Day 3 was a full day! NASFAA sponsors a breakfast for state and regional Presidents during the conference. This is a great way to meet other Presidents and get to know what they do a little bit. Of course, it was the third day of a meeting/breakfast at 7am which is a little difficult but it was a good meeting. Justin Draeger discussed new ways for states/regions to collaborate with NASFAA and updates on their training events. Much focus on NASFAA university and state/regional collaborations. I know that both EASFAA and NYSFAAA are looking into this possibility.
Several good sessions occurred throughout the day. There was a good variety of sessions available for leadership offerings and for nuts and bolts kinds of sessions. The annual awards luncheon and business meeting was today with a very special national award going to NYSFAAA retiree Heather McDonnell. It was a well deserved award for Heather and it was good to see her back!
The afternoon sessions included the annual Federal Uodate with Jeff Baker, Lynn Mehaffy and Jeff Appel. Before this we had remarks from Ted Mitchell, Undersecretary of Education. He gave an update on the Higher Education priorities of the President during the last 191 days of his administration. He has an app counting down the days! Priorities include streamlining income contingent repayment programs and streamlining the FAFSA (of course). In addition to this is getting the PPY changes and Early FAFSA off and running smoothly. They do care about how it happens. Per Jeff Baker the guidance on conflicting information will come out most likely this week. There were changes in clarification of questions even within the timeframe of the conference so it will be interesting to see what comes out.
Today was the final day of a very good conference. It began with a speech from Rep. John Kline, chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. There are positive things about meeting in DC! He gave an update on Reauthorization talking about five recent bills that have come out. Justin and Meagan McLean-Covell gave a legislative update also and then took questions. It really appears that NASFAA is well respected on the Hill and that is good for us. They are being taken seriously and that is good for us! It is not anticipated that we will see much happen with Reauthorization before the next administration gets started and then there will be a learning curve but hopefully 2017 will see major progress.
All in all it was a very successful conference! Hanging out in DC for a couple of days before heading back to NY. See you all soon!