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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: Page 5
Jul 12, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the policy team digs into the details from the Department of Education's first of two public hearings on the reopening of negotiations on two Obama-era regulations: borrower defense to repayment and gainful employment. Megan outlines NASFAA's comments on the intent to rewrite the two rules, and Justin chimes in on what issues could come up in the process moving forward. With Congress back in session, Stephen gives an update on forthcoming budget hearings and how much lawmakers might consider cutting from education in the federal budget. Justin, Megan, and Stephen also discuss the most recent data from the FSA Data Center, which included information on student loan defaults, FAFSA applications, and more. Plus, Justin shares some interesting tidbits from the inside operations of ED, and Megan talks about how a human chain saved a family from a rip tide.

Jun 29, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team discussed absolutely no useful policy information, and instead drew back the curtains during a live session at the National Conference in San Diego. Conference attendees were able to join Justin, Megan, Stephen, and Allie for a live recording of the podcast, and see the process the team goes through each week to put the show together. The team was also joined by guest host Chandra Owen of Michigan State University, who came out on top in the Super-Fan Showdown. Listen to the full podcast for more on the creation of "Off The Cuff" and our favorite parts of the conference, and get to know your hosts a little better. "Off The Cuff" will be taking a one-week hiatus. Check back for the next episode on July 14!

Jun 22, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin and Megan dive into recently-released guidance from the Department of Education on year-round Pell Grant implementation, and how it will affect schools and students. The team discusses what we know so far about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's intended pick to head FSA – Dr. A Wayne Johnson – and Allie outlines recent developments with the DACA program. The team picks the winners of the "Off The Cuff" super-fan quiz and announces who will join us on stage in San Diego. Plus, Justin and Megan share their pre-conference rituals, and their favorite past conference locations.

Jun 15, 2017

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team dives into the details of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' recent announcement to rewrite the borrower defense and gainful employment regulations, and looks at what action schools should take with gainful employment disclosure deadlines approaching. The decision came amid criticism from some lawmakers and advocacy groups, and support from others – but it's still unclear exactly how the re-opening of negotiated rulemaking will impact students and schools. Allie also gives an update on lawmaker concerns over ED's plans to overhaul the federal student loan servicing system, particularly the plans to move to a single servicer. Megan outlines two letters NASFAA recently sent to ED on the 2018-19 draft FAFSA and the wind down of the Perkins Loan Program, while Stephen gives us a sneak peek of what's to come at the "Fight for Financial Aid" rally at the conference this month.

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.

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