University Business - September 2012 - (Page 12)

BEHIND the NEws Across Party Lines Presidential campaigns share financial aid advice With the presidential election campaign heating up, it’s not just jobs and the economy worth paying attention to. Financial aid administrators from 900 institutions in all 50 states got a glimpse into how their niche would be affected by both presidential candidates when James Kvall, policy director for Obama for America, and Scott Fleming, an education policy advisor for Romney for President, spoke at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) national conference in Chicago in July. Despite bumping heads on a number of ideas, the candidates agree there needs to be an improvement in higher education access and student success, shares Fleming. The differences, he says, lay in the candidates’ opinions on how to get there—and, not surprisingly, how much the federal government should regulate the financial aid industry. “We do need to be frugal, but at the same time, the federal government does have a role in promoting opportunity for students,” said Kvall, pointing out Obama’s belief in the need to fund research and reforms for states and institutions to make the higher education system work better for students and tax payers. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find any president who has responded more aggressively to the questions of debt and affordability than this one,” he added. Kvall noted that Obama believes in the need to permanently increase Pell funding, as well as to double the number of workstudy slots over five years, making those jobs more relevant to students’ careers. He’s also interested in allotting $1 billion per year to work with states that are willing to adopt reforms to boost completion rates. On the opposite side of the fence on spending, Fleming pointed out that it currently takes $443 billion to service the na- U NASFAA Greater access and better outcomes are needed in higher education, agreed James Kvall (Obama for America)(middle) and Scott Fleming (Romney for President) (left), as they spoke with NASFAA President Justin Draeger. tion’s debt each year. “We are spending more money than we take in and we’re doing it at a rate that is unprecedented historically,” he said. “That is not a trajectory that is going to improve [federal] financial aid.” One issue both candidates also feel strongly about is the need for financial literacy, and that a lack of it has contributed to the high default rates among student loan borrowers. “There’s a lot that can be done to help young people and people of all ages learn about their financial commitments,” said Kvall. Fleming believes programs beginning in at least the middle school level need to focus on financial literacy. He applauded the private sector companies working to improve offerings in schools. —Kristen Domonell Campus Planners: Find Your Mojo This fall, along with moving its Planning for Higher Education journal from print to completely online, the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) is introducing The Campus-Space MOJO (Multilevel Online Journal Odyssey). Beginning with the October 2012 issue, MOJO, according to SCUP’s website, will create “the opportunity for [participants to] engage in a social reading experience based on the journal’s content,” to interact with the articles’ authors online and to read valuable knowledge shared by professionals in the higher ed community. SCUP is asking MOJO participants to read at least one journal article, and then comment about the article’s content or ideas in one of the several virtual spaces the MOJO will be using, such as the SCUP blog or SCUP’s LinkedIn group. For more information about joining Campus-Space MOJO, visit —Lauren Williams 12 | September 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - September 2012

University Business - September 2012
Editor’s Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Independent Outlook
Financial Aid
Virtual Viewbooks: Ready? Or Not?
Technology Changes Everything
Connecting Learners, On Campus and Off
The Changing Face of the CIO
Efficiency Greats
The Administrator's Bookshelf
Oceans of Data
Education Innovators
Internet Technology
End Note

University Business - September 2012