New NASFAA White Paper: Burdensome Reporting Requirements May Harm Students

Contact: Beth Maglione
(202) 785-6944

Administrative Burden Estimates Unfairly Reflect Resource Constraints Of College Financial Aid Offices

Nov. 20, 2013 -- With the start of 2014 just around the corner, it will soon be time for students to begin filling out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the upcoming year school year. Financial aid offices around the country will be inundated with phone calls and questions about how to apply and aid administrators will be counseling their current students on how to collect spring refund checks--all while staying on top of strict and often burdensome Federal reporting requirements.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) today released a brief stressing that greater transparency is needed from the Department of Education in order to gain a better understanding of how administrative burden estimates are calculated with respect to federal regulations governing student financial aid.

"Increases in student enrollment and the volume of student aid dollars, coupled with ever- increasing federal regulations, has put a considerable strain on financial aid offices," said Justin Draeger, president of NASFAA. "We want to make sure that the time and costs associated with collecting and reporting information to the federal government don't interfere with the ability of financial aid administrators to continue providing the level of service that students and families both expect and deserve."

Getting It Right: Analyzing the Accuracy of Federal Burden Estimates for Title IV Financial Aid Compliance, authored by independent research consultant Carlo Salerno for NASFAA, explores the methodologies used to calculate the level of administrative burden experienced by aid administrators.

The paper points to an inverse relationship between administrative reporting requirements and one-on-one financial aid counseling—e.g. the more time aid administrators spend attempting to comply with regulations, the less time they have to attend to the needs of students and their families. Administrative burden estimates that do not accurately reflect the time and resource constraints faced by college financial aid offices could ultimately end up hurting students, the paper finds. 

To schedule an interview with a NASFAA spokesperson, please contact or call (202) 785-6944.


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents nearly 20,000 financial aid professionals at more than 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the U.S. Based in Washington, DC, NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit