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The Elusive Answer: Researching the Answer to a Policy Question


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Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA) Federal Issues Committee Fall 2011 Conference Presentation

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The Elusive Answer: Researching the Answer to a Policy Question

  1. 1. The Elusive Answer Researching the answer to a policy question.WASFAA Federal Issues Committee Fall 2011
  2. 2. Federal Issues Committee Michelle Curtis, UW-Madison Melissa Haberman, UW Colleges Susan Johnson, UW-Whitewater David Sandra, UW-Madison Your name could be here, contact a committee member!
  3. 3. Agenda Getting Started  Policy & Regulations When to Ask  Phrasing Your Question  Do some research Who To Ask  Everyone!
  4. 4. Getting StartedWhere Do Policy Regulations Come FromTypes of LegislationLaws, Regulations, Guidance, PolicyNegotiated RulemakingCode of Federal RegulationsSpending Bills and Other Legislation
  5. 5. Types of Legislation
  6. 6. Laws, Regulations, Guidance, Policy
  7. 7. Negotiated Rulemaking Congressional laws are often passed without detailed instructions for implementation. Department of Ed issues guidance on how to implement. Draft regulations are issued in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
  8. 8. Negotiated Rulemaking The public is allowed a period to comment on the proposed rules. Committee of negotiators discusses draft regulations and ALL comments submitted.  Sometimes called “reg neg” Final guidance is issued in a Federal Register. (Looks a lot like the NPRM.)
  9. 9. Code of Federal Regulations Title 34 CFR is Education  Part 600-699 Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education (668 Student Assistance General Provisions)  Subparts 668.34 Satisfactory Progress 34 CFR 668.34 OR § 668.34 § 668.34(c)(3)(iii)(B)(4)(d) “Institutions that evaluate satisfactory academic progress annually or less frequently than at the end of each payment period.”
  10. 10. FY 2012 Appropriations 1. Labor-H Subcommittees make FY budget proposal 2. Appropriations committee vote 3. Full Senate/House vote 4. Each has different draft. New committee created with members of house and senate to reconcile bill. 5. Full Congress votes on bill.
  11. 11. When to Ask  Phrase your question  Do some research  Start asking questions It is always ok to ask questions!
  12. 12. Phrase Your Question Know your institutional type Use key words and topics Use “Ctrl + F” to search
  13. 13. Institutional Type  Know your sector  Public/Technical/Private/Proprietary  2year/4year  Know your term type (2011 FSA 3-44)  Standard  Semesters/trimesters/quarters  Nonstandard  Credit hour/clock hour  Non-term  Know your Pell formula (2011 FSA 3-47)UW Colleges is a 2year, public, standard term, formula 1 institution.Marquette is a 4year, private, standard term, formula 1 institution.
  14. 14. Key Words Census date – search “disbursement” Undocumented students – search “citizenship” Changes to marital status – search “household size”
  15. 15. Do Some Research IFAP NASFAA IRS Dept of Ed HEAB
  16. 16. IFAPInformation for Financial Aid Professionals FSA Handbook iLibrary Reference guides Code of Federal Regulations Web based training (FSA Coach) FSA Assessments And more!!
  17. 17. FSA Handbook Click on “Current Handbook” on the right side of the screen. Application and Verification Guide, plus 6 volumes. Which volume do you select? Use the FSA Handbook Cheat Sheet to help you! If the volume you need is not available, check last year’s handbook. . . But BE CAREFUL, information may not be current.
  18. 18. Searching the HandbookBe careful how you phrase your search!Searching the AVG: “Simplified” 39 hits vs. “Simplified needs” 5hitsSearching Volume 3: “aggregate” 68 hits vs. “aggregate limit” 10hitsEven with this knowledge, you might stillhave searches with too many hits. . .
  19. 19. Searching the Handbook cont’d USE the Table of Contents!!! Each volume has a separate PDF table of contents Volume 5, chapter 2 “post-withdrawal” – 134 hits “post-withdrawal disbursement” – 129 hits Searching table of contents, “post-withdrawal disbursement” 6 hits, all in the same section – best to go to that section!
  20. 20. iLibrary Current and archived publications related to Federal Student Aid Sorted by: Program Type (i.e., Pell, Perkins) Functional Type (i.e., Verification, PJ) Document Type (i.e., DCL, ISIR Guide)
  21. 21. Other Search Tips Check out IFAP “Hot Topics” and Information Pages for issues such as NPC and Gainful Employment Check out NASFAA “Featured Topics” for Program Integrity Resources and the latest Congressional Acts State issues? Go to HEAB site “Information for Financial Aid Administrators” for the Monthly Memo and Policies and Procedures Manual
  22. 22. Start Asking Questions Your institutional colleagues WASFAA members NASFAA AskRegs Finaid-L Department of Ed Trainers NSLDS COD Loan servicers
  23. 23. Federal Services COD problems (loan origination, promissory notes not matching up) NSLDS problems (transfer monitoring files, help reporting an overpayment) Loan Servicing problems (student ret’d funds to both school & loan servicer) FAA Access issues (log in problems, support for ISIR Analysis Tool & R2T4 on the web)All numbers found here:
  24. 24. More Resources Dept of Ed phone book
  25. 25. Regulatory Questions Ask Regs on NASFAA Finaid-L listserv Federal Trainers Region V Office location: Chicago, IL States: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin (312) 730-1700
  26. 26. Need More Information FSA Handbook margin notes Dear Colleague Letter IFAP DCL Archive Author email listed at bottom of letter
  27. 27. Policy Development WASFAA colleagues Finaid-L NASFAA Professional Practice Tools Policies & Procedure Manual templates
  28. 28. Organize your findings Keep emails in folders to refer back to later Start a file for each type of policy question Add notes to your Policy & Procedure Manual
  29. 29. Converse with ColleaguesNetwork with WASFAA members!WASFAA meals – sit with someone newInterest sessions – ask your neighborReceptions and activities – strike up aconversationEmail or call WASFAA colleagues
  30. 30. Converse with ColleaguesNetwork with WASFAA members and otherfinancial aid administratorsTry Twitter #WASFAA #finaid #SachatConnect on LinkedInGoogle Plus
  31. 31. Federal Issues Committee Michelle Curtis, UW-Madison Melissa Haberman, UW Colleges Susan Johnson, UW-Whitewater David Sandra, UW-Madison Your name could be here, contact a committee member!