Home | Contact Us

2021 Sessions

General Sessions



GS1. Welcome & Opening Remarks

FSA Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray will deliver opening remarks.


GS2. Secretary Cardona Keynote Address
Secretary Miguel Cardona will deliver the keynote address and discuss efforts to promote success for all students pursuing higher education.


GS3. Verification
This session will include a discussion of the verification requirements for the 2022–23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) cycle and review of significant verification policy changes related to the 2021–22 FAFSA cycle.

Presented by: Vanessa Gomez, Kerri Moseley-Hobbs, and Ed Pacchetti
Download PPT of Presentation


GS4. Federal Update
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) will present information and updates about Title IV activities and initiatives, including information about ED’s regulatory efforts, major operational updates, and reminders.

Presented by Annmarie Weisman and David Musser
Download PPT



GS5. Federal Update: FAFSA Simplification Policy Implications
In this session you will hear details of the FAFSA Simplification Act passed in December 2020. Specifically, this session will provide an in-depth, look into FSA's implementation and outreach, and community engagement plans.

Presented by Brian Schelling, Melanie Storey, and Kim Wells
Download PPT of Presentation


GS6. Working Towards Equity: Biden Harris Administration Priorities for Higher Ed
Under Secretary James Kvaal will discuss administration priorities for higher education.

Presented by James Kvaal



Breakout Sessions



1. Improving the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Student Financial Aid Survey Component
This session will review and clarify student financial aid survey component concepts and definitions, with an eye towards survey reporting changes under consideration to align survey data items and reporting periods between student categories and across institution types within the student financial aid survey component. We will also discuss ways to align financial aid data submitted to IPEDS with 12-month enrollment and outcome measures data collected.

Presented by Tara Lawley and Stacey Peterson
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





2. Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund CARES, CRRSAA, & ARP
Congress set aside billions of dollars allotted to the Education Stabilization Fund through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSAA) Act, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) will provide an overview of these funds and their distribution, as well as reporting requirements for recipients of HEERF. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) NonFederal Team will discuss HEERF auditing requirements for proprietary, public, and nonprofits. They will discuss the new audit guide for proprietary schools as well as the single audit compliance supplement and addendum as well as common deficiencies found in recent audits.

Presented by Mark Priebe, Amy Bales and Sharon Easterling
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





3. The Fight Against Fraud: How You Can Help Prevent Misuse of Education Funds
Listen to experienced criminal investigators from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) unravel the complex world of education fraud investigations. The presenters will discuss real cases and provide examples of fraud indicators to help you detect and prevent potential misuse of ED programs in your institutions. The presenters will also provide guidance on how to report potential fraud to the OIG. A question-and-answer period is planned as part of this presentation.

Presented by Edd Cole and Dana McKay
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





4. COVID 19: What Now and What Next
In this session you will hear information and updates about ED’s COVID-19 higher education policy and related regulatory relief efforts as a result of the federally declared national emergency.
Specifically, this session will provide an in-depth, chronological review of ED’s guidance related to COVID-19 that affect the Title IV, HEA Programs. ED will further discuss guidance for relief and flexibilities provided under the CARES Act. Our experts will also be responding to questions from the community about COVID-19 and CARES Act requirements submitted prior to the session.

Presented by David Musser and Greg Martin
Download PPT





5. Meeting Department Requirements Post-Disaster Recovery
During the past few years, many institutions have been impacted by natural disasters. Some of these disasters have disrupted schools from meeting deadlines for submitting FISAPs, CDR Appeals/Challenges, institutional agreements or other documentation requested by ED. This session will discuss key reminders and information on the special resources available to institutions impacted by natural disasters.

Presented by Ingrid Valentine and Mike Ruggless
Download PPT





7. National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) Update
In this session, we will recap the changes made to the NSLDS® website and reports for schools in 2021. This will include a high-level review of updates made to support loan data, enrollment reporting, and other NSLDS functionality as well as a preview of Next Gen NSLDS.

