Financial Aid Members Gather to Learn, Network and Celebrate
More than 2,400 practitioners gathered for three important June events: the annual College Board PowerFAIDS User Conference, the College Board Institutional Methodology Users Group Meeting and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) National Conference.
June was an active month for financial aid members. More than 2,400 practitioners gathered for three important June events: the annual College Board PowerFAIDS User Conference, the College Board Institutional Methodology Users Group Meeting and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) National Conference. Conference sessions featured financial aid experts and member leaders, affordability issues, access and diversity conversations, practical business solutions and service offerings.
The PowerFAIDS User Training Conference hosted more than 370 attendees who gathered in Orlando, Florida to learn more about PowerFAIDS Cloud, the next generation of PowerFAIDS. Live demos and early functionality hands-on test drives generated a great deal of excitement. Participants also gained valuable insight into best practices and heard a legislative update from the College Board’s higher ed and student aid policy expert, Melanie Storey.
The Institutional Methodology (IM) Users Group meeting followed the PowerFAIDS conference. Approximately 100 financial aid practitioners from CSS Profile institutions joined College Board staff to hear more about upcoming 2020-21 financial aid updates. Equally important was the retirement celebration of Susan McCrackin, Senior Director Financial Aid Methodology. Susan has spent the last twenty of her thirty-eight year financial aid career as a member of the College Board financial aid team. Susan has been a passionate advocate for equity and access in higher education and will long be known as a need analysis expert and true data master. Her contributions to the field of financial aid will continue to be appreciated far beyond her retirement. Thanks again, Susan!
The NASFAA National Conference rounded out June’s financial aid focus with College Board staff engaging with higher ed members from a broad spectrum of colleges and universities at the conference site. Staff and member leaders delivered effective sessions that garnered high interest. Examples included:
- It’s More Than Admissions: Applying Federal Nondiscrimination Laws to Financial Aid Associated with Diversity Goals – This Access and Diversity Collaborative (ADC) session addressed major laws that govern the awarding of aid when factors like race, ethnicity and gender are considered. A recently published companion guide is now available on the ACD website.
- Moving Financial Aid Solutions to the Cloud - College Board staff shared the PowerFAIDS technology roadmap and shed light on what Cloud technology can mean to the aid office including the options of transitioning to the Cloud; long- and short-term.
- Best Practices for Delivering Institutional Aid to International Students – A panel of experts discussed best practices, tips and solutions for delivering financial aid to international students.
NASFAA discussions were also supported by a robust set of research publications including, the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing. Two new Trends in Higher Education Spotlight briefs, drafted with feedback from the CSS/Financial Assistance Assembly Council, were also featured at NASFAA:
- Family Income and Net Price – provides a deeper analysis of family income and where families attend college.
- Paying for College: Debt – offers key data and trends on parent and student borrowing.
We recognize that aid professionals are important stewards of access and that networking and learning are key components to their success. Our June financial aid collaborations are just a few examples of how practitioners come together with the College Board to deliver student opportunities. Sign-up for a College Board Professional Account today and stay tuned to your in-box to engage, connect, and learn.