TASFAA TIMES President Message

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TIMES                                                                        “for” and “about” the members of the
                                                         Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
                                                                                                         Winter 2011 Issue

                        President’s Message
                        Joe Pettibon, TASFAA President
                           Hope to see you at these Upcoming TASFAA Events!
                          Board Meeting                       Round Rock, Texas      February 8-9, 2011
                          New Aid Officers Workshop           Arlington, Texas       May 16-19, 2011
                          Board Meeting                       Arlington, Texas       May, 17-18, 2011
                          Board Meeting                       TBD                    July 26-27, 2011
                          ABCs Workshop                       Arlington, Texas       October 4-5, 2011
                          Fall Conference                     Arlington, Texas       October 5-7, 2011

      Future TASFAA Fall Conferences are set with 2012 in Corpus Christi and 2013 in Galveston (contract pending).

      Regional Training ( is presented through a partnership of the
    Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
    (THECB), and TG. This one day training includes sessions on:

      •   Embracing Change and Promoting Excellence                                  CONTENTS
      •   Getting a Handle on Federal Financial Aid Policy Changes
      •   Cost of Attendance (COA)                                                    Association News
      •   COA Hands-On Workshop                                                       President’s Message                     1
      •   Getting a Handle on State Issues                                            TASFAA Committee Reports                3
      •   Financial Literacy on Your Campus
                                                                                      Industry Articles
      Dates and locations:                                                            Financial Aid Gives Back                7
      February 3, 2011               Southern Methodist University                    ED’s Direct Loan Transfer Initiative    9
      February 18, 2011              El Paso Community College                        Guaranty Agencies -
      May 10, 2011                   Texas Higher Education Coordinating                 We’re Still Here                     9
                                     Board (THECB) in Austin                          Resources to Help Students
      May 12, 2011                   Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi              Help Themselves                     10
      June, 2011                     Houston Community College                        Four Things Your Borrowers
                                                                                         Should Know                         11
                                                                                      New Collaboration: NCHELP,
      TASFAA Committees have been reduced and/or combined to focus
                                                                                         Meteor, National Student
    efforts and reduce footprint. Constitution & Bylaws, Presidents Advisory, Site
                                                                                         Clearinghouse                       12
    Selection, and Mentoring committees have been eliminated; Awards and
                                                                                      Training Trainers For Financial
    Scholarship committees were combined.
                                                                                         Literacy Success                    13

                                                                                      Photo Gallery
                                                                                      TASFAA 2010 Fall Conference            14

                 Summer 2009 Issue
                 Winter 2011 Issue

      Check Out The New                           The TASFAA Newsletter

       Tasfaa Website!                                            Editor:
                                                            Melet Leafgreen
                                                        Texas Christian University
     Check out the new TASFAA website               Assistant Director, Loan Programs
                              2800 South University Drive
        We’ve got a whole new look!                         TCU Box 297012
                                                           Ft. Worth, TX 76129
                                                         Phone: (817) 257-5412
                                                           Fax: (817) 257-7462

                                                            Editorial Staff:
                                               Steve Brower, Hardin-Simmons University
                                            Andrew Rodriguez, El Paso Community College
                                              Jennifer Underwood, San Jacinto College
                                            Carlas Mack, Center for Advanced Legal Studies
                                            Eric Cooper, University of Texas at San Antonio
                                                  Jess Black, Angelo State University
                                                         Don Buehrer, Nelnet
                                            Alan Ahmad, Texas A&M Health Science Center

                                                        Publication Schedule:
                                                                Winter Issue
                                                Articles Due                Publication
                                                Jan 31, 2011               Feb 10, 2011

                                                                Spring Issue
                                                Articles Due               Publication
                                                Mar 21, 2011                Apr 4, 2011

                                                             Summer Issue
                                                Articles Due            Publication
                                                Jun 20, 2011            Jul 5, 2011

                                                                 Fall Issue
                                                Articles Due                   Publication
                                                Sept 12, 2011                 Sept 26, 2011

                                           A message will be posted on the TASFAA list-serv two
                                        weeks prior to the deadline when possible to allow time
                                        for the articles to be submitted. The articles should be
                                        submitted to the Editor.

                                                            Editorial Policy
                                           The ideas and opinions expressed in this newsletter
                                        do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Texas
                                        Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators,
                                        its Board of Directors, or its Members. The TASFAA
                                        Newsletter is produced as a benefit of TASFAA
                                        membership. News items and ideas for articles are always
                                        welcome and may be directed to any of the editorial staff.

       Return to Index
                          Summer 2009 Issue
                          Winter 2011 Issue

                         TASFAA Annual Conference 2011
       If you haven’t heard, Arlington is the
    newest hot spot of Texas. Important
    events that have been or will be coming
    to Arlington soon are the MBA All Star
    game, the World Series, the Super Bowl
    and…the TASFAA Fall Conference!
       So save the date October 5th-7th
    and we will see you there.

    TASFAA Early Awareness Committee 2011 Report
    Lynn Barnes, Jr., Director of Special Programs, Texas A&M University
    The Early Awareness Committee has been primarily working on the rollout of the National Training for Counselors and
    Mentors (NT4CM) program throughout the state. We have successfully secured at least one program in each TEA region.
    Programs began on Nov 15, 2010 and will conclude Feb 11, 2011. Advertising included email blasts to counselor listservs
    as well as targeted email campaigns to school district/school contacts on TEA’s website.