Presented by Bessie Sipple-Asher
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





8. Submitting the FISAP - It’s a Balancing Act!
This session will focus on gaining a better understanding of how to successfully complete the annual Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) form for institutions that participate in federal Campus-Based Programs.

Presented by Alanna Nelson, Greg Gerrans, and Rebecca Meyers
Download PPT





9. Title IV Reconciliation: Achieving Peak Performance
This session will highlight key Title IV reconciliation concepts, deadlines, and recent enhancements to FSA systems, to help you fine-tune your processes and achieve peak performance. If you are a financial aid or business office professional experienced in reconciliation or you have a thirst for what's new, then this session is for you.

Presented by Allison Richards
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





10. Consumer Information and FSA Assessments
Consumer information, what a behemoth! As a perennial “favorite” on the list of top 10 program review findings, many schools have difficulty fully complying in this area. Are you one of them? Don’t you wish there was a convenient, organized way to methodically tackle this issue? One that could help you “win” the consumer information version of whack-a-mole that you’ve been playing? Look no further! This session will highlight the reporting requirements schools must meet for consumer information disclosures to the public and to ED. It will also demonstrate how to use the FSA Assessments tool to identify and correct areas of non-compliance, including helpful example scenarios. Don’t miss this informative session, your secret weapon for improving consumer information compliance!

Presented by Arva Thomas
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





11. FSA Training Center Virtual Demonstration
Please join us for a virtual walkthrough of FSA's Training Center website, where we will review FSA's updated training resources, including the newly developed training for new financial aid administrators.

Presented by Trey Harrison
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





12. Administering Title IV Aid for Transfer Students
This session will address various issues that arise when administering federal student aid for transfer students. Discussions will cover transfer monitoring and demonstrate how to correctly award and disburse both Federal Pell Grants and Direct Loans in standard term credit-hour, clockhour, and non-term credit-hour programs. Additionally, we will provide example scenarios about what to do when a transfer student withdraws during overlapping payment periods for Federal Pell Grants and Direct Loans.

Presented by Trevor Summers
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





13. Top Audit and Program Review Findings
This year we will focus on solutions and corrective actions to address the top findings from audits and program reviews. We surveyed deficient compliance audits and program review reports issued in fiscal year 2020 to bring you the latest information. Come learn how to strengthen internal controls and improve your compliance with Title IV regulations and statutes.

Presented by Effie Barnett
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





14. The Clery Act: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Hate Crime Reporting
Campus safety is a major issue for every school, large or small, urban, suburban, or rural, public or private. An effective safety program is an essential part of your school’s overall risk management strategy and is one of the best ways to protect your “brand.” In this session, you will learn about the Clery Act’s requirements on sexual assault prevention and how these rules intersect with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Hate crime reporting and prevention will also be covered. Participants will receive practical advice and effective strategies for developing and implementing vital campus safety and crime prevention policies, procedures, and programs.

Presented by Anna Archilla and Jim Moore
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





15. Third-Party Debt Relief: Implementing the STOP Act
Join a panel of ED officials to learn more about efforts to implement the statutory provisions under the STOP Act and the steps we can take to work collectively to educate and protect federal student aid recipients from debt relief companies seeking commercial advantage and financial gains. We will discuss the impacts and requirements for students, schools, and third-party servicers. The Department has established methods to prevent improper access and detect common patterns of improper use of any system involved in the processing of payments on Federal Direct Loans. Department officials will also discuss the recently published Third-Party Authorization Form.

Presented by Tamy Abernathy and Mike Ruggless
Download PPT






16. Third-Party Debt Relief: Implementing the STOP Act Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF)
This session will include discussions about the programmatic aspects and implementation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and the Temporary Expanded PSLF opportunity, updates to the Department's processes, and the PSLF Help Tool updated in spring 2021.

