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NYSFAAA Connection


									                 NYSFAAA                                               Connection
Web Letter Editor: Laura Worley, Citibank | Assistant Editor: Vince Scalise, College Loan Corporation | Winter 2006

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                                                         NYSFAAA Executive Council
Judi Miladin, Cayuga Community College
                                                                     Judith Miladin, President
NYSFAAA President
                                                                     Director of Financial Aid
Before I became President of NYSFAAA, I had no idea                  Cayuga Community College
how much work was involved – and how much goes on                    Phone: (315) 255-1743
behind the scenes, that the average member takes for                 Email:
granted. Even while serving on Exec Council prior to
becoming President, I didn’t really grasp the scope of               David M Canaski, President-Elect
all that NYSFAAA does. And we really do wonderful                    Director of Financial Aid
things! While this job has been busier and more time
                                                                     SUNY Cortland
consuming than I ever expected, it’s also been one of
the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences I have                  Phone: (607) 753-4717
ever had. I thought that once my first year was over                 Email:
things might slow down a bit. Well that hasn’t
happened – so there is a lot to report to you!                       Joan D Warren, 1st Vice President
                                                                     Associate Dean for Financial Aid/NYSFAAA
A lot has been happening on the legislative front –                  Membership VP
both federal and state.                                              Juilliard School, The
                                                                     Phone: (212) 799-5000 Ext: 213
In December the Senate passed S 1932 that would
raise loan limits for our students, but would also raise             Email:
interest rates to a fixed 6.8%. The bill would enact
the largest cuts ever to student aid programs. Due to                Maria A Barlaam, 2nd Vice President
                                                                     Director of Financial Aid
                                               continued on page 2
                                                                     Manhattanville College
                                                                     Phone: (914) 323-5376
                                                                     Carolyn R Corcoran, Secretary
1     President’s Message                                            Senior Financial Aid Advisor
                                                                     SUNY Plattsburgh
3     Members on the Move                                            Phone: (518) 564-4078
4     Region 8 Gives Back for the Holidays
                                                                     Samantha J Veeder, Treasurer
5     Tax Benefits for Higher Education                              Director of Financial Aid
                                                                     Hobart & William Smith College
6     Member Editorial: Happy Holidays??                             Phone: (315) 781-3315
7     Passage of Deficit Reduction Act . . .

8     Impact of Reconciliation

9     Remembering Laura Dominy

11    Budget 2006-07 Executive Proposals for TAP
                                                                     Your Regional Council Representatives are listed on page 3
12    Region 1 Gives Back for the Holidays

13    Handling Conflict Resolution

14    NYSFAAA’s Position Paper – Budget 2006

                                     NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 1 Winter 2006
continued from page 1 “President’s Message!”

 a technicality the bill must be voted on again by the          Contracts were signed for Novice Training to move to
 House prior to becoming law – so we still have a very          SUNY Cobleskill this spring.
 small ray of hope that these cuts may be avoided. By
 the time you read this, we should know the out-come            We have two new state-wide Chairs. Kathy Flaherty
 of that February 1 vote.                                       from SUNY Oswego has agreed to serve as Chair for
                                                                the Awards Committee. Cindy Kohlman resigned that
 This year the good news is that the Governor has               position after serving for several years – and doing a
 abandoned his proposal to withhold 1/3 of TAP until            wonderful job. Thanks Cindy!
 graduation. But in its place he is proposing new
 regulations that would again hit disproportionately at         Katrina DelGrosso has agreed to serve in the new
 disadvantaged students. This time the changes would            capacity of Development Chair.
 hit most heavily at those students who may be poorly
 prepared for college:                                          Maria Barlaam, our new Vice President for
              • those with GED’s,                               Professional Development, is busy planning for Jim
              • those who enter through ATB,                    Briggs Tax Workshops throughout the state, as well as
              • those who require developmental                 Intermediate Training opportunities for the spring.
                   courses to overcome deficits in their
                   high school preparation for college,         The Association has been dealing with several legal
              • those who must work to support                  issues including registering our Service Mark and
                   themselves and/or their families and         Trademark, attempts by another entity to use a name
                   therefore find it impossible to take         resembling ours on a website disseminating “financial
                   15 credits.                                  aid information,” and issues regarding “Unrelated
 While the Governor’s proposals this year will                  Business Income (UBI).” The issue of UBI regulations
 primarily impact community colleges, we must all               is important for us in maintaining our tax-exempt
 join forces to prevent the erosion of the TAP program          status.
 and with it the erosion of economic opportunity for
 those citizens who need the help the most.                     Executive Council is continuing work on an up-date
 NYSFAAA’s position paper will be posted soon to the            and over-haul of our Policy and Procedures Manual.
 listserv to assist you in contacting your state
 legislators to urge defeat of the proposals.                   Committees have been hard at work with High School
                                                                Counselor Workshops, Novice preparation, new Early
 Executive Council will be visiting the Legislature             Awareness initiatives, Gear-up, a revamped presence
 January 31. We’ll also be taking with us copies of the         at the State Fair, Graduate and Professional
 NYSFAAA sponsored Legislative Gazette.                         Concerns…..

 The Government Relations committee will be doing               Thanks to everyone who works so hard to make
 Legislative Training for State Legislators and their           NYSFAAA the great organization that it is!!!
 Aides on February 1.