         Course Date                   Location                    Course Date                        Location
     November 15, 2010                Lee College               December 10, 2010               Lamar State College
     November 19, 2010              Amarillo College            December 13, 2010              Texas A&M University
     December 3, 2010           Angelo State University         December 13, 2010             Regional 9, Witchita Falls
     December 3, 2010          Cafe College, San Antonio        December 14, 2010              St. Edwards University
     December 6, 2010             UTPA, Edinburg AM              January 12, 2011            Abilene Christian University
     December 6, 2010             UTPA, Edinburg PM              January 17, 2011            Howard College, Big Spring
     December 6, 2010           A&M University - Corpus          January 19, 2011                  Austin College
     December 8, 2010             TAMU - Commerce                January 19, 2011         El Paso Community College AM
     December 8, 2010         Lubbock Christian University       January 19, 2011         El Paso Community College PM
     December 8, 2010           Texas A&M International          January 26, 2011           University of Houston-Victoria
     December 8, 2010            LeTourneau University          February 01, 2011       J. Frank Dobie High School-Houston
     December 9, 2010                 TSTC Waco                 February 02, 2011               Paris Junior College
     December 09, 2010         Cafe College, San Antonio        February 04, 2011            Dallas Community College
     December 10, 2010                    TCU                   February 11, 2011         University of St. Thomas-Houston

      At the conclusion of all the programs, all CEU credit forms will be forwarded to NACAC for processing and all
    evaluations will have to be analyzed and forwarded to NT4CM. All in all, the feedback from the program has been positive.
      The committee will meet later on in the Spring semester via teleconference call to discuss other activities that we could
    do to raise awareness about the services the TASFAA membership provides and how to further promote the financial aid
    message to the public.

             Return to Index
                           Summer 2009 Issue
                           Winter 2011 Issue

    Editor’s Ramblings - A Home For
    My Private Loans (and state loans)
    Melet Leafgreen, TASFAA Times Newsletter Editor
       In the wake of the news that AdvanTG and TG EFT systems will be going offline at the end of June 2011, many of us
    are scrambling to relocate our private loan processing elsewhere. There are several third party systems available, and
    after looking at several, the three “finalists” my institution seriously considered were Sallie Mae’s OpenNet system (with
    Consolidated EFT), Great Lakes’ ScholarNet system, and ELM (with NDN). I also explored the option of skipping the EFT
    middleman and receiving my funds directly from the lender.
       To simplify the process for us, I finally excluded ScholarNet simply because we have so much more experience with the
    other two (OpenNet and ELM), and Great Lakes has not been a significant partner of ours until very recently. Having said
    that, in the months we have been more acquainted with GreatLakes, we have been quite impressed with both the people
    there as well as the reports and other helpful tools they have offered. I strongly encourage any school going through this
    process to review all three, and any others you can find. ScholarNet is a tried and tested system that schools in other
    parts of the country have used with excellent results for many years.
       Let me disclose up front that we have selected ELM as the
    best fit for our processing needs. This may or may not be the    “It is important that whatever
    right choice for your school. It was a somewhat challenging
    decision since each system offered some benefits. Also, let      system we select makes the
    me say that TCU uses PeopleSoft version 9.
       We used ELM (although not with Commonline) before
                                                                     processing flow work as smoothly
    we switched to AdvanTG in 2005-2006. We certified loans          and simply as possible with as
    directly on the ELM site at that time, but our private loan
    volume then was less than a fourth of what it is now (as is the  many lenders as possible.”
    case with many of you, I’m sure). In selecting a new system,
    we obviously wanted one that uses Commonline 4 and that other PeopleSoft schools have used with success. We also, of
    course, had to find a system that was free for schools to use, but all the systems I am aware of meet that criteria.

    Listen to your lenders: what is their “Preferred Process”?
        It is important that whatever system we select makes the processing flow work as smoothly and simply as possible
    with as many lenders as possible. Causing my lenders to manually work every EFT or file I send because I am doing
    it outside of a flow that works with their system can only mean delays for my students. One of our largest lenders, for
    example, explained that while we could certainly get our EFTs directly from them (without using any EFT “middleman”),
    this isn’t their preferred process. Every time we wanted to return funds on a loan, we would need to fill out a paper form
    and submit it to them. (OMG!) They have chosen to invest in ELM to do this process (receive and consolidate our change
    transactions and debit our bank account when we need to return funds), instead of building their own system to do it.
    Talk with your lenders and see what platforms work well with their own internal systems. Most lenders I have personally
    spoken with stated that ELM is the processing system that works best with their own internal systems. Sallie Mae would
    understandably prefer to use the OpenNet system to process their private loans, although they certainly do work just fine
    with ELM.