Presented by Christine Isett and Colleen Campbell
Download PPT





17. Maintaining Your Institutional Eligibility
This session will cover what financial aid administrators need to know about maintaining their school’s eligibility to participate in the Title IV Programs. Topics include information about the recertification process focusing on the various requirements and preparations schools should be conducting in the three to six months prior to submitting their application; what events trigger the need to submit an updated eligibility application; the information a school needs to submit for different types of eligibility applications; and common errors and pitfalls to avoid while submitting eligibility applications.

Presented by Susan Bowder and Kai Kimbrough
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





-->

18. Return of Title IV Funds: New Regulations and Q&A
Do you have questions about the new Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) regulations? Have you been waiting to stump the feds with other tricky R2T4 questions? This is your chance! This session will provide an overview of the new R2T4 requirements and provide resources where you can obtain more information. Then it will offer an extended question-and-answer period with ED experts on the topic. This year, our experts will be responding to frequently asked questions asked by the community prior to the session.

Presented by David Musser and Aaron Washington
Download PPT





19. Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Guidance: A Series of Q&As
Every institution that participates in the Title IV programs must develop a SAP policy. However, no two SAP policies are exactly alike since institutions have a lot of flexibility with how they incorporate both required and optional components within their policy. Because of the variety of elements and importance of maintaining a proper SAP policy, schools have had lots of questions and concerns about their SAP policies over the years. This session will present ED guidance shared with schools over the last several years in a question and answer format, including new information associated with the SAP regulations that became effective July 1, 2021.

Presented by David Bartnicki
Download PPT





20. FSA Partner Connect: Year One and What's Next
Let's take a closer look at Partner Connect, FSA's first digital platform for partners launched on March 29, 2021, at FSAPartners.ed.gov! In this session, we’ll provide an overview of the solution including the features that are now available. We’ll also highlight future improvements such as a new and approved E-App as well as take questions from participants.

Presented by Kwaku Appiah, Amber Johnson, and Michelle Saigh
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





21. New - Federal Student Aid Information Center
The new Federal Student Aid Information Center will handle inquiries previously handled by FSAIC, the Student Loan Support Center, the FSA Feedback Center, the FSA Ombudsman, and the Borrower Defense Hotline ensuring that 1) students, borrowers, and customers receive easier, more seamless customer interactions with FSA across the life cycle of Title IV student aid through an enterprise-wide, FSA-branded, digital platform; and 2) customers receive a consistent experience solely under the FSA brand across the life cycle of student aid and across all vendors. The new Federal Student Aid Information Center will offer one address, one website, more channels of support, expanded hours and days of operations, end-to-end bilingual customer service, and support more areas of the life cycle than ever before! Same great number, but now behind one brand and standards!

Presented by Christian Odom and Sue Bubel
Download PPT





22. Protecting Student Data
Come hear about Federal Student Aid’s initiative regarding student financial empowerment (SFE). SFE is a broad concept impacting many levels of a student’s educational journey, including elementary, secondary, and postsecondary. SFE is about empowering students with the tools and information, especially at the secondary level, which they can use to make informed decisions about their educational and career pursuits. This session will focus on FSA’s work to expose students at Title 1 secondary schools as early as middle school to U.S. Department of Education and FSA tools in their classrooms.

Presented by Jason Gray
Download PPT





23. Cybersecurity - The Challenges Facing FAAs
This session focuses on the cybersecurity challenges facing Financial Aid Administrators (FAAs) and Information Technology (IT) managers. The session will begin with a brief overview of federal IT cybersecurity initiatives and the threat landscape that affects institutions of higher education (IHEs). This session will discuss compliance requirements, threats to the schools, and best practices for data protection and identity theft. Additionally, the session will define what constitutes a breach, discuss common and not so common examples of breaches, describe how to report a breach to FSA, and the FSA process to manage breach reports. This session will close with a question and answer period by FSA experts in cybersecurity.