 Several members will be attending the Legislative
 Forum in Albany in February.
                                                                     Mark Your Calendars
 We are embarking on a joint project with HESC to
 implement a College Goal Sunday Project to reach                   for NYSFAAA’s Novice
 students in high need areas for whom there is a
 technology gap in the financial aid application                     Training Workshop!
 process. Response to the call for volunteers for this
 project has been tremendous!

 We’ve been working on tying up loose ends from the                      June 2 - 9, 2006
 Conference on Long Island. Planning for the up-
 coming Conference in November in Lake Placid is in
 high gear. And preliminary planning for our New York
 City conference is well underway. In addition, an ad
                                                                          On the SUNY
 hoc committee, chaired by Bruce Woolley, is
 developing minimum requirements for our conference
                                                                        Cobleskill Campus

                                     NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 2 Winter 2006
                                                                                                  continued from page 1

MEMBERS           ON THE         MOVE . . .                   Rachel Barker, Reg. 1 Council Representative
                                                              Associate Director of Financial Aid
Kim Swarski joins the Access Group as the External Account
Executive for NYSFAAA Regions 1-4 and 8.
                                                              Medaille College - ACCEL
                                                              Phone: (716) 631-1061
Patty Herbst of College Loan Corporation has been             Email:
promoted to Vice President of School Relations and
received the national “CLC® Commitment to Excellence          Stephen D Dodds, Reg. 2 Council Representative
Award” at a recent sales meeting.                             State Grant Coordinator
                                                              Rochester Business Institute
The Julliard School announces their new Associate Director    Phone: (585) 266-0430 Ext: 139
of Financial Aid, Amelia Gomes (formerly at Yeshiva           Email:
University) and their new Grants Coordinator, Abdul
Muhammad (formerly at NYIT).
                                                              Sharon Karwowski, Reg. 3 Council Representative
SUNY Orange announces two new Financial Aid Technicians!      Assistant Director of Financial Aid
Galatea Badger, from Killeen Texas will be working out of     Tompkins Cortland Community College
the Middletown Campus and Frank Samuels (formerly at          Phone: (607) 844-6581 Ext: 4454
Mercy College/White Plains) will be located at the            Email:
Newburgh Extension Center. Welcome to NYSFAAA!
                                                              Brenda L Wright, Reg. 4 Council Representative
Vince Scalise, Senior Vice President of School Relations at   Interim Director of Financial Aid
College Loan Corporation, was given the national “CLC®
                                                              SUNY Albany
President’s Cup Award” at a recent sales meeting.
                                                              Phone: (518) 442-2572
Dacia Banks former Director of Financial Aid at Albany        Email:
Medical College is the new Senior Marketing Rep in New
York for Great Lakes, her start date is February 1, 2006.     Heather McDonnell, Reg. 5 Council Representative
                                                              Director Financial Aid
Susan Romano from SUNY Geneseo and her husband Tom            Sarah Lawrence College
are the proud parents of a baby girl born on December 21,     Phone: (914) 395-2570
2005. 7lbs 10oz, 21 inches long. All are doing well!          Email:
Theresa Gieseke is the new NextStudent representative for
New York State. Welcome Theresa!
                                                              Angela VanDekker, Reg. 6 Council Representative
                                                              Asst. Vice President Student Financial Services
Student Capital Corporation appoints Sue Fowler Roberts       Fordham University - Rose Hill Campus
(former President of Citibank’s Student Loan Corporation)     Phone: (718) 817-3994
as their new Chief Executive Officer.                         Email:

Promotions at Alfred State College! Laura Giglio has been     Sheryl Mihopulos, Reg. 7 Council Representative
promoted to Director of Financial Aid and Deborah Neu has     Director, Student Fianancial Services
been promoted to Secretary. Congrats!                         Adelphi University
                                                              Phone: (516) 877-3365
Darcie Stephens Upstate Rep for Bank of America
announces that she is the proud mom of a beautiful baby       Email:
girl, Amanda Jean, born January 9, 2006. 6lbs. 4 oz. 19
inches long. Everyone is doing great!                         Susan Aldrich, Region 8 Council Representative
                                                              Director of Financial Aid
                                                              SUNY Potsdam
CALENDAR OF EVENTS                                            Phone: (315) 267-2162
Visit our Website for all the latest
information on events happening in                            Executive Council Meeting Schedule
your Region.
                                                                 •   January 29, 30 and 31 2006
Go to:
                                                                 •   April TBA

                                                                 •   June 14, 15 and 16, 2006

                                  NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 3 Winter 2006
Region 8 Gives Back for the Holidays                      Region 8 Holiday Meeting Photos
B.J. Revill, St. Lawrence University, Region 8

Those who have attended Region 8’s annual Holiday
party in Lake Placid know what fun it is. From drinks
and dinner at the fabulous Mirror Lake Inn, to the gift
exchange “Chinese Auction” style, and of course,
there’s the shopping. This year, the region decided
that they wanted to give back to the community.
They planned on making the Holiday season special
for a needy family in the region.

Beth Turner from St. Lawrence University and
Shalena Clary from North Country Community College
canvassed Lake Placid and solicited donations and
explained who we are, and what are plans were.
Needless to say, many proprietors in Lake Placid were
generous in their donations. Beth and Shalena
received donations ranging from free nights stays at a
number of hotels, to gifts certificates to a number of
shops and restaurants, to a handmade children’s
Adirondack chair by yours truly.