    What does it cost (even if I’m not the one paying it)?
       Although both OpenNet/ Consolidated EFT and ELM/ NDN (as well as AdvanTG/ TG EFT) are free for schools to use,
    the lenders must pay for certain processing (as they do with AdvanTG). Ferreting out how these fees work was one of
    the most challenging parts of my fact-finding mission. It’s best to talk with a Sallie Mae representative about the OpenNet
    system and an ELM rep about the ELM system. OpenNet file management – that is, the transferring of files between
    lenders and schools - is free to both lenders and schools. No fees are charged for schools and lenders to send and
    receive files through the OpenNet system. ELM charges lenders a fee for each loan record. They do not charge for every
    transaction. In other words, if the lender sends me a certification request via ELM, they will incur a fee for that loan record.
    The lender is not charged again for that loan record even if I make 100 changes to it. Both OpenNet and ELM charge fees
    for each disbursement made via their EFT process. I don’t know dollar amounts, but I do think it’s important for schools to
    understand how the fee structure works.
     continued on page 5
             Return to Index
                          Summer 2009 Issue
                          Winter 2011 Issue
    Financial Aid Gives Back...continued from page 4
    Stability/ Longevity
       When I told my business office we were going to be transitioning our EFTs from TG EFT to some other disbursement
    process, I was asked how we know that whatever new process we choose isn’t going to “go away” just like TG EFT will. I
    don’t have a good answer for that. Past the 2011-2012 aid year, I don’t know that anyone can say much of anything about
    this business. That just isn’t the way it works anymore. Sallie Mae, with their DL servicing contract, has ensured itself a
    business model that will most likely function well for many years to come. But will they someday down the road decide to
    abandon OpenNet as a file transfer system for schools? It’s possible. Everyone is pinching pennies and trying to find ways
    to cut expenses. ELM is 100% funded by lender fees - could lenders decide that they don’t want to pay for ELM anymore
    in some future year? Could they decide they don’t want to pay a competitor (Sallie Mae) to use the OpenNet system?
    Sure. I was told by one Sallie Mae employee that they may not use ELM past 2012 since they have their own system in
    OpenNet. All we can know for now is that no major players are jumping off any ships (that we know of) for 2011-2012, and
    make the best decisions for our campuses based on the info we have at any given time.

    Which Brings Us to the Thorniest Point...Neutrality
       Neutrality and fairness has always been important to financial aid administrators. We were practicing it long before
    anyone legislated it for us. But ever since the public was led to believe that we all went to Paris every year on somebody
    else’s dime, we have been particularly concerned about this subject. Where once logic ruled the ways we interacted with
    lenders and other partners, now we must look most closely at not just the letter of the law, but at any appearance of bias.
    One of the reasons AdvanTG was so popular was that, in the private loan sector, it provided absolute neutrality. TG does
    not, and has never, made or guaranteed private loans. Therefore, whatever lenders you used and whatever “lists” you had
    or did not have, the data was all flowing through a system owned and maintained by an organization whose market share
    was completely unaffected. ELM offers the same type of impartiality. ELM is a non-profit mutual benefit corporation owned
    and managed by a Board of Directors that includes Senior Vice Presidents from JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Sallie Mae,
    Wells Fargo, Citizens Bank, and Citibank SLC. Sallie Mae is a for-profit company (as are all major private loan providers)
    which does lend private funds to students for education. Would my office using OpenNet increase Sallie Mae’s private
    loan volume at TCU? I can’t see how- the student never knows their loan data is flowing through AdvanTG, or OpenNet,
    or ELM. So neutrality is a complicated question, and one that each institution will have to grapple with.
       As for our state loan programs, BOT and CAL loans can be certified, as normal, on the site. THECB
    will be utilizing its own EFT process straight from the Texas
    Comptroller to TCU. I am told that we will find our daily     “Where once logic ruled the ways
    disbursement rosters in our secure THECB FTP folder, so
    we will be testing that out soon. I have not yet explored how we interacted with lenders and
    change transactions will work with the state loans (CAL and
    BOT). We have done these via AdvanTG for the last several
                                                                  other partners, now we must look
    years, so I am hoping that online options for changes are     most closely at not just the letter
    available on the HHLoans site.
       Wishing us all strength as we all move forward! If you     of the law, but at any appearance
    have questions or comments about this editorial, please
    email me directly at
                                                                  of bias.”

             Return to Index
                           Summer 2009 Issue
                           Winter 2011 Issue

