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.
OTC From the Field: Financial Aid Administrators’ Post-Pandemic Office Plans
This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin is joined by three financial aid professionals who discuss how their offices plan to operate as we transition into 2022 where higher education, like many sectors, begins to approach a resumption of pre-pandemic operations. Tune in hear firsthand from our guests — Tyler Pruett, director of financial aid at Samuel Merritt University and Melissa Kunes, an assistant vice president for undergraduate education and executive director of the Office of Student Aid at The Pennsylvania State University — how financial aid offices are implementing new remote, hybrid, and in-person work policies. The three discuss their institutions’ plans in the months ahead, and share their thoughts on how the sector will approach a post-pandemic landscape. Plus, Hugh has a recap of the latest higher education and financial aid news.
OTC AskRegs Experts: Institutional Aid Offers and Academic Calendar Formatting
This week on "Off the Cuff," Justin is joined by NASFAA Policy Analyst Jill Desjean and NASFAA U Instructor David Tolman to catch members up on updates from the Department of Education. Specifically, Jill highlights new agency recommendations concerning updated guidance on institutional aid offers and David details new academic calendar formats and how institutions are navigating structures that don’t clearly fit quarter or semester structures. Hugh then has a quick update on what the NASFAA team is following on the student loan front, as well as the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda as it makes its way through Congress.
OTC Inside the Beltway: Reconciliation’s Narrowing Higher Ed Bucket, Neg Reg Action, and Hill Dynamics
This week on “Off The Cuff,” Justin and Karen are joined by the American Council on Education’s Assistant Vice President for Government Relations Jon Fansmith. The group kicks things off by detailing what higher education provisions have made the cut for President Joe Biden’s most recent Build Back Better framework. Karen then provides some fodder about the ongoing negotiated rulemaking process, and Hugh has a quick outlook on what NASFAA is tracking when it comes to these big policy debates, detailing how the process might play out.
OTC Financial Aid in the News: Politico’s Michael Stratford on FSA Under Cordray, Biden’s Higher Ed Agenda, and Restarting Student Loan Payments
This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin is joined by Michael Stratford, an education reporter at Politico, to discuss all things student loans and federal financial aid. The two break down key differences between the Biden and Obama administrations’ higher education agendas before covering how the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) is being run under Richard Cordray — and how FSA is handling student loan servicers. Michael then details his reporting on the Department of Education’s plan to restart student loan payments after what will be a nearly two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
OTC From the Field: Launching a Financial Wellness Course
This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin is joined by Emma Crawford, manager of financial aid and financial wellness at the University of Wisconsin, where she works with medical students advising them on financial budgeting and creating a plan to pay off their student loans. Along with University of Wisconsin medical student Chris Rufus Sweeney, the group discusses the financial wellness course they helped launch at Wisconsin, the impact it’s had, and how students are utilizing the information to help budget for paying their student loans. Plus, Owen and Justin recap the latest higher education and financial aid news.
OTC AskRegs Experts: New R2T4 Rules and How NCAA’s EFA Guidance Impacts Aid Offices
This week on “Off the Cuff” we’re bringing listeners a new podcast format featuring in-depth discussion with NASFAA staff on the latest pressing regulatory topics and questions. Justin is joined by NASFAA Policy Analyst Jill Desjean and NASFAA U Instructor David Tolman to discuss how a rule from the Department of Education on distance learning changed the treatment of return of Title IV funds in term-based programs that offer modules. David addresses some of the questions he and his team are receiving on the topic before Jill details recent guidance on how student athletes’ academic scholarships could affect their estimated financial assistance and what aid offices should be aware of. Listeners, we want to hear from you! Leave us a comment and let us know what topics you want covered on future episodes.
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!