With all the wonderful gifts from the local merchants
in hand, Beth and Shalena went to work selling raffle
tickets. The plan was to sell tickets during the day at
the business meeting and during cocktails before
dinner. The region opened their hearts and their
wallets to the idea, and the raffle tickets went fast.
A number of times, Beth and Shalena sold out of their
supply of tickets and had to make more.

With our bellies full, the raffle began. The group was
excited, and the noise level went from quiet after
dinner conversation to a dull roar. One-by-one the
gifts were raffled off with many ooohs and aaahs.
With the last prize raffled off, Beth and Shalena
finally had a chance to count the money from the
tickets sales. What they came up with shocked the
entire group. They had sold over $700 in raffle
tickets! Our hearts soared at the generosity of our

What started as a plan to give one family a Happy
Holiday suddenly expanded. Beth contacted the
administration at a local elementary school and she
was able to obtain information on two local families
in need. Both families had recently come across bad
times, and were not going to be able to provide their
children a Christmas. The first family had four
children, and the second family had three. Beth was
able to purchase gift cards from Wal-Mart for the
families. The first family received $400, and the
second received just over $300.

                              NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 4 Winter 2006
Taxpayers Can Take Advantage of Higher-Education Benefits
Submitted by: Linda Athearn-Forster, Account Executive, USA Funds

Students and families who paid college expenses during 2005 may qualify for higher-education
deductions or credits when they file their federal income-tax returns. Tax-law changes in recent
years have added and expanded higher-education tax benefits.

As they prepare their 2005 federal income-tax returns, students and families should be advised to
see if they qualify for savings under these tax-law provisions.

Student-loan-interest deduction — Taxpayers may be able to reduce their taxable income by up
to $2,500 for interest paid during the tax year on their student loans.

Hope Tax Credit — Taxpayers may reduce their federal income tax by as much as $1,500 per
student for out-of-pocket tuition and fees for each of the first two years of study toward a degree
or certificate from a college or vocational school. Students must be enrolled at least half time to

Lifetime Learning Credit — This credit offers the opportunity for taxpayers to reduce their
federal income tax by as much as $2,000 for qualified tuition and related expenses paid for
students enrolled in eligible postsecondary institutions. The maximum credit equals 20 percent of
the first $10,000 of qualified expenses.

Deduction for higher-education expenses — Students and parents may be able to reduce their
taxable income by up to $4,000 for qualified higher-education expenses that they paid during the
tax year. This deduction may benefit them if their income is too high to qualify for either the
Hope or Lifetime Learning credits.

Employer-provided education benefits — Taxpayers may exclude from their taxable incomes up
to $5,250 in higher-education assistance provided by their employers each year.

529 college-savings plans — Students and their families may be able to exclude from their
taxable income earnings from qualified-tuition programs, commonly known as 529 savings plans,
that they used to pay qualified education expenses. These plans permit individuals to prepay or
invest to pay higher-education expenses.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts — Taxpayers may contribute up to $2,000 annually to a
Coverdell Education Savings Account, formerly known as education IRAs, on behalf of designated
beneficiaries who are younger than age 18 or are special-needs beneficiaries, to pay qualified
education expenses. Although these contributions are not tax-deductible, they will grow tax-free
until withdrawn.

Please note that this information is intended as a general summary of these tax benefits.
Financial-aid administrators should refer students and their families to a qualified tax adviser or
the Internal Revenue Service to determine eligibility for any of these benefits.

Further information also is available in the free USA Funds® brochure “Higher-Education Tax
Benefits — Expanded Taxpayer Savings.” The brochure is available to view and to order by visiting
the USA Funds Web site,, and selecting “Order Publications” from the
“Express Links” menu.

                                                                 NYSFAAA Newsletter Sponsor

                        NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 5 Winter 2006
                                    MEMBER EDITORIAL
                                    MEMBER EDITORIAL

Happy Holidays??
Genise Reid, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Teachers College

As I sit here in my office just a few days before winter break, I find myself thinking of the 70 students taking their
final exam a few yards away from my door. They are a fraction of the 5000 students who call Teachers College
their home. We are grateful for those students who have made the decision to spend time, money, and energy
obtaining their masters and doctoral degrees here. At a budget of around $53,000 per year, full-time ‘TC’ students
are not spending nearly as much as their counterparts at business school or law school. However, they hold a
distinct disadvantage: they, on average, will graduate into professions that pay less than two-thirds of what they
spent per year obtaining their degree.

The necessity of educational financing is nothing new, but the attitudes of our students have changed markedly
over the past decade. Ten years ago, I spent lots of time talking with students about planning, budgeting, and
using student loan borrowing as a last resort. Today, it is rare that the conversation will go much beyond “Where
do I sign?”- and students sign off on tens of thousands of dollars of loan debt without batting an eyelash.

Yet there comes a time, and a day, when the proverbial chicken comes home to roost. Recently Fortune magazine
published an excellent article that touched upon the repercussions of loan consolidation and the consequences of
not reading the fine print (When Sallie Met Wall Street, December 2005). We can, and we do, encourage our
students to weigh their options carefully and to only use loans as a last resort. And we marvel that the majority of
our “best and brightest” will take lots of time and energy to review their educational options, but somehow fail to
ask- and answer- the questions related to the financial side of the house. Perhaps more disturbing, some students
are aware of the issues and risks, and have done their due diligence, and have discovered there is no other choice
but to go into debt.