    Be a Financial Aid Rock Star! The 2011 New Aid
    Officers Workshop Is Coming Soon!
       Planning for the 2011 New Aid Officers Workshop (NAOW) is underway and includes a fun new theme to set the tone
    for this week-long intensive training for new financial aid professionals. Held May 16 - 20, 2011 at the Hilton Arlington in
    Arlington, TX, this year’s workshop will feature a Rock Star theme. In addition to sessions covering topics like the FAFSA,
    R2T4, and Customer Service, workshop attendees will have the opportunity to participate in fun teambuilding activities
    and to network with other new aid officers. NAOW is geared toward the financial aid professional with less than two years
    of experience in the industry, but also welcomes anyone who wants a refresher on all the basics.
       Online registration will be available at in early February. Estimated registration fees are listed below
    along with a tentative agenda of session topics.
      DAY 1                                                            DAY 3
      10:00 - 12:00          Registration                              7:00 - 7:45          Breakfast
      12:30 - 1:30           Lunch and Welcome                         7:45 - 8:00          Morning Welcome
      1:30 - 2:30            Overview of Financial Aid                 8:00 - 9:00          Verification
      2:30 - 3:30            FAFSA                                     9:00 - 10:00         Campus Based Programs
      3:30 - 3:45            Break                                     10:00 - 10:15        Pell Grant
      3:45 - 5:00            Student Eligibility                       10:15 - 11:45        Break
      5:00-6:00              Team Activity                             11:45 - 1:00         Customer Service in FA
      Dinner on your own                                               1:00 - 2:15          Lunch
                                                                       2:15 - 2:30          Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4)
      DAY 2                                                            2:30 - 4:00          Break
      7:00 - 7:45            Breakfast                                 4:00 - 5:00          Show What You Know
      7:45 - 8:00            Morning Welcome                           Reception with hors d’ouvres provided
      8:00 - 9:00            Needs Analysis
      9:00 - 9:45            Case Studies                              DAY 4
      9:45 - 10:00           Break                                     8:00 - 9:00            Breakfast
      10:00 - 11:00          State Programs                            9:00 - 10:00           Packaging
      11:00 - 11:30          Team Activity                             10:00 - 11:15          Professional Judgment
      11:30 - 12:45          Lunch                                     11:15                  Closing
      12:45 - 2:15           Loans
      2:15 - 2:30            Break                                     Early Bird Registration (on or before April 15th)
      2:30 - 3:45            Breakout Sessions                         Single Occupancy Room        $600
                                                                       Double Occupancy Room        $425
      • Resolving Conflicting Information                              Commuter Rate                $425
      • Satisfactory Academic Progress
      • Loan Repayment-Know Who You Owe
                                                                       Regular Registration (after April 15th)
      3:45 - 4:00            Break                                     Single Occupancy Room        $625
      5:00 - 5:30            Team Activity                             Double Occupancy Room        $450
      6:15 - 9:00            Dinner provided with the TASFAA           Commuter Rate                $450

       Registration fees cover hotel accommodations, meals indicate in the agenda, and all training supplies. Hotel
    accommodations will be made for the attendees by the planning committee, so please do not make reservations directly
    with the Hilton.
       New Aid Officers Workshop is a long-standing tradition within TASFAA and offers quality training and reinforcement of
    the basics for your staff at an affordable cost. Many of TASFAA’s seasoned professionals can recall attending New Aid
    Officers when first starting out and are likely still in contact with some of the other newbies we met during that week! If you
    have any questions concerning the New Aid Officers Workshop, please contact the Training Committee Chair, Erin Porter
    at 979-458-5401 or

             Return to Index
                            Summer 2009 Issue
                            Winter 2011 Issue

    TASFAA Constitution and Bylaws Amendment
    Changes Approved Business Meeting - October 7, 2010
    Shannon Crossland, Texas Tech University
    The following amendments to the TASFAA Constitution and Bylaws were approved at the TASFAA Business Meeting held
    during the Fall Conference. The updated TASFAA Constitution and Bylaws reflected these changes are available on the
    TASFAA website -

    Constitution, Article VII, Section 6:
       “The counting of votes for constitutional amendments will be private and supervised by the Secretary/Historian or
    another appropriate individual designated by the President. Results will be submitted to the President and announced to
    the membership at the next business session of the Association, included in the official Association minutes and published
    to the members through the website.”

    Constitution, Article III, Section 1A:
       “The voting officers of the Association shall be a President, President-Elect, Immediate Past President, and eight (8)
    representatives at large. They shall serve as members of the Board of Directors and shall include representatives of
    institutions in the State of Texas who hold voting membership in the Association. The Board of Directors will hereafter be
    referred to as the Board in this document.”

    Constitution, Article III, Section 2A:
       “The Treasurer shall be a non-voting officer of the Board elected by the voting membership of the Association for a
    three-year term. A Treasurer-Elect shall be elected to serve during the last year of the Treasurer’s term. The Treasurer-
    Elect will automatically serve as the Treasurer the following year.”

    Constitution, Article III, Section 2B:
       “The Secretary/Historian shall be a non-voting officer of the Board elected by the voting membership of the Association
    for a two-year term. “

    Constitution and Bylaws - All Articles and Sections affected:
      All references to the position of secretary/historian, the designation of “/historian” be removed from title of this office.

    Financial Aid Gives Back
    Andrew Rodriguez, El Paso Community College
      As the New Year begins, we hopefully greet it with optimistic expectations that this year will be better than the last. To
    get there, some of us set goals: made resolutions that will help us to better ourselves and possibly the people around us.
    Not only is it the TASFAA Newsletter Committee’s goal to provide you with the information and tools you need to help you
    grow as an individual in the Financial Aid community and workplace, but also to share positive and inspiring news. Tips
    and articles are also available to help encourage you throughout your work day. In each newsletter we will be highlighting
    Financial Aid offices around the region and how they are giving back to their communities.

     continued on page 8
             Return to Index
                           Summer 2009 Issue
                           Winter 2011 Issue
    Financial Aid Gives Back...continued from page 7
       To kick off this new “Financial Aid Gives Back” segment,     a more positive outlook towards our own life. Even if we are
    I couldn’t think of any better place to start than my own       super busy at work; working on something for the Reynolds
    Financial Aid Office at El Paso Community College. Led          House relieves all of the pressure.
    by Director Linda Gonzalez-Hensgen and Financial Aid              RT: Being able to work untied with my staff to reach a
    Coordinator Roy Tuberville, we will look at how this office     goal of helping those in need. It helps in understanding how
    is helping out one community organization - the Reynolds        our staff can pull together for a good cause. I am proud of
    House, a shelter for women and children.                        my staff.

