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NASFAA's Off the Cuff Podcast

Hosted by NASFAA staff, this weekly podcast offers an unscripted view of hot financial aid and higher education-related topics. Justin Draeger and co-hosts will discuss what's happening inside the beltway to give you an insider's perspective.
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Now displaying: Category: Higher Education
Jun 8, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie discuss how while much of the energy in Washington, D.C. has been funneled into former FBI Director James Comey's testimony, the Senate also questioned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on the department's proposed 2018 budget. Toward the end of the hearing, DeVos and one senator also engaged in a somewhat confusing exchange about when year-round Pell will be implemented. Meanwhile, talk has been surfacing about a potential re-opening of negotiated rulemaking for two Obama-era regulations: borrower defense to repayment, and gainful employment. Justin dives into what that would mean for schools, and where NASFAA stands. Plus, Justin makes the case for why he should have a book deal documenting his time at NASFAA.

May 25, 2017

This week on “Off The Cuff,” the team rehashes details from a busy week on Capitol Hill and within the Department of Education following the resignation of James Runcie, former chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid. Runcie’s resignation came less than two days before he was scheduled to testify before a joint hearing of two House Oversight subcommittees on improper payments with NASFAA President Justin Draeger and the Inspector General’s office. It was reported that Runcie resigned after a clash with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos concerning his requested appearance at the hearing. The Trump administration this week also released its proposed fiscal year 2018 budget, which included significant cuts to federal student aid and the elimination of several programs. Catch up on all the action this week. “Off The Cuff” is taking a one week hiatus – join us again on June 9 for our next episode!

May 18, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discusses details from a leaked version of President Donald Trump's forthcoming education budget, including steep cuts to certain student aid programs, and the elimination of Public Service Loan Forgiveness, among other significant changes. Allie fills us in on a new bipartisan bill that would do away with the student unit record ban, but put certain limitations on the data collection and usage. Justin and Megan dive into feedback on the implementation of Year-Round Pell, and Stephen outlines the recommendations in NASFAA's new report on improving oversight and transparency within Federal Student Aid. Plus, Sen. Ben Sasse gives us more Twitter gold, and Justin shares which social media platform he thinks can give NASFAA a leg up.

May 11, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Megan, Allie, and Jill discuss Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' recent appearances, including a speech at Arizona State University where she questioned reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, instead appearing to favor starting from scratch. Jill gives an overview of the FAFSA verification requirements ED outlined for 2018-19, once the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is again fully functional, and Allie recaps an update on where the Department of Education stands on plans to create a single loan servicing portal. Plus, Megan tells us about the White House's new furry friend "Marlon Bundo," and Jill makes the case for attending goat yoga.

May 4, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie discuss the details of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's hearing on the FAFSA data breach. During the hearing, federal officials announced that the DRT will be up and running again for the next FAFSA cycle, but with some changes that could complicate things for students and financial aid offices. Stephen also explains the nuances of approval for the year-round Pell Grant in Congress' recent budget deal, and how funding for the Pell program could impact awards for the 2017-18 award year and beyond. Plus, Justin sells us on why "shower wipes" are a great alternative when you're on the move, and Stephen tells us about a "Mission Impossible"-style test thievery in Kentucky.

Apr 27, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin and Allie discuss the Department of Education's recent action to provide relief for verification documentation in light of the continued IRS Data Retrieval Tool outage. Justin gives an overview of the latest with the federal budget for fiscal year 2017, and what we can expect for student aid funding for this year and next. Allie discusses an apparent stalling in debt relief for students who have submitted borrower defense claims, and Justin explains a new $30,000 contract ED has purchased for training to conduct staff reductions. Plus, Justin looks into what insight Facebook ads can give into people's interests, and tells us about NASFAA's "Run Like Pell" Ragnar team, version 2.0.  