At this point in most editorials, a writer would drag out a list of persons or systems to blame. I am not sure that I
can assign blame. After all, American society has grown quite comfortable with the idea of carrying debt. The cost
of higher education has increased every year for private and public colleges, in most cases far exceeding the rate of
inflation, and most institutions can make very strong defenses for the increase in costs. In the meantime, we in the
financial aid industry have watched the demise of graduate scholarship programs, several of which used to flourish
in New York State in the 1980s and 1990s.

In a few days I will be celebrating Christmas with my family, but along with the anticipation of time off and gift-
giving, I find my mind stuck on this problem of watching our future educators amass large amounts of debt to enter
careers whose rewards will not extend into their biweekly paychecks. And I wonder what sort of holiday season
they will have.

                                                NYSFAAA Webletter Sponsor

                        If you would like to contribute to the NYSFAAA Connection
                      Please contact Laura Worley at
                                or Vince Scalise at

                                NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 6 Winter 2006
Passage of Deficit Reduction Act Brings Federal Aid Changes
By Betsy Mayotte, Director of Regulatory Compliance and Privacy, American Student Assistance

Congress has officially passed the Deficit Reduction Act (S.1932). Incorporated into the Act were provisions to
change and in some cases reauthorize parts of the Higher Education Act. The question now becomes how and when
are students and schools going to feel the impact of these changes? Here’s a look at the major modifications to the
federal aid programs:

Student loans
For the 2006-2007 academic year, the origination fee on a new Federal Family Education Loan will be reduced from
3 percent to 2 percent. On the other hand, the guarantee fee of 1 percent, which may have been waived on past
loans, must be deposited into the guarantor federal reserve account. Students receiving Federal Direct loans will
have their origination fee dropped from 4 percent to 3 percent.

Another change as a result of the newly passed bill is a switch on Stafford and PLUS loan interest rates from
variable to fixed. Beginning July 1, 2006, Stafford loans will carry a fixed interest rate of 6.8 percent, while PLUS
loans will be fixed at 8.5 percent. Additionally, graduate students will now be eligible to obtain a PLUS loan, in
their own right, without a parent.

Also beginning in 2006, schools with a cohort draft rate below 10 percent (for the past three consecutive years) will
qualify for relief when it comes to the disbursement rules. These qualified schools will be able to disburse loans in
one disbursement if the loan is only for a single semester and they will not have to wait until the 30th day of the
loan period to deliver a loan to a first-year, first-time undergraduate borrower. However, students attending
foreign school will no longer be able to request loan disbursement checks be sent directly to them and their loans
will be disbursed in multiple disbursements, instead of a single full disbursement.

Student loan borrowers who are in repayment will also start seeing some changes to their repayment options as
early as July 1, 2006. Military personnel that are activated into duty will be able to have their loans deferred for
the period of time that they are in active duty. While borrowers who are requesting forbearances will no longer
have to submit a written request for the forbearance, they will receive a written confirmation of terms from their
loan holder. Finally, borrowers will no longer be able to consolidate their loans while they are in school and they
will not be allowed to consolidate their loans with their spouse’s loans.

Borrowers who have defaulted on their student loans will now be able to rehabilitate their loans in a shorter
timeframe, as the number of required consecutive on-time payments has been reduced from 12 months to nine.
FFELP administrator American Student Assistance, which in recent years implemented the shorter rehabilitation
time period on a trial basis, has experienced great success as a result of the pilot program, with a rehabilitation
rate more than double the average rate of all other guarantors in the nation. Additionally, defaulted borrowers
who are repaying their debt in the form of wage garnishment could see an increase in the amount garnished, from
10 percent to 15 percent of their disposable pay.

Jumping ahead to the 2007-2008 award year, undergraduate and graduate loan limits will increase. Beginning on
July 1, 2007, first and second year undergraduate student loan limits will be $3,500 and $4,500, respectively. This
is an increase from previous respective limits of $2,625 and $3,500. Graduate students will have their additional
unsubsidized Stafford loan limit increased from $10,000 to $12,000. However, the aggregate loan levels for
undergraduate and graduate students will not be increasing, so the loan limit increase should not have too big of an
impact on overall Stafford loan debt.

Lastly, borrowers who have been found guilty or who plead no contest to student loan fraud will be ineligible for
aid until they pay back the fraudulently obtained loans.

School as Lender
Starting on April 1, 2006, a moratorium will keep new schools (those that have not previously disbursed a loan
under the program) from lending money.

                                 NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 7 Winter 2006
continued from page 7 “Passage of Deficit Reduction Act Brings Federal Aid Changes
Pell Grants
Beginning on July 1, 2006, Pell Grant eligible students will become eligible for additional monies in the form of
Academic Competitiveness and SMART grants. The new grants will be in addition to their Pell Grants if the student
is studying physical, life and computer sciences or mathematics, technology, engineering or certain foreign
languages. These new grants will provide eligible students with between $750 and $4,000 in additional funds.