    How did you hear about the organization?                        Do you have any advice for anyone who is looking
       LGH: I met the home director during adoption process         to get their office involved in giving back to the
    for my son. She was a social worker with CPS.                   community?
       RT: Through Linda Gonzalez. She was involved in                 LGH: Just suggest something simple to start. Once
    helping this shelter for some time, and she asked if I would    everyone sees how great you feel to help others and how
    help them create a play room for the children there and the     appreciative the recipients of your efforts are; things will
    rest is history.                                                grow from there. We have gotten to where we have a
                                                                    second charity we help because of the great response from
    How did you get involved?                                       our staff.
      LGH: Met with the director and she expressed the fact            RT: Find a project in your community that all your staff can
    that the shelter received no governmental funding and she       get involved in and support their efforts. It gives everyone
    had many projects that she and her family wanted to do for      a good sense of feeling that you care enough to bring
    the families but could not afford to do so.                     everyone together and work together to help those in need.
      RT: I was asked to create a play room for the children
    and after that I felt good in being part of helping people in
    need. It was at that point that I was asked to be a board
    member for the Reynolds House.
                                                                      “I believe that people who volunteer to help
    Why is it important for you that people get involved in           others actually improve their own lives. You
    this community project?                                           become more appreciative of what you have
       LGH: I think people develop a sense of pride and obtain
    great joy out of helping others. We have very stressful jobs      in life and you become more connected to
    and this helps us see how fortunate we truly are to have          everyone around you and have a happier
    what we have. We bring great recognition for our office and       and a more positive outlook towards our
    the college; people know that the staff at EPCC financial         own life.”
    aid are great citizens of our community and are always
    willing to give a helping hand in order to make a difference.
       RT: Everyone in life at one time or another needs a
    helping hand. Working for El Paso Community College
    we are a great part of the community. One needs to be
    prepared to give time and effort whole heartedly in order
    to really appreciate what one has. It is a great service to
    our community.

    How do you and your staff help out this organization?
       LGH: Provide financial support, donations of time and
    items needed by families. Demolished former sunroom
    (including in ground Jacuzzi) and built a new play room for
    the children.

    How has giving back to your community helped you in
    your work life?
      LGH: I believe that people who volunteer to help
    others actually improve their own lives. You become more
    appreciative of what you have in life and you become more
    connected to everyone around you and have a happier and

             Return to Index
                           Summer 2009 Issue
                           Winter 2011 Issue

    ED’s Direct Loan Transfer Initiative
    Melet Leafgreen, TASFAA Times Editor, Texas Christian University
       In the January 13th e-announcement, ED reported                  2011 and 2011-2012 to affected schools from
    the successful transfer of approximately 1.2 million DL             January 18 - 21st, which reflect the correct loan
    borrower accounts from ACS to one of the new servicers              status and balance information.
    (Great Lakes, Nelnet, Sallie Mae, or PHEAA).                      • In approximately 1% of the 2.1 million accounts
       The announcement was careful to say that this was a              transferred, there is a delay in NSLDS updating
    “beginning” to the process of attempting to position all of         new loan or subsequent disbursement information.
    a borrower’s federally-owned loans (either DL or PUT) at            Work to correct these accounts is ongoing. Schools
    one servicer instead of several. The Department admits              can see correct data on these loans on COD.
    that there is more work to be done, and said that this              Schools with questions about a current student’s
    transferring would continue until all borrowers have been           loans which might be affected by this delay can
    moved to one servicer for federally-owned loans. They               contact COD School Relations at 800-848-0978 or
    expect the next round of these transfers to occur in March Borrowers should
    of this year.                                                       contact their new loan servicer.

      Two Issues Noted:                                                For more info on the Transfer Initiative, see the electronic
                                                                    announcements from the Department dated November 23,
      • Approximately 1000 borrowers had some NSLDS                 2010 and January 13, 2011. If your school has questions
        loan records incorrectly notated with a $0                  about this issue, contact the NSLDS Customer Support
        outstanding balance and a status of PF (paid in             Center at 800-999-8219, or e-mail
        full). The correction of these records was completed           Loan Servicing Centers- contact info for schools:
        on January 18th. To notify schools, the Department
        sent system-generated ISIR records for both 2010-