Apr 20, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin and Allie are joined by special guest Brad Barnett – senior associate director of financial aid and scholarships at James Madison University, and NASFAA Board treasurer. Justin, Allie, and Brad discuss Congress' return from recess next week, and how soon lawmakers might come to a compromise on a budget deal – perhaps including year-round Pell. Justin and Allie also dive into the details of the first DREAMer deported under the Trump administration and what that could mean for other DACA-protected individuals. Plus, Brad shares his experience teaching a popular course on personal money management and financial literacy.

Apr 13, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discusses Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' new picks to fill out nine hires within the Department of Education, and her recent action to withdraw several Obama-era policy memos focused on improving student loan servicing. Justin, Allie, Megan, and Stephen also discuss New York state's free tuition plan and its implications for students, as well as the potential for year-round Pell to make a comeback. Plus, Megan shares some insights from NASFAA's recent survey about the impact of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool outage.

Apr 6, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discusses the Senate's decision to exercise the nuclear option, further eroding collegiality in the upper chamber. Stephen and Megan dive into the possibility of another government shutdown as Congress continues to work toward a budget resolution. The team also detail new pieces of legislation aimed at extending the Perkins Loan program and simplifying the FAFSA for some applicants, and Pell Grant restoration for students whose schools closed. Plus, why did muppets descend on Capitol Hill recently?

Mar 30, 2017

This week on "Off the Cuff," Justin and Megan discuss the political implications of the House's failure to pass a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, as well as what the outcome means for action on federal higher education policy. The team discusses the latest information on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool outage, and potential cuts to higher education programs for fiscal year 2017. Plus, how did one man end up swimming alone with polar bears, and what exactly does the double-hand-raised emoji mean?

Mar 23, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team dives into the details of President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal, and whether any of the plans contained in the "skinny budget" have legs to come to fruition. Megan gives an update on developments with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Outage, and Allie and Stephen discuss NASFAA's new "Fight for Financial Aid" campaign. Plus, which government official has recently taken an interest in student government politics, and what in the world is the Washington Wizards mascot?

Mar 15, 2017

This Week on "Off The Cuff," the policy team gives us the latest information and new developments concerning the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Outage, including a letter NASFAA sent to the Department of Education, urging officials to give some reprieve while the tool is down. Stephen gives a preview of what might come in President Donald Trump's "skinny budget," including potentially devastating cuts to some student aid programs, and Allie fills us in on two gainful employment lawsuits. Plus, learn who's NASFAA's resident "cockroach killer," who was #TeamRaven and #TeamVanessa for this season of The Bachelor...or who was just #TeamSanity. 

Mar 10, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team dives into issues surrounding the IRS Data Retrieval Tool outage, which officials say could last several weeks. Justin and Megan discuss ED's recent decision to push back two gainful employment deadlines. Stephen gives an update on what to expect in the federal budget, while Allie outlines a new bill focused on employer tax breaks for helping with student loans. Plus, Justin shares his pick for an entertaining and "Sasse" Twitter feed from one U.S. Senator.

Mar 2, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Megan, and Allie are joined by Director of Policy Analysis Karen McCarthy, who explains the Department of Education's recent actions regarding verification documentation for non-filers. Justin and Megan discuss new backing out this week from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who announced his support for the year-round Pell Grant. Allie sits down with NASFAA members who spent a day on Capitol Hill advocating for student aid programs during NASFAA's Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo. Plus, guess which current White House official used to have a gig as the White House Easter Bunny?

Feb 23, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discusses new developments for DACA-eligible recipients from the Trump administration, and makes predictions for what we'll see in President Donald Trump's State of the Union address and federal budget. Allie fills us in on research on state investments in higher education and whether college is "the great equalizer." Plus, have Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell stumbled on a new way to pay for college?

Feb 16, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team welcomes Megan back to the podcast, and discusses developing news surrounding DACA students and potential deportation. Justin shares details of his recent trip to the SASFAA conference, and talks about the highlights of NASFAA's recent comments on Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Allie talks about the "Michelle Obama effect" on FAFSA completions, and Stephen gives an update on regulations covered in the Congressional Review Act. Plus, Ashton Kutcher makes an appearance on Capitol Hill, and a "Trumpagator" is surfacing in South Carolina.