Additional changes:

    •    Students who were previously unable to qualify for federal aid because of past drug convictions may be
         eligible for aid based on the new standards in the HEA.

    •    Families receiving federal aid from programs such as food stamps, the free school lunch program, etc., will
         have less paperwork to qualify for an auto-zero estimated family contribution.

    •    Qualified schools specializing in online courses will be able to award federal student aid even if they teach
         more than 50 percent of their courses online.

    •    Finally, FFELP guarantors and the Department of Education will offer more information to families on
         college planning, career preparation, and paying for college.

In total, the Deficit Reduction Act is projected to save the federal budget 12.7 billion dollars over the next five

For up-to-date reauthorization and budget reconciliation news, visit

Impact of Reconciliation on New York’s Graduate and Professional Students
Patrick S. Ziegler, Co-Chair, NYSFAAA Graduate and Professional Concerns Committee & Regional Marketing
Director for Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 currently working its way through Congress contains a number of
provisions which will have a significant impact on New York State’s medical and graduate health students. This
fall, over 9,000 students will enroll in nearly 30 health-related colleges and universities across the state in a variety
of disciplines. As in past years, the vast majority of those students will rely heavily on student loans to finance
their education. The types and terms of the loans they borrow, however, could be vastly different should pending
legislation be passed into law.

Perhaps the most controversial piece of legislation expected to take effect on July 1 of this year would fix Stafford
Loan and Federal Direct Student Loan (FDSL) interest rates at 6.8% for the life of the loan. Although this would
result in another interest rate increase of approximately 2%, this change would eliminate the current interest rate
cap of 8.25%. By extension, federal consolidation loans composed entirely of these “new” loans will be fixed at
6.875%, which is the weighted average of all consolidated loans rounded to the next highest 1/8 of a percent. In-
school consolidation will be eliminated meaning that this year will be the last opportunity for students—especially
those with high debt-loads—to lock in their existing loans at the current 4.875%.

Graduate students outside of the medical disciplines will benefit from a $2000 annual increase in unsubsidized
Stafford or FDSL loan limits. This would allow graduate students to borrow up to $20,500 in loan proceeds with
the first $8,500 being subsidized while in school or during qualified deferments. Additionally, all graduate
students will be eligible, for the first time, to borrow PLUS loans. This could have such a dramatic impact on
graduate student borrowing that the recent Professional Development Conference for medical school financial aid
officers featured a panel discussion on PLUS loans with representatives of three national loan providers answering
questions from the audience. While some, including Clair Jacobi, Director of Financial Aid at the New York
College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, appropriately cautioned that this proposal is not yet law and

                                       NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 8 Winter 2006
continued from page 8 “Impact or Reconciliation”
still requires some regulatory clarification from the Department of Education, the response from New York’s
financial aid community was extremely positive.
The most attractive benefit of allowing graduate students to borrow PLUS loans would be the corresponding
decrease in alternative or private loan debt. The first critical difference to the borrower is the private loan
origination fee that can be charged at the time of disbursement and/or upon entering repayment. A 3% origination
fee is mandated on all PLUS loans but can be refunded to the borrower in a number of ways. Private loan
origination fees, however, are usually based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and can exceed 10%.

Similarly, the interest rate charged the borrower can be significantly higher than the 8.5% fixed rate which will be
charged on all PLUS loans disbursed after July 1. Though it is true that in this interest rate climate borrowers may
be able to find private loan products with interest rates lower than 8.5%, the interest rate cap on private loans can
be much higher while the interest rate varies quarterly rather than annually. In addition, accrued interest may be
capitalized more often on private loans than with PLUS. For Nancy Janson, Director of Financial Aid at the
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, the availability of PLUS loans could mean significant
savings for her graduate and medical students. “Our students are increasingly relying on more expensive private
loans in order to meet their cost of attendance. If this proposal is eventually approved, it would offer our
borrowers an opportunity to subsidize their entire education with less costly, guaranteed federal loans.”

Glenda Palmer, Associate Dean for Student Services at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City agreed
adding, “Since PLUS is a federal loan program, these loans would also be eligible for federal loan consolidation.”
This will allow borrowers to have all of their graduate loans serviced at one entity, easing the sometimes
painstaking process of applying for deferments or forbearances through residency.

This year’s budget reconciliation process will, in all likelihood, impose deep cuts on all federal loan programs. At
least for New York’s graduate and professional students, the news is not all bad. A slight increase in unsubsidized
loam limits coupled with the decision to open PLUS borrowing to graduate students are both positive developments
which could yield significant savings to graduate borrowers.

Remembering Laura Dominy
Carolyn Corcoran, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, SUNY Potsdam

Region 8 and all of NYSFAAA lost a great friend and colleague when Laura Dominy, Associate Director of Financial
Aid at SUNY Plattsburgh, passed away on December 26, 2005. Laura fought a short but very courageous battle with
cancer and died with her wonderful family surrounding her. Kerrie Cooper and I were fortunate enough to be
there and see Laura that one last time and it was very obvious that Laura was surrounded by loving family and
friends. I know for a fact that Todd Moravec, Kerry Lubold and the financial aid staff at SUNY Plattsburgh gave
Laura their support and were constantly visiting her and for that, I want to thank them.