    Guaranty Agencies - We’re Still Here
    Brenda Paganelli McCafferty, NSLP
       With the elimination of new Federal Family Education            The services guaranty agencies have traditionally
    Loan Program loans on July 1, the role of guaranty              provided are still needed by schools and students. Services
    agencies changed. Even though guarantors are no longer          like training, compliance assistance, financial literacy,
    subsidized by the federal government to guarantee new           delinquency and default prevention are as important as
    loans, guaranty agencies are still managing billions of         ever, yet they may not be readily available in the Direct
    dollars of federal student loan portfolios. For many years to   Loan program.
    come, they will continue to assist student loan borrowers          One example of an area where schools will continue
    as they progress through college and repayment until            to need assistance is with rising student loan defaults.
    their loans are paid in full. More importantly, guaranty        Defaults are expected to escalate across all sectors
    agencies are still working with thousands of borrowers to       because of increased borrowing levels, complexity
    help them successfully repay their student loans and avoid      of debt, poor job market for graduates, and mounting
    delinquency and default.                                        unemployment. Demand will increase for educational
                                                                    services to help students manage student loan borrowing,
                                                                    handle finances, and prepare for repayment. The new
                                                                    3-year cohort default rate calculation will intensify the
                                                                    focus on default rates even more, and schools will also
                                                                    need better default management strategies to address
                                                                    the growing problem. Guaranty agencies can continue to
                                                                    provide all of these services.
                                                                       Like many schools, guaranty agencies are adapting to
                                                                    the new environment. Guarantors already know how to
                                                                    provide their core services of default prevention, training,
                                                                    and financial literacy. They are also actively helping schools

                                                                     continued on page 10
             Return to Index
                             Summer 2009 Issue
                             Winter 2011 Issue
     Guaranty Agencies - We’re Still Here...continued from page 9
     determine what other services are needed to supplement                 So rest assured, guaranty agencies are still here for you.
     the services that schools can provide.                              They are eager to continue helping you with the issues you
        Be sure to contact your guaranty agency partners if you          face. All you have to do is call - and we’ll be there!
     need services that are valuable to you and your students.
     They are eager to continue to provide services, work                  For more information contact:
     with you to find solutions, and explore funding options. In           Brenda Paganelli, Regional Director
     consultation with you, guaranty agencies can augment the              NSLP
     effectiveness of programs that improve student success in             P.O. Box 82507, Lincoln, NE 68501-2507
     making the transition to college, graduating from college,            800.735.8778, ext. 6848 or 601.214.7224
     and successfully navigating loan repayment.                 

     Resources to Help Students Help Themselves
     Frances Campbell, SimpleTuition
        With the tight economy, budget cuts, loss of staff, and
     more work than ever before, college financial aid and high
     school counselors offices are finding it harder and harder
     to meet all the demands of students and parents when they
     are looking at planning for college. Students bombard these
     offices on a daily basis with questions concerning choosing
     the right college, filling out financial aid forms correctly, and          “Many of these websites provide
     how to determine which schools the family can afford.
        There are many free resources that college and high
                                                                                the excellent service to students
     school counseling staff members can turn to help ease a                    and families as they struggle
     large part of the burden. Many of these websites provide                   with huge decisions they must
     the excellent service to students and families as they
     struggle with huge decisions they must make for their
                                                                                make for their child’s future.”
     child’s future. Let’s get the word out to students about how
     to take advantage of these resources.

       • Princeton Review                                                overwhelming. Reading an award letter can be confusing.             Knowing how much student/family debt to carry over 4+
         Explore for colleges using filters about a student’s            years of study can seem impossible to figure out. There are
         academic and extracurricular history.                           free resources that are available that can help students and
       • Cappex                                                          families make important decisions.
         Easy to use calculator which tells a student’s chances            • TuitionCoach
         for admission.                                            
       • YOUniversity TV                                                     Offers a series of free web tools to help students                                      calculate the best way to lower college costs and
         Take video tours of campuses across the nation.                     avoid common mistakes on financial aid forms
       • Zinch                                                             •                                     
         Create profiles which resemble college applications                 Comprehensive scholarship search for students of all ages
         which students can send to colleges and/or colleges               • TuitionAdjuster
         can reach out to students.                                
                                                                             Calculate your monthly loan pricetag and create a
        Now that a student has researched colleges, “toured                  paying-for-college plan in 3 easy steps.
     campuses”, found out if they would be eligible for
     admission, created a marketing profile, it’s time to                   The earlier a family starts planning and researching
     determine how the family is actually going to pay the cost          colleges and universities and using free tools for planning
     of education. Filling out the financial aid forms correctly         and paying for that experience, the more prepared a
     can be a daunting task. Searching for scholarships can be           student will be for his or her future.

               Return to Index
                            Summer 2009 Issue
                            Winter 2011 Issue

     Four Things Your Borrowers Should Know
     Cindy Marrs, TG default aversion consultant
        As a former financial aid counselor, I remember the broad variety
     of financial aid questions our office handled from sometimes anxious
     students and parents. Given the difficult economy, your office is probably
     fielding even more questions, as well as helping students manage stress
     born out of the gloomy job forecast.
        Fortunately, there are things you can do to help allay the worry of
     students and parents, including making sure borrowers know their
     payment options and have resources to better manage loans. The
     benefit is that such support may translate into a more successful
     repayment experience down the line. It may also have a positive impact
     on your school’s cohort default rate. Here are four suggestions on loan
     management to offer borrowers.

