Improvements and Excitement Abound at the 2017 PowerFAIDS Conference in San Diego
Improvements and Excitement Abound at the 2017 PowerFAIDS Conference in San DiegoSteve Lindley, Associate Director of Financial Aid at St. Olaf College
Steve Lindley, Associate Director of Financial Aid at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, writes for All Access about his time at the PowerFAIDS conference, and shares his takeaways on key improvements, what he’s looking forward to in 2018, and the general positive vibes shared by his fellow financial aid officers in attendance.
It was a wonderful and exciting time in San Diego for the 2017 PowerFAIDS Conference. We heard of many new and exciting updates for the upcoming 2017-18 Academic Year and beyond. Some of these changes are big and some of them are much smaller (but still super helpful)!
Here are a few of my biggest takeaways from the Conference:
- Reimagine CSS Profile is coming! An updated CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (CSS Profile) will be launching in the 2018-19 Year. This will make the process much more intuitive and student-friendly. Skip logic and an updated user experience will help students and families get through the application more quickly and with a better understanding of the process.
- Net Partner Updates! For current college students, Net Partner is a critical tool for online communication between the financial aid office and students. These updates will allow students to have a much more dynamic experience with this tool and get the information they need quickly. It will also allow Financial Aid Offices to better target information to students. We can tell them what they need to know and not tell them anything that isn’t relevant to their situation!
- PowerFAIDS improvements! The PowerFAIDS software is being constantly updated to the latest FSA regulations and to the demand of our financial aid offices. We will be getting some critical updates to allow for greater automation and streamlining of many crucial financial aid processes. While students may not see these improvements, they will allow aid officers to have more time working with students and less time wading through cumbersome processes.
- Financial Aid Professionals want to help students! Throughout the two-day conference and in all of the sessions, everything came back to a serious desire to help students! While financial aid is a critical part of the higher ed process, we realize that the end goal is not for students to spend all their time working with the Financial Aid Office. Everyone was sharing ideas about how best to serve students which I’m excited to bring s back to St. Olaf. I believe that we do a great job working with our student body – but there are always ways for us to make everything easier and more easily understood for the students!
Again, it was a great experience to be in San Diego and left me incredibly excited to implement these improvements on our campus and in the way we work with students and families!