Read the final report (January 2016): "Research Meets Practice: Findings From a Collaboration Between NASFAA and the Association for the Study of Higher Education"

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) provides professional development for financial aid administrators; advocates for public policies that increase student access and success; serves as a forum on student financial aid issues, and is committed to diversity throughout all activities.

We work to:

  • Removing Barriers: Advocacy for access, research, and effective delivery of financial assistance to our nation's students.

  • Providing Education: Providing exceptional professional support, development, and technical assistance through member-driven services.

  • Enhancing Communication: Building an engaged and diverse community through accurate and responsive information sharing.

NASFAA is the largest postsecondary education association with institutional membership in Washington, D.C., and the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators in all sectors of postsecondary education. No other national association serves the needs of the financial aid community better or more effectively. 

In support of the 2015 ASHE Conference theme, “Inequality in Higher Education,” the collaborative effort is paying particular attention to how financial aid serves as a crucial instrument to combat inequality through promoting students’ access and success. As part of this collaboration NASFAA plans to deliver a white paper to include:

  • A review of literature on current knowledge surrounding research and practice;

  • Recommendations for more research related to practice;

  • New information about practitioners’ use of research collected from NASFAA membership via survey and focus groups

  • Click the link, Research Meets Practice, to read the collaborative report.

Our key collaborative activities include an in-person meeting at the 2014 ASHE conference (which was extended to our working group listed below), as well as monthly conference calls. As a collaboration we are continue to touch base and update our efforts as survey results, research, and focus group responses further inform us. We hope to see this collaboration continue in several ways, the main of which being continuing to share the needs of practitioners with researchers for future studies, as well as encouraging these researchers submit their studies for publication within our Journal of Student Financial Aid (JSFA). Should this collaboration generate enough interest it would also be our hope to feature studies spurred by this collaboration in a special edition of JSFA.

Members of Collaboration Teams:

  • Megan McClean Coval, Managing Director for Policy and Federal Relations, NASFAA

  • Charlotte Pollack, Research Analyst, NASFAA

  • Don Heller, Michigan State University

  • Jacob P.K. Gross, University of Louisville

ASHE 2014 Conference Working Group Attendees:

  • Barry Simmons, Assistant Provost (Retired) Virginia Tech

  • Pat McGuire, President, Trinity Washington University

  • Brad Barnett, Senior Associate Director, Office of Financial Aid, James Madison University

  • Richard Heath, Director, Student Financial Services, Anne Arundel Community College

  • Joan Zanders, Director of Financial Aid, Northern Virginia Community College

  • Lyle McKinney, University of Houston

  • Nicholas Hillman, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Robert Kelchen, Seton Hall University

  • Kristan Venegas, University of Southern California