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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: 2021
Mar 4, 2021

This week on “Off The Cuff,” Allie discusses Miguel Cardona’s recent confirmation as Education Secretary and Justin highlights a letter NASFAA signed onto touting the importance for the newly appointed secretary to implement changes made to the FAFSA in an efficient and timely manner. Allie and Justin then cover the latest news surrounding institutional accountability and the status of ACICS, an embattled accrediting agency. Jill provides an update on the latest news surrounding HEERF and HEERF II, while Megan dives into the latest on the state of play for the House-passed COVID relief package currently being taken up by the Senate. Plus, Justin wants to know: Do you think the pandemic will lead to permanent changes for financial aid operations?

Feb 25, 2021

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin kicks off the episode detailing NASFAA’s position on widespread student loan forgiveness. The group then covers the latest on the nomination process for Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Department of Education (ED), and Justin and Megan discuss the appointment of James Kvaal as ED under secretary, where he will focus on the department’s higher education efforts. Plus, Karen informs institutions on what they need to know regarding the temporary expanded eligibility so more college students can access SNAP benefits.

Feb 18, 2021

This week on a special edition of "Off The Cuff," Justin is joined by three higher education experts who discuss all things regarding student loan forgiveness. Our guests — Tamara Hiler of Third Way, Preston Cooper of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and Persis Yu of the National Consumer Law Center — share their opinions on how much, if any, student loan debt should be forgiven, as well as who it should be targeted toward. Justin asks each guest who wins and loses if various proposals are adopted, and how to equitably implement such policies. The guests dissect the main benefits of widespread debt forgiveness and what should happen with the students who will take on loans again next year. Plus, Justin wants to know: In the guests’ vision of the future, what will the federal student loan landscape look like?

Feb 11, 2021

This week on "Off The Cuff," the team breaks down the education portion of the fiscal year 2021 budget reconciliation bill that would provide nearly $40 billion in COVID-19 relief aid to institutions of higher education, as well as a provision that would make changes to the federal 90/10 rule. Allie then details a recent report from The Washington Post that found the Department of Education disproportionately selects Black and Latino students for verification, and Megan recaps the latest from Biden administration officials outlining their priorities for higher education at the Community College Legislative Summit. And don’t forget to post on social media all month in celebration of Financial Aid Awareness Month — using the hashtag #FinAidFeb.

Feb 4, 2021

This week on "Off The Cuff," Justin and the group recap the highlights from the confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee for Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Education. Allie then covers changes and new additions to both the Senate and House education committees, including the controversy regarding the appointment of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to the House Committee on Education and Labor. Megan then provides an update on the status of Biden’s coronavirus relief package and how Congress could pass the legislation. Plus, Justin quizzes the group on this year’s Super Bowl.

Jan 26, 2021

This week on a special edition of “Off The Cuff,” Justin is joined by a trio of financial aid administrators who discussed all things Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and emergency aid. Our special guests share how their institutions worked through their first batch of HEERF funding, in what ways updated guidance impacted their institution’s ability to disburse funds, and what they’re anticipating for this new round of funding — as well as expectations for the Department of Education (ED) staffed by President Joe Biden’s administration. Plus, Justin wants to know: What thoughts would you like to share with Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona?

Jan 21, 2021

This week on “Off The Cuff” Justin and Allie kick things off with a recap of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, his first day in office, and the top higher education priorities NASFAA has for the new administration. Megan highlights additional details about the Biden legislative agenda and congressional reaction. Jill then provides an update on new developments surrounding HEERF II and award notifications. Plus, the group wants to know: What’s your favorite constitutional fun fact?

Jan 14, 2021

This week on “Off The Cuff” the team recaps the resignation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the department’s effort to curtail President-elect Joe Biden’s pledge to provide student loan debt relief. Megan provides an update on the congressional agenda ahead of Democrats’ majority in Congress. Allie and Justin dig into details on what’s ahead for the debate over debt relief, and Jill provides a brief update on HEERF reporting and expected guidance. Plus, the group wants to know: What was your best purchase last year?

Jan 7, 2021

This week on “Off The Cuff,” Justin provides listeners with a brief editorial addressing the recent violence at the U.S. Capitol. At 7:01 the team provides insight into how the results from Georgia’s Senate runoff elections could impact President-elect Joe Biden’s higher education agenda. Megan then offers a recap of Congress’ massive year end spending bill that contained a number of higher education policies. Allie covers a farewell letter issued by outgoing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to Congress, and Jill highlights the Department of Education’s (ED) reopening of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Plus, the group wants to know: what one word encompasses your expectations for 2021?

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