       • Use federal loans first
         A student who anticipates borrowing a student loan may view
         applying for a private student loan as preferable to completing the
         Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so it is important
         to remind students of the benefits of the federal loan programs.
         Consider adding a link from your school’s website to the Department of Education’s “Federal Aid First” page (http://, which explains the differences between federal and private education
         loans and provides tips for completing the FAFSA. TG’s corporate website, TG Online, provides borrowers a handy
         comparison of private and federal loans, stressing the importance of being well aware of the differences before using
         private loans (see

       • Know your options for loan forgiveness and repayment
         Educating borrowers about loan repayment need not be confined to entrance and exit loan counseling. An
         understanding of the various forgiveness and repayment options such as teacher loan forgiveness, public service
         loan forgiveness, and Income-Based Repayment can affect a student’s plans, from course registration and declaring
         a major to deciding on a career. Making information readily available about the programs through the financial aid
         office, career services, and academic advising centers can assist students in making the choices right for them. Visit
         TG’s online request system ( to order brochures about teacher loan forgiveness, Income-
         Based Repayment, and additional repayment assistance options. You can also direct students to the Department of
         Education’s public service loan forgiveness page at
         jsp for more information on that program.

       • Track your loans through the National Student Loan Data System
         Borrowers are often unaware of their outstanding student loan balance. They may also have multiple loans with
         multiple holders, which means they’re not likely to have a complete picture of what they owe and to whom - unless
         they do some math and a bit of information gathering. The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) (http://www. can produce that picture of a borrower’s outstanding balances and loan statuses. Encourage
         your students to access NSLDS in order to stay on top of their loans. Doing so may also help borrowers who are
         approaching aggregate loan limits to plan for future education-related financial needs. TG offers borrowers an online
         tool for tracking their TG-guaranteed loans - myTGsm ( The myTG tool helps borrowers manage
         their loan accounts with TG, including resuming payment in cases where a borrower’s loans are in default.

       • Use loan repayment calculators to help estimate costs
         A loan repayment calculator ( is
         a great tool that can benefit students who are making decisions about whether to borrow a student loan and how
         much to borrow. Borrowers who have decided on or are considering a particular career can better assess their
         repayment situation by reviewing their estimated monthly payment amount in conjunction with the earnings data in the
         Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook
                                                                     continued on page 12
              Return to Index
                            Summer 2009 Issue
                            Winter 2011 Issue
     Four Things Your Borrowers Should Know...continued from page 11
     Default aversion sessions at the TG Annual Training Conference
        Interested in lowering your school’s cohort default rate, or in learning about new default prevention strategies? Consider
     attending the TG Annual Training Conference, featuring a Default Aversion Boot Camp on Tuesday, April 26 and a Default
     Aversion session track April 27–28. Visit TG Online at to register or to find out more about
     the 2011 TG Annual Training Conference. If you prefer to speak with someone directly, contact TG’s event planning
     coordinator Judith Cunningham at (800) 252-9743, ext. 2905, or send an e-mail message to

     About Cindy Marrs
        Cindy Marrs brings a broad range of financial aid experience to her work as one of TG’s default aversion consultants.
     For nine years, she served as a financial aid counselor at The University of Texas at Austin where she managed the
     Community Service Work-Study Program and led the development of the AmericaReads/AmericaCounts tutoring initiative.
     At TG, she worked on the policy and regulatory affairs team before transitioning to the default prevention department. As
     a default aversion consultant, Marrs helps schools develop effective default prevention strategies and provides borrowers
     with entrance and exit counseling and training on managing student loan repayment. You can reach Marrs at (800) 252-
     9743, ext. 4874, or by e-mail at

     New Collaboration: NCHELP, Meteor,
     National Student Clearinghouse
     Stephen Brower, Hardin-Simmons University
        With a single Federal loan program now in place, all          database can help students and schools to overcome these
     students receiving Federal student loans this school year        challenges by providing them with detailed loan information
     have borrowed directly from the government. School and           including loan status, original lenders, current loan amounts
     Department of Education officials made the transition a          and summarized repayment information.
     reasonably smooth one that will result in over $100 billion         As students move into repayment, it is more important
     in loans being made for this current academic year from the      than ever to provide them with the information they need
     Federal Direct Loan Program.                                     to help them budget and plan for the repayment of their
        For years, students have dealt with the jigsaw of trying to   student loans. The Meteor process will likely be able to
     determine and then maintain a single servicer relationship,      provide students and schools with the ability to track loan
     seeking to simplify their repayments. With the advent            balance, lender, and servicer information. Meteor is actively
     of new loan programs and legislation, the challenge of           working to bring relevant loan information for federal and
     tracking all of a student’s education debt has become            private lender data reserves.
     increasingly complex and student borrowers and schools              Over 150 colleges and universities today provide access
     could clearly be disadvantaged if they are unable to track       directly from their campus web site through collaboration
     and view all of their loans, both federal and private.           with the National Student Clearinghouse Campus Based
        A service to provide students and schools with real-          Authentication (CBA) process. By utilizing campus issued
     time access to detailed, aggregated loan information is          credentials, the student is able to get detailed information on
     emerging. The Meteor Project, sponsored by over 40               their FFELP and private loans, as well as obtain a link to the
     higher education industry organizations and coordinated by       federal loan servicer that is servicing their “put” and/or Direct
     the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs,          Loan(s). Campus-based authentication provides greater
     Inc. (NCHELP), is designing a secure system to assist            access to valuable debt management, default aversion and
     student borrowers by providing them with timely and              other tools and services by using a college’s authentication
     accurate information. Meteor is working to provide a single,     process to gain access to the Clearinghouse services. As the
     secure source to all student loan data from participating        Meteor process incorporates relevant comprehensive federal
     providers - both federal and private.                            and private loan information, it may become a central player
        Schools continue to express concern for students              in student loan monitoring and repayment.
     who are faced with managing “split-serviced” loans. This            As change continues, one thing is clear: there is a greater
     concern is real given the fact that it is generally accepted     need than ever before for accurate and continually refreshed
     that students with loans at multiple servicers have a higher     loan information to assist students and schools in reducing
     rate of delinquency and default compared to students             delinquencies and preventing student loan defaults. Meteor
     who have a relationship with a single servicer. The Meteor       may just be that missing piece of the puzzle.