Laura was definitely a “North Country girl”, having been born and raised in Plattsburgh. She attended the Campus
School at SUNY Plattsburgh and graduated from Plattsburgh High School in 1972. She then went on to attend SUNY
Plattsburgh, graduating in 1976 with a degree in Biology. She worked at SUNY Plattsburgh for 28 years, as a Work-
Study student in the Bursar’s Office, then as a graduate assistant in the EOP Office and from there found her way to
the financial aid world. I can only imagine how much the folks at SUNY Plattsburgh are going to miss her
experience and guidance.

Laura was extremely active in both SUNYFAP and NYSFAAA, serving and chairing committees, serving as Chair for
Region 8 more than once, serving as Exec Council representative for Region 8 and earning our Regional Service
award more than once!
It was great to have Laura at Region 8 meetings because she had such history and memory of NYSFAAA and we could
always look to her and say “Laura, you should remember this” and we could quiz her about what happened when
and who worked at which school when and what happened at which conference when…..we’re really going to miss

I just want to say that as a friend and colleague of Laura’s, it was more than touching to read the different tributes from financial
aid colleagues that came across the list serves when news of her death surfaced. For each person who wrote something, I can tell

                                        NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 9 Winter 2006
continued from page 9 “Remembering Laura Dominy“
you and many others that Laura always spoke fondly of all of you and had tremendous respect for her financial aid
colleagues. For those of you who knew her, you know that she never, and I do mean never, had a bad word to say
about anyone. She was such a giving person, volunteering for Hospice (there would be mornings when she would
come into the office after sitting up all night with a dying patient), for the Human Society and for her church, the
First Baptist Church of Plattsburgh, where she started and directed the wonderful hand bell choir.

On the day of her memorial service, the church was packed and it was standing room only with at least two
overflow rooms. Her family voiced that they had no idea in regard to the large number of lives that Laura had
touched. For those of there, it was a wonderful, music-filled ceremony, with lots of laughter and tears. It was a
touching celebration of Laura’s life. I miss her and I think in the next few months, as Region 8 members meet more
frequently over conference planning, we’ll all think of her and miss her more. We’ll miss her knowledge and
expertise, her humor, her quiet, unassuming presence, her deep laugh and as John View pointed out, we’ll miss her
wonderful smile.

Donations in Laura Dominy’s memory may be made to:

The Laura J. Dominy Scholarship Fund
SUNY Plattsburgh
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681

Checks should be made payable to “Plattsburgh College Foundation”.

Budget 2006-07 Executive Proposals for TAP
How Does This Impact Schools in New York State?

Campus must “Pre-finance” TAP for GED and Ability to Benefit Test Students
   TAP eligible institutions would have to defer (“pre-finance”) tuition in the amount of TAP for students who do not
   have a high school diploma (including those with GED’s or who pass ATB’s) for 1 time TAP award recipients in
   06-07. The eligible institution would be paid the TAP award (plus interest) once the student completed 24 credits.
   1. GED and ATB students enroll mainly in two year or shorter length programs.
   2. The eligible institution must defer tuition up to the amount of TAP.
   3. The student must complete 24 credits within the academic year at which time HESC would issue payment to
       the campus in the amount deferred by the campus, plus interest.
   4. GED and ATB students tend to be academically at risk. Students who fail to complete 24 credit hours would
       not receive TAP and the campus would have to bill the student at the end of the second semester or forego
       the revenue.
   5. Open admissions institutions might not be able to limit their risk under this proposal by selective admissions.
   6. Home-schooled students would be subject to this proposal since they do not have a high school diploma.
   7. Taxpayers are currently protected from program abuse as statute already stipulates that TAP recipients are
       limited to the equivalent of 6 semester payments for associate degrees and 8 semester payments for bachelor
   8. Most GED and ATB students take reduced course-loads and would be subject to this budget proposal which
       limits students taking fewer than 15 credits to 80% of their calculated TAP (see below).
   9. Because the proposal requires that the tuition charge be deferred, the campus does not have an option to
       replace the postponed TAP payment with other sources of assistance.
   10. Operationally, how do eligible institutions track transfer students who subsequently complete the required 24
       credit hours. Would the original campus receive reimbursement once the credits are completed at the new

Students must earn 30 credit hours in the previous two semesters to receive an ‘accelerated’ payment,.
Under this budget proposal, this option would be limited to students who complete 30 credits in the semesters prior to
the summer term.

                                   NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 10 Winter 2006
continued from page 10 “Budget 2006-07 Executive Proposals for TAP”
          1. Students attend summer sessions to catch-up and accelerate.
          2. The legislative language states that the student must have completed 30 credits at the institution where
             he/she wishes to pursue summer study. This eliminates TAP for students who transfer with the intent of
             beginning in the summer.

For purposes of calculating TAP, redefine full time as 15 credits per term. Students enrolled for 12 or more but
less than 15 credits would receive 80% of the full TAP award.
        TAP was created for full time students. The current regulation defines full time as 12 credit hours per
    semester; the standard full time definition of most eligible institutions. Partial or prorated TAP awards were never
    awarded. Under this proposal, TAP awards would be prorated if a student registers for fewer than 15 credits per
    semester. The budget also proposes that a student who completed less than 15 credits in a previous semester
    would also receive a pro-rated award even if enrolled for 15 or more credits in the current term (by intent, first
    semester, first year students should be exempted in this proposed regulation).

