Hosted by NASFAA staff, this weekly podcast offers an unscripted view of hot financial aid and higher education-related topics. Justin Draeger and co-hosts will discuss what's happening inside the beltway to give you an insider's perspective.
Episode 165: SCOTUS Vacancy Poses New Dynamics for Higher Ed as Congress’ Legislative Agenda Winds Down
This week on “Off The Cuff,” Allie, Megan, and Jill delve into what implications the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the upcoming SCOTUS confirmation process could have on higher education. Allie details a number of recent court cases and spells out how the ideological dynamics of the court could shift on a number of high profile decisions for the court’s upcoming session. Megan provides an update on Congress’ legislative agenda, highlighting the state of ongoing negotiations into additional COVID-19 relief efforts and what comes next for a continuing resolution that could prevent a government shutdown at the end of this month. Finally, Jill details the latest announcement from the Department of Education concerning Phase II of the Common Origination and Disbursement System implementation of the coronavirus indicator for return of Title IV funds waivers. Plus, it's the podcast's fourth birthday this weekend!
Episode 164: Senate Takes Aim at Fixing the FAFSA (Again) and Congress Stalls on Passing Another COVID Bill
This week on “Off The Cuff,” Justin, Megan, Jill, and Allie return after a brief summer hiatus as they cover the Senate hearing on FAFSA simplification, discussing past efforts and the chances of any FAFSA-related legislation being included in any upcoming bills. Allie details the latest bipartisan proposal aimed at providing additional COVID-19 relief before the upcoming November election and Megan provides an update on a continuing resolution making its way through Congress before funding expires at the end of September. Finally, Jill details a recent report from the Department of Education’s internal watchdog regarding implementation and oversight of the CARES Act. Plus, the group catches up on life events that took place over the past few weeks.
Episode 163: Moving Toward the FAFSA of the Future
In a special episode of "Off The Cuff" featuring authors from NASFAA's recent 10-paper series on simplifying and improving the FAFSA, Justin speaks with Ben Miller of the Center for American Progress, Jen Mishory of The Century Foundation, and Robert Kelchen of Seton Hall University. With the FAFSA's 30th "birthday" approaching in 2022, the group discusses how the application can be adjusted to fulfill its original purpose — streamlining the application for federal aid — how it would fit in a world with free college, and how it can better reflect the true need of applicants by allowing for a negative expected family contribution. Be sure to read all of the 10 papers in the series, and send us your questions, comments, and feedback for when we return with regularly scheduled episodes in September!
Episode 162: A Discussion With NASFAA’s New National Chair Brenda Hicks
On a special episode of “Off The Cuff,” Justin is joined by 2020-21 NASFAA National Chair Brenda Hicks, who serves as the director of financial aid at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. Justin and Brenda discuss her background in admissions and what led her to financial aid, the obstacles she has faced since becoming national chair, and provide advice to administrators on how to navigate an unprecedented year due to the continued disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus. Keep an eye out for more special episodes throughout the month of August!
Episode 161: Talking All Things Verification as Part of NASFAA’s FAFSA Paper Series
On a special episode of “Off The Cuff,” Megan is joined by Carrie Warick from the National College Attainment Network and Mark Wiederspan of Iowa College Aid to dive into their contributions to NASFAA’s series of 10 papers that provide policy recommendations to help streamline the FAFSA, with a specific focus on verification.
Episode 160: Kicking Off NASFAA’s FAFSA Paper Series
On a special episode of “Off the Cuff,” Megan is joined by Sandy Baum from the Urban Institute and Lauren Walizer from the Center for Law and Social Policy to discuss their contributions to NASFAA’s series of 10 papers that provide policy recommendations to help streamline the FAFSA. Lauren discusses her paper — co-authored by Elizabeth Lower-Basch — that analyzes the impact of using public benefits to reduce paperwork for students completing the FAFSA and how it would maximize financial aid. Sandy gives an overview of her three papers in the series, which detail the current methodology used to measure a family’s ability to contribute toward educational expenses and reviews the various methods proposed to simplify the FAFSA. The two also gave their answers to what the perfect FAFSA looks like. Keep an eye out for more special episodes from our FAFSA paper series throughout the month of August!
Customer ReviewsSee All
A MUST for all Financial Aid Professionals
I truly enjoy listening to “Off The Cuff”. The host and co-host are funny and energetic. Every single episode is filled with useful information. I’m a pre-COVID listener but I must say they have been doing a fantastic job during this global pandemic. If you’re interested in all the updates and policies related to financial aid and higher education then I recommend you subscribe.
I have worked in student finance for almost 14 years. The Podcast is a great addition towards learning what is happening today in the student finance world when we all do not have the time to read. This truly feels like I am just joining the table for a colleague conversation.
I *LOVE* Off the Cuff
Okay, I know I'm a policy geek but even aside from that, "Off the Cuff" is a pleasure to listen to. While certainly useful, it's the fact that I feel like I'm getting to know some of the NASFAA team in a way that just seeing them at conferences doesn't provide.
Keep up the good work!