              Return to Index
                            Summer 2009 Issue
                            Winter 2011 Issue

     Training Trainers For Financial Literacy Success
     Jeff Knight, TG Senior Writer/Editor
     The problem                                                        Another advantage is that the practice can lift the quality
         Across a number of contexts, a consensus is emerging        of experience for teachers and students. When potential
     that students and young adults need to develop a much           trainers have completed a Train-the-Trainer session, they’re
     better understanding of how money works. How bad is             likely to be more focused on the students and the content
     the situation? A 2008 study by the Jump$tart Coalition          than on their own sense of being unprepared.
     speculated that nearly three-fourths of young Americans            Sharon Cabeen, TG’s Director of Financial Literacy
     are “ill equipped to make critical financial decisions.” This   Operations, stated that one of her principal goals is to
     knowledge deficit isn’t merely academic; it has real-life       “work collaboratively with organizations whose mission
     consequences. For example, a 2009 study by Sallie Mae           and values also support the teaching of good money
     found that undergraduates are running up higher levels of       management to our high school and college students.”
     credit card debt than ever before. The New Yorker reported         Offering Train-the-Trainer sessions represents a key
     that, in a study of subprime borrowers in the Northeast,        means of meeting this goal. Referring to the importance
     there was a twenty percent foreclosure rate of people           of this effort, Cabeen noted, “Of course, it’s critical to
     who scored in the bottom quartile on a very basic test of       reach students, to get their attention focused on their
     calculation skills. Ignorance is expensive.                     choices and how money fits into their lives, to teach them
         One hopeful sign is an increased emphasis on financial      the skills they’ll need.” She believes the best connections
     literacy education. That’s true nationally, as seen in the      occur when life makes the lesson directly relevant
     2010 designation of April as Financial Literacy Month and       to the student - making financial literacy education
     in other federal efforts to promote financial literacy. It’s    even more important at a young age. For this reason,
     also true at state and local levels—for example, in Texas’      she has “become more impassioned about hitting
     adoption of new financial literacy standards for social         financial literacy at every level, including educating
     studies education.                                              and empowering the adults in students’ lives. Through
                                                                     Train-the-Trainer activities, TG can provide organizations
     Teachers say they need more preparation                         and administrators, parents and teachers of high school
        Since educators and political leaders increasingly           students, and other adults, with the tools and knowledge
     see financial literacy education as a way to address this       to help young adults when the teachable moments
     knowledge deficit and its negative consequences, a              occur. Better yet, we’ll help these groups and individuals
     logical next question is: what elements need to be in place     develop some passion for teaching financial literacy
     for a program to be successful? Annamaria Lusardi, an           skills - and that passion to teach can be contagious.”
     economics professor at Dartmouth College and a nationally          Given the depth of the financial literacy deficit, training
     known expert on financial literacy, makes a strong case         trainers represents one more tool to boost students’
     for one answer: “Teachers are pivotal to the success of         understanding of basic financial realities.
     financial education.”                                              For more information, please contact Cynthia Mayberry,
        And yet teachers themselves state that they are              TG Manager, Texas Region, at (800) 252-9743, ext. 4683,
     unprepared. A 2009 article in the Journal of Financial          or by e-mail at Additional
     Counseling and Planning reported that fewer than 20% of         information about TG can be found online at
     teachers and prospective teachers felt very competent to
     teach the basic personal finance concepts regularly found in
     educational standards. As Lusardi points out, “to adequately
     prepare our students, we first must prepare our teachers.”

     Training trainers as a solution
        In this context, TG has launched a series of Train-the-
     Trainer sessions, delivered in person and by webinar, as
     part of the new TG Financial Literacy Program. There are
     several advantages to this approach.
        One is simply that it expands the number of people the
     modules can reach. There is a built-in limit to how many
     sessions an organization’s in-house trainers can personally
     deliver. Offering sessions to boost the knowledge and
     comfort level of trainers will obviously boost the number of
     students engaged in this training.

              Return to Index
                  Summer 2009 Issue
                  Winter 2011 Issue

     Photo Gallery - TASFAA 2010 Fall Conference

                                                    Thanks for coming!

                                      continued on page 15
        Return to Index
                    Summer 2009 Issue
                    Winter 2011 Issue
     Photo Gallery - TASFAA 2010 Fall Conference...continued from page 14

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