          1. Students must register for at least 12 credits to receive TAP.
          2. The lowest income TAP recipients with AGI (family incomes) below approximately $24K would be
             responsible for the remaining 20% of the full (not prorated) TAP award.
          3. Because the reduced award is 80% of the original award, the dollar impact is more significant for lower
             income recipients. Lower income recipients receive disproportionately larger award reductions than
             higher income students because lower income students receive larger awards.
          4. An estimate already shows that a significant percentage of the entire TAP population would receive
             prorated awards.
          5. In a financial aid package, the shortfall could be covered with additional unsubsidized student loan funds.
          6. Many students register for fewer than 15 credits because of family or employment responsibilities,
             especially in two-year programs. These students also often work more than half-time and reduce their
             course load to earn much needed income.

Strengthen Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements for first time TAP recipients in 2006-07
Students are already required to demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress by accumulating a specified number of
credits and achieving a specified cumulative grade point average each term.

Current and Proposed Standards of Satisfaction for Baccalaureate Degree:

 Before being certified for this
                                           1st    2nd     3rd        4th         5th         6th         7th   8th   9th   10th

 Minimum Credit            Current          0      3       9         18          30          45          60    75    90    105
                          Proposed          0      6      15         21          33          45          60    75    90    105

 Minimum GPA:              Current          0      .5     .75        1.2         2.0         2.0         2.0   2.0   2.0   2.0

                          Proposed          0     1.3     1.7        2.0         2.0         2.0         2.0   2.0   2.0   2.0

Current and Proposed Standards of Satisfaction for Associate Degree and Certificate Programs:

 Before being certified for this
 payment:                                  1st    2nd          3rd         4th         5th         6th

 Minimum Credit                Current      0       3           9          18          30          45
                             Proposed       0       6          12          18          30          45

 Minimum GPA:                  Current      0      .5          .75         1.3         2.0         2.0

                             Proposed       0      1.3         1.5         1.7         2.0         2.0

                                         NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 11 Winter 2006
Region 1 Catches the Spirit of the Holidays
Kevin Ryan, University at Buffalo & Region 1 Chairperson

NYSFAAA Region 1 held their holiday meeting and luncheon on
December 15, 2005 at Harry's Harbour Grille. It was a very
well attended meeting with over 90 NYSFAAA members in
attendance. The meeting included updates from Executive
Council, HESC and Committee Chairs. This year, for the first
time Region 1 asked each attendee to donate an unwrapped
child's toy to be given to the Buffalo Chapter of Toys for Tots.
The out pouring of generosity was overwhelming! We ended
up with a pile of toys for children of every age! The good
people of Region 1 really came through as they did their small
part to try to help the local area children enjoy the holiday
season. Thank you to all who participated!

                                                         NYSFAAA Webletter Sponsor

Blow it Up or Blow it Off? - Clues for Handling Conflict Resolution
By Allyson Wynne – Citbank – The Student Loan Corporation

Conflicts are not uncommon to social settings. Misunderstandings and communication problems are one of the most
widespread sources of turmoil in the workplace. Though conflict may be inevitable and unavoidable at times, there
are ways to figure out how to cope with and manage on-the-job conflicts. The following are some strategies to
effectively deal with conflict situations that may arise in the workplace.

Separate the person from the problem – It is easy to get caught up in interpersonal disputes. If you are able to take
the person out of the situation and focus on the situation itself, you will be more proactive in your approach versus
reacting to the behaviors of another individual.

Exchange perceptions – You need to understand my position. I need to understand your position. I may not
necessarily agree, but I do need to understand where you are coming from. Think of a quarter. When holding it up
in front of another person, you both see a quarter, right? But, you may be looking at heads, while the other person
is looking at tails. It’s the same thing (still a quarter), but you both are seeing it from different sides. Help me
understand where you are coming from and how you perceive the issue.

Acknowledge emotions – Let the individual know that you recognize how they are feeling about the situation. Let
them know how you are feeling as well. Ask yourself the following questions: Are you sure that the other person is
really the problem and that you are not overreacting? Have you always experienced difficulty with the same type
of person or actions? Does a pattern exist for you in your interactions with coworkers or customers? Do you
recognize that you have “hot buttons” that are easily pushed? Always start with self-examination to determine that
the object of your attention really is a difficult person’s actions.

Use gestures – This signals your desire for a mutually acceptable solution. The caution, however, is not to let it get
too personal. Take me to lunch. Send me an email. Make a call to ask about another issue I have a stake in. Find
a way for everyone to “save face.” The objective is not to make me lose or to embarrass me.

Focus on interests, not positions
Ask why – Try to get at the motives and values that are driving my position. “Why does that concern you so much?”