Presented by Dan Commons
Download PPT
A HREF="/conferences/library/2021/QABO23.docx" target="_blank">View Question & Answer





24. Student Financial Empowerment
Come hear about Federal Student Aid’s initiative regarding student financial empowerment (SFE). SFE is a broad concept impacting many levels of a student’s educational journey, including elementary, secondary, and postsecondary. SFE is about empowering students with the tools and information, especially at the secondary level, which they can use to make informed decisions about their educational and career pursuits. This session will focus on FSA’s work to expose students at Title 1 secondary schools as early as middle school to U.S. Department of Education and FSA tools in their classrooms.

Presented by Kevin Campbell
Download PPT





25. We’re Listening: How FSA is Using User Experience (UX) Research to Inform its Products and Services
Get an inside look at how Federal Student Aid is designing its products and services to work better for students, parents, borrowers, and financial aid professionals. As part of FSA’s modernization of its consumer-facing tools, FSA is investing in user experience (UX) research like usability testing to help improve products like the FAFSA, the Loan Simulator, and the PLUS App. We’ve held more than 100 hours of one-on-one sessions with parents, students, and borrowers all across the country. In this session, FSA’s Product Design Group will share some of the insights we’ve learned about our audiences, how we approach design, and how we continue to iterate and improve our features to align with a more personalized, user-friendly experience for students, parents, and borrowers. We’ll also share how you can be a part of this process!

Presented by Sean Cassidy and Tait Chamberlain
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





26. StudentAid.gov and Mobile App Walkthrough and Coming Attractions
Get the latest information and updates on FSA’s key customer platforms—StudentAid.gov and the myStudentAid mobile app. In this session, we’ll provide an overview of the website and mobile app, and we’ll walk through features that continue to advance the vision of a more personalized, user-friendly experience for parents, students, and borrowers. We’ll also highlight improvements you and other FSA customers can expect in the future. Our focus is on highlights we would like the FAA's to know about.

Presented by Nick Dvorscak and Tait Chamberlain
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





27. Program Review Essentials - Encore Presentation from 2020
ENCORE PRESENTATION RECORDED IN 2020. Does the thought of a program review keep you up at night? Would you like a better understanding of the overall process? If so, this session is for you. We will walk through the entire program review process, discuss selection criteria that typically trigger a program review, and provide helpful information about what to expect and what is expected of you if your school is chosen for one. You will also learn what you can do ahead of time to be prepared in case you receive the call. Do not miss this helpful and informative session!

Presented by Arva Thomas
Download PPT









Foreign Schools



FS1. Academic Calendars
THIS SESSION IS FOR FOREIGN SCHOOLS ONLY. This session will describe how the structure of the academic programs at your institution impact the awarding and disbursing of Federal Direct Loans. Guidance will be provided on the requirement for defining the Title IV academic year for each program, how the structure of the academic program determines the amount of Direct Loans to be awarded using a Standard Academic Year (SAY) or Borrower Based Academic Year (BBAY), and how the program structure impacts the timing of Federal Direct Loan disbursements.

Presented by: Byron Scott
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





FS2. Administering Title IV for NonTerm Credit Hour Programs (for Foreign Schools)
This session will discuss how to administer Direct Loans for nonterm credit hour programs, including programs that have to be administered as non-term Title IV programs because they have unequal non-standard terms. The session will include information in defining the academic year, determining payment periods, and proper awarding and disbursing of Title IV funds using Borrower Based Academic Year (BBAY) 3.

Presented by: Byron Scott
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





FS3. Foreign Schools Audit Guide Update
We will discuss the audit guide, including recent amendments, and take questions from the audience related to what they are experiencing with the new audit guide.
Presented by:Mark Priebe and Amy Bales
Download PPT
View Question & Answer





Some of these documents may require Adobe Acrobat Reader, XLS, or DOC plug-ins to view.