and conflicting information
  • How to decide between a PLUS and private loan
  • Race-based scholarship programs
  • Same sex couples and the FAFSA

EASFAA Council meeting and Hill visit – November 2 to 4, Washington, DC area

The next EASFAA Council meeting will be held in the Washington, DC area from November 2 to 4 and will include a Hill visit on the final day.

During a Hill visit financial aid administrators meet with members of Congress, including their own, to advocate for issues of importance to the students and schools they represent. With many bills having been introduced in preparation for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, President Obama’s recent announcement on earlier FAFSA availability and the use of prior-prior year tax data, and the fate of the Federal Perkins Loan Program, there is sure to be a lot of conversation this year. The EASFAA Federal Relations Committee is working to organize the event and has invited the co-chairs of the CAPFAA State and Federal Relations Committee to be involved in the effort.

Similar to CAPFAA Executive Council meetings, EASFAA Council meetings are attended by the officers and committee chairs of the Association. Since EASFAA is a regional association, the EASFAA Council also includes representatives of the states (and territories) within the EASFAA region:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

As your EASFAA Representative, I will report on what we have been doing here in Connecticut since the last EASFAA Council meeting in June and what we are planning to do in the next several months.

EASFAA Conference – May 22 to 25, Atlantic City, NJ

The 50th annual EASFAA Conference will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey from May 22 to 25. A happy medium in the conference landscape between the larger (Federal Student Aid and NASFAA) and smaller (CAPFAA) options, the EASFAA Conference is an excellent opportunity to attend training sessions with the Department of Education, network with colleagues from across the region, and further your professional development. I will share more information as it becomes available.