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Students and their families often find themselves in situations where they encounter financial difficulties or have not planned out how to finance their education. Confusion about the financial aid and student loan processes or failure to follow up with necessary information through verification or other school inquiries lead to late or no payments on student accounts for tuition, fees, room and board charges, along with assessment of late charges.  Read More...


A perennial favorite at the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid conference each fall focuses on the “top 10” audit and program review findings over the previous year. There is remarkable consistency in these lists, both between the two types of reviews and the items appearing on the list from year to year. From 2015 through 2018, five findings appeared on both lists each year.  Don’t wait for external reviewers to find compliance issues—search for them proactively. Read More...


In the past week, FAS has heard from two institutions who have had their access to all federal databases and website suspended. In both instances, a user attempted to log in to a secure federal website from an older computer whose anti-malware and anti-virus software were not current.  The U.S. Department of Education’s security system detected “key logging” (recording a computer user’s keystroke activity, often to gain fraudulent access to passwords and other confidential information).    Read More...


The Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Education Relief Act of 2017, enacted September 2017, eases certain student aid rules for victims of the recent hurricanes.  Many institutions and their students have been impacted by the hurricanes and other natural disasters. We have compiled a list of resources for institutions seeking guidance or regulatory relief in the aftermath of these devastating storms. These resources will help administrators with questions ranging from reporting deadline extensions to cash management regulations and student eligibility issues.    Read More...


In 2011, Robert Muhammad was a man on a mission when he became Director of Financial Aid at Winston Salem State University (WSSU), one of North Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He had a 90-day plan to achieve better customer service, demonstrate empathy and provide good data to students and parents. Since then, Muhammad has made significant progress toward his goals. By educating other university departments about financial aid processes and forming strategic partnerships, he developed a holistic approach that has produced outstanding results. Read More...


In over 26 years, we have seen many trends in higher education that were shaped by financial aid. Each year, students go through the application process. Unfortunately, hundreds of those students never go any further. Financial aid offices typically send a request for information but do not actively recruit these students. Data we have monitored for several years shows a direct correlation between early action and high interest level. Students who respond quickly to a financial aid information request, even from a college where they haven’t applied or been admitted, are expressing excitement about the institution.  Read More...


FAS really listens to its clients and matches consultants not just with operational needs, but also with the personality of the college. That makes all the difference."

- Mike Quinn | Vice President of Enrollment | Randolph College