Feb 9, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie talk about the lingering political rifts caused by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' final confirmation and her first speech to the ED staff as Secretary. The team dissects loan and simplification policy proposals put forward in a Congressional hearing this week and Justin and Stephen give an update on regulatory repeals and a (non)update on non-tax filers.

Feb 2, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie talk about developments in Betsy DeVos' nomination to become secretary of education. Justin and Stephen discuss some higher education-related questions senators submitted to DeVos after her confirmation hearing, and Allie reviews news that Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. may be leading a higher education task force for the Trump administration. Finally, the team discusses a protest-turned-riot at UC Berkeley that pushed President Trump to threaten to revoke the university's federal funding.

Jan 26, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discusses President Donald Trump's inauguration, and how the new administration is coming together. Stephen and Justin give an update on the confirmation of Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, as well as other education political appointees moving in. Karen breaks down the second package of borrower defense procedural rules, which took immediate effect, and Allie discusses state intervention in lawsuits with ACICS and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Plus, Justin ponders what was in the Tiffany box First Lady Melania Trump gave to former First Lady Michelle Obama, and everyone debates whether Dippin' Dots is actually "real" ice cream. 

Jan 19, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie discuss Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and what we can expect to see moving forward. The team discusses breaking news on a lawsuit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed against Navient. Justin dives into the implications of the Department of Education's recent announcement of a data error on repayment rates in the College Scorecard, and Jill breaks down a clarification from ED on its intent on state authorization reciprocity.

Jan 12, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Karen digs into questions around how financial aid administrators answer tax-related questions for non-filers. The policy team talks about Congress's recent "vote-a-rama" and how a future budget reconciliation bill could impact higher education. Justin and Stephen discuss the ongoing confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks, and Allie and Karen dive into the Department of Education's release of final gainful employment rates. Plus, the team shares their top higher education policy hopes for 2017.

Jan 5, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie are joined by NASFAA policy analyst Jill Desjean, who summarizes the Department of Education's new regulations on state authorization and distance education. Justin and Stephen discuss what's to come with the new Congress and a budget deal, as well as some areas of higher education policy that a Trump administration could focus on. Plus, Justin and Stephen share their favorite moments from the 115th Congress's swearing-in, and Jill tells us about a different kind of registry in the UK.

Dec 15, 2016

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie recap news from the past week, including a letter NASFAA sent to ED about FAFSA applicants who have not filed taxes, the Department of Education's decision to finalize the revocation of ACICS' federal recognition, and its new student loan counseling experiment. Justin and Stephen also discuss a report from the Congressional Budget Office with some concerning recommendations on how to reduce federal spending. Plus, Allie shares a strange encounter in the St. Louis airport, and Justin tells us about a rogue, self-driving Uber car. Have a happy holiday season, and thank you for all you do for students and the profession. We'll see you in 2017!

Dec 8, 2016

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie are joined by Karen McCarthy, NASFAA's director of policy analysis, who discusses the highlights from the recent Federal Student Aid Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals. The team is also joined by Liz Clark, director of federal affairs at NACUBO, who shares her thoughts on why college endowments are seeing a spike in scrutiny from lawmakers and President-Elect Donald Trump. Plus, Stephen shares his experience watching members of Congress compete for new offices, and Justin tells us why Facebook isn't "cool" anymore. 

Dec 1, 2016

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin, Stephen, and Allie discuss what a Betsy DeVos tenure as Education Secretary could mean for higher education policy. Justin and Stephen examine the future of DACA under the Trump administration, and Allie breaks down a recent GAO report looking into the costs associated with income-driven repayment plans. Plus, Justin gives a few updates from the Federal Student Aid Training Conference for Financial Aid Professionals, and Stephen takes on fake news on Facebook.

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