                                NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 12 Winter 2006
continued from page 12 “Handling Conflict Resolution”
Deal with specifics and examples – Challenge generalizations by asking for specifics and examples. “What do you
mean by that?” “Could you give me an example?”
Find both common and differing interests – “What are the things that we agree on here?” “So the real root of our
differences is in this…?” Look forward, not back – Don’t deal with past animosities or mistakes. The object is to
find a way to make it work in the future. “I don’t want to go back to that. I’d rather deal with what we can do

Invent options for mutual gain.
Brainstorm possibilities – The more ideas that get surfaced, the better the chances of finding a mutually-acceptable
solution. Try to avoid instantly shooting down ideas.
See the situation through the other person’s eyes – How might you see and handle the situation if roles were
reversed? What would be my concerns if I were in your shoes?
Look for mutual gains – What might be helpful to us both? What would be most helpful to the organization?
Look for mutual gains – What might be helpful to us both? What would be most helpful to the organization?
Look for win-win opportunities – Is there a side issue or a small point on which we can agree and build some

Keep in mind that most people will not change their unpleasant styles of relating to others. Therefore, the person
who deals with them must learn to change the way in which they respond to these types of people. There is great
value to be gained when we take the time to try to understand another’s viewpoint. By changing our attitude
toward them we can find a wealth of knowledge to improve our own ability to work with people.

Getting away from conflict in the workplace is not always possible. The key is not allowing yourself to be reactive
when conflict situations do arise – choose to be proactive by implementing the suggestions outlined above and you
will be on your way to a more effective resolution.

NYSFAAA Position Paper on Governor’s Budget – 2006

In presenting his 2006-2007 Executive Budget the Governor highlighted his commitment to excellence.

In 2005-06 college enrollments in New York reached an all time high of nearly 1,135,000 students, the largest
college enrollment ever.

However, the Governor’s budget proposal seeks to cut the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which is the mainstay
of financial aid for New York State students. TAP is a direct contributor to keeping students in New York State
schools and living and working in the state when they leave school.

The Governor states further that “Overall graduation rates at our private colleges and SUNY campuses compare
favorably to peer institutions in other states”. Students who have a college degree earn $1M more in their lifetime;
this translates to increased state tax revenue.

The Governor is proposing changes that are contrary to the original legislative intent of TAP. These cuts could
devastate educational opportunities for many students for whom education is the path to a better and more
productive life.

In twelve years the maximum TAP award has only increased $875. Therefore, the amount designated for TAP should
be increased, not reduced.

The Governor’s proposed $190 million dollar cut to the TAP budget is perceived to be a disincentive to students
who later chose to enter college after receiving a GED, students who are looking for a second chance by taking
developmental classes at a community college, adult students who must support themselves and/or a family while
attending college, and finally, students who are trying to break the cycle of poverty.

The Governor’s proposals run contrary to the conclusions reached by the Commission on New York State Student
Financial Aid in December 1999. This blue ribbon panel created and appointed by the Legislature concluded that:

                                       NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 13 Winter 2006
continued from page 13 “NYSFAAA Position Paper on Governor’s Budget 2006”
         1. New York State must reaffirm its dedication to the basic principles that underlie student financial aid.
            These principles hold that the young men and women of every generation deserve an opportunity to
            fulfill their innate talents regardless of economic status, that education without universal
            opportunity is elitist and inequitable, and that financial assistance is the greatest investment the
            State can make in its own future;
         2. There is little that is fundamentally or intrinsically wrong with the basic programs in place, like the
            Tuition Assistance Program; it is their funding, uneven distribution and lack of cohesive planning
            and coordination that are undermining original intent and effectiveness, and
         3. Financial aid amounts and distribution cannot be looked at in a vacuum, insulated from tuition and
            other higher education funding by the State and Federal governments.

The impact of the Governor’s proposal is to severely alter the original intent of the TAP program. This proposal
could devastate the state's economy indirectly and dash the hopes of those seeking access to a better life and
higher education.

Financial aid professionals throughout the state would agree that some reforms can be made to the Tuition
Assistance Program which will make it more effective, efficient, and equitable. We stand willing to work with you
to achieve those goals.

Let’s look for the “cohesive plan” for reform advocated by the 1999 Commission. Let’s not take the “band-aid”
approach to reforming the program as proposed by the Governor. And most of all let’s protect the most vulnerable
of our citizens from in their efforts to obtain a higher education and a better life!

  Joan D. Warren,The Julliard School, NYSFAAA 1st VP for Membership

  Thanks to a record-setting attendance at our successful annual
  conference held last October, plus exceptional training and other
  activities at regional meetings, NYSFAAA now has 1324 members, a
  nearly 10% increase above last year! Member services improved
  greatly throughout 2005 with the implementation of on-line event
  registration, enhanced payment services, and easier access to             NYSFAAA 2006 Conference
  membership statistical data for your regional officers.
  I am very pleased to report that credit cards are now being
  accepted for membership and event registration payments! Now
  when you submit your membership renewal application or register
  for the Novice Program or the Annual Conference, you will see an
  option to pay by credit card (Master Card or Visa) at the top of the
  invoice. With a single credit card transaction, you can pay for as
  many as twelve invoices. Once the transaction is processed, all
  invoices will be credited, giving members immediate access to
  member-only services. If you submit an application or event
  registration, and later decide that you’d like to pay by credit card,
  go to the Payment Services section (located in the Member Services
  area of the NYSFAAA website). You’ll see a new option: “Invoice
  Payment Options - pay by credit card” listed first. Many thanks go
  to Samantha Veeder, NYSFAAA State Treasurer, for her hard work in
  setting up this process with our service providers.
  As always, your questions, concerns, and recommendations regarding
  member services are always welcomed. Please e-mail me anytime
  at: Best wishes to all for a wonderful New

                                    NYSFAAA Connection Newsletter Page 14 Winter 2006

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