A message from Eric Cooper

Hello, TASFAA members!

I wanted to share an experience with you and suggest a training that I’m not sure many of you have done.

During the week of May 8-12, I had the pleasure of attending the Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration training in Washington, D.C.  It was an exciting week to be in D.C. to say the least, but the training was certainly worth attending.  This training is required of all new schools (some of you may not know that A&M-SA separated from A&M-Kingsville last year and we awarded our first year of financial aid during the 2016-2017 aid year), but is available for anyone who wants to attend.  And, the training is free (but you do have to pay for travel and meals) and is available closer to home in Dallas during certain times of the year.

So, why am I telling you about this training?  Well, because additional training is good, and this training specifically is pretty good.  And, it actually doesn’t hurt for us old dogs to go back because there’s always something new happening in financial aid.  I can guarantee you that there’s something in this training for everyone.

However, this may not be the training for you because you have to do a 20 hour online module first before you can even sign up for the face-to-face workshop.  Or, it may be too expensive for you to travel to Dallas or D.C. or Philly or San Diego.  We get that.

BUT, if you can’t do this training, consider doing one of the following:

  • TASFAA’s New Aid Officers Workshop (NAOW)
  • One of TASFAA’s Regional Training Opportunities
  • TASFAA’s ABC Workshop
  • TASFAA’s Annual Conference (in beautiful San Antonio this October!!!)

Or, expand your horizons and attend the SWASFAA Mid-Level Training or one of NASFAA’s many training opportunities that also includes credentialed professional development activities!  Truly, the options are numerous.

Get out there, gain the knowledge and become a strong professional in our organization.  You’ll only be the better for it.  Happy awarding!!

Eric Cooper

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management

Texas A&M University-San Antonio

S.B. No. 887 Signed by Governor Abbott

S.B. No. 887,  relating to a requirement that participating institutions under the student loan program administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board provide loan debt information to students, was signed by Gov. Abbott on Saturday, May 27. The Bill applies to schools enrolling students receiving financial aid funds which are administered by THECB.

Excerpts from Bill Analysis (C.S.S.B.887, Senate Research Center):

SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter C, Chapter 52, Education Code, by adding Section 52.335, as follows:

   Sec. 52.335. REQUIRED LOAN DEBT DISCLOSURE. (a) Provides that this section applies to a participating higher educational institution (IHE) that enrolls one or more students receiving state financial aid administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

   (b) Requires a participating IHE to which this section applies that receives education loan information for a student enrolled in the IHE to, at least annually, provide that student certain information.

     (c) Provides that a participating IHE is required to include in the disclosure only education loan debt information regarding the student that the IHE receives or otherwise obtains from the United States Department of Education’s central database for student aid and may reasonably collect from its own records.

     (d) Requires that the disclosure required under this section identify certain types of education loans and include certain statements and explanations.

     (e) Provides that a participating IHE does not incur liability for any representation made under this section.

     (f) Requires THECB to adopt rules for the administration of this section.

   SECTION 2. Provides that Section 52.335, Education Code, as added by this Act, applies beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year.

   SECTION 3. Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2017.

S.B. 887 (Bill) Full Text: Texas_85(R)-SB887_Bill-Text

S.B. 887 (Analysis) Full Text: Texas_85(R)-SB887_Analysis

TASFAA will publish more information and guidance on S.B. 887 as information from THECB becomes available.

Conference & Exhibitor Registration Now Open!

May. That glorious time of year when you’re straddling two aid years and are deep in the planning stages for the following. During this stressful time, take a break by registering for TASFAA’s 50th Anniversary Conference in gorgeous San Antonio, Texas!

The annual conference will take place October 11-13 at the Wyndham Riverwalk. The conference committee is putting together an excellent program that includes a federal update from NASFAA’s Stephen Payne, a federal town hall, a Texas legislative update with Charles Puls and numerous breakout sessions.

It wouldn’t be a 50th anniversary if there wasn’t some time for celebrating and reflection. Wednesday night we will have a reception in honor of this year’s award winners complete with food and plenty of time to mingle.  Thursday night’s dinner and dance will feature the incredible nerdy, 80s cover band the Spazmatics! Start working on that 80s outfit now (or pull those old clothes out of the closet).

There are plenty of things to do in San Antonio, which has become quite the foodie destination, so check out our page devoted to all things Alamo City.

Hurry and snag a registration spot today and you can daydream about all the fun you will have at the conference while we wait for guidance on Year Round Pell.

Erika Cox
Conference Chair

TASFAA Certificates

You’ve got mail!

As outstanding current TASFAA members, you will be receiving a 50th anniversary membership appreciation certificate within the next few weeks.   The certificate is in recognition of your office and institution’s continued service and valuable contribution to the Association, financial aid community and students of Texas.

A special thank you goes out to Theresa Decker, from Alamo Colleges District for her exceptional work in their creation.

Looking forward to celebrating with you at the 50th Anniversary Conference in San Antonio!

Sincerely,

TASFAA Membership Committee

Texas Senate & House Recognize TASFAA

The 85th Texas Legislature, last week, recognized TASFAA and Association members past and present on fifty years of service to the State and students of Texas with the adoption of resolutions in both the Senate (SR658, Watson) and House (HR1546, Howard).

Congratulations to all members, partners and support. Each of you a leader!

SB658 recognizing the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

Rep. Howard reads HR1546 (April 27, 2017)

Special thanks to Marcus Wilson (TTUHSC) and George Torres (TG) for their work on this initiative!

It is truly an honor and privilege to know and be associated with you, the Texas financial aid community.

Alan David Ahmad
Alamo Colleges District
May 2017