PowerFAIDS User Conference Sets Records and Debuts Cloud Enhancements
For the financial aid world, June signals a time for community building, training opportunities, and a look to the future with virtual and in-person events. This year saw historic numbers for the annual PowerFAIDS™ User Conference with 1,100 users registered. As a free opportunity available to all PowerFAIDS users, this conference brings together members across the spectrum of the higher education community, from four-year and two-year institutions and public and private sectors. The annual conference offers all users an opportunity to learn new skills and connect with experts on hot topics in financial aid.
Attendees heard more about the next generation of PowerFAIDS and the transition to a software as a service (SaaS) application on the cloud, developed on the award-winning Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. The move to the cloud is more than just a technology transformation—it expands on the legacy of PowerFAIDS by combining foundational functionality that keeps offices compliant with many new or enhanced features designed to maximize efficiency and student engagement. PowerFAIDS is in an exciting period of transition, with early adopters moving into the cloud environment in 2023. Conference attendees experienced the cloud through new, hands-on training courses and viewed live demos that showcased impressive new features.
One of the top-attended User Conference sessions included “Washington Watch – Spotlight on Higher Education.” Led by NASFAA Director of Policy Analysis Karen McCarthy, Penn Hill Group Principal Alex Nock, and College Board Executive Director of Federal Government Relations & Advocacy Karen Lanning, PowerFAIDS users heard updates on upcoming policies and were given insight on how midterm elections could shape the immediate and long-term future of financial aid. Key issues, including simplification and student loan forgiveness, remained a theme throughout the conference.
“FAFSA Simplification, Profile Lite, and PowerFAIDS” drew high numbers of attendees to hear about the future of simplification and opportunities to improve institutional award practices. Profile Lite, a new option within CSS Profile® which enters a pilot phase this year, will cut in half the number of questions presented to students and families while maintaining the high-fidelity data outcomes sought by CSS Profile institutions. This option has ground-breaking potential as a financial aid access tool. CSS Profile remains one of the leading common financial aid applications outside of the FAFSA.
The PowerFAIDS User Conference is just one example of how College Board and practitioners come together to meet the needs of institutions, students, and families. To learn more about PowerFAIDS, our comprehensive free training, and the transition to the cloud, visit our website and schedule a consultation at www.powerfaids.org.