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2024 Student Financial Services Conference

March 17-19, 2024 | Las Vegas

Overview

This conference covers various policy, technical, and management issues impacting student financial services operations on campus.

Speakers from a diverse pool of institutions will share their experiences, solutions, and best practices in areas such as analytics, vendor management, strategic communications, and more.


Student Financial Services Workshop CPE Available

Event Information

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites: 1–2 years of experience as a professional in higher education or a related private industry.
  • Audience: Mid-level personnel within the college/university business office.
  • Advanced Preparation: None
  • Delivery Mode: Group Live
  • Fields of Study: Finance, Management Services, Personnel/Human Resources, and Specialized Knowledge
  • Length: 10 sessions at 60–75 minutes each

CPE Information

Estimated 10.5 CPE Credits

See Session Details for CPE details for each session.

NACUBO is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website www.nasbaregistry.org.

Schedule

Sunday

Show Full Day

Monday

Show Full Day

Tuesday

Show Full Day

Session Details

View descriptions, speaker details, learning objectives, and CPE information for each session.

Overview

Click through the menu items on the left to browse the schedule.

General Sessions

Washington Update

Sunday, March 17  •  1:30–2:45 pm PT


With Election Day approaching in November, explore the current state of play in the nation’s capital. What do the watchdog groups think of our institutions? Are there pieces of legislation that higher education leaders need to be aware of? What regulatory changes should staff begin preparing for? Discover what’s happening on the Hill and at the federal agencies that could impact colleges and universities and bursar operations.


Speakers

  • Liz Clark, vice president, policy and research, NACUBO
  • Bryan Dickson, director, student financial services and educational programs, NACUBO

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Empowering Higher Education Professionals: Nurturing the Well-Being of Self and Others

Monday, March 18  •  1:30–2:45 pm PT  • Includes SFS Award

According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year following the COVID-19 pandemic. Colleges and universities continue to grapple with the issues of mental health and overall well-being of students—in addition to faculty and staff. In this session, you will hear about the importance of well-being for all these populations, how challenges are evolving at institutions, and some advice for maintaining your own wellness.


Speakers

  • Zainab Okolo, senior vice president of policy, advocacy and government relations, The Jed Foundation
  • Christine Simone, director, leadership development, NACUBO

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • TBD

A Conversation with NASFAA

Tuesday, March 19  •  11 am–12 pm PT


The last several years—and certainly the last several months—have seen extraordinary changes in the federal student aid space. What keeps financial aid directors up at night? How do those issues impact student accounts operations? What impact will these elements have on enrollment, student success, and completion? Hear an update from Justin Draeger, president and chief executive officers of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, who will share the latest on all these issues. NACUBO’s Bryan Dickson will then sit down with Justin to continue the conversation on some of the issues on top of business officers’ minds and explore strategies for successful partnerships. Come ready with questions for Justin and Bryan—this session is expected to be highly interactive.

Speaker

  • Justin Draeger, president and chief executive officer, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Bryan Dickson, director, student financial services and educational programs, NACUBO

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Sunday • 3:45 pm Sessions

March 17 • 3:45–4:45 pm PT

Group

Data Trends in Student Financial Services

NACUBO’s Student Financial Services Benchmarking Study is entering its 16th year. The study provides an analysis of a wide range of topics and serves as a conduit to facilitate data-informed conversations in higher education’s increasingly data-oriented environment. During this session, panelists will present last year’s findings and discuss institutional perspectives on trends and practices in the student financial services community, including third-party payments, student payment methods, and late fee policies.


Speakers
  • Jacki Agustin, manager, analytics and research, NACUBO  
  • Liz Clark, vice president, policy and research, NACUBO

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Perkins Roundtable

Has your school determined it is time to let go of Perkins Loans? Are you on the fence with questions about each phase of the process, including where to start? Are you concerned about the time commitment and having the proper documentation? This roundtable discussion is designed to help us all learn from each other. No matter where you are in the process, come with your questions and stories from your institution’s journey to liquidating its portfolio. We will discuss the pros and cons of liquidation, the Department of Education’s process, and the required financial reporting.


Speakers
  • Ellen Curcio, director, student financial services, Ursinus College
  • Jacqui Gatlin, bursar, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Finance

Utilizing a Student Contact Center

Hear how one institution implemented a Student Contact Center (SCC), staffed by student workers, to assist with high-volume customer inquiries. Each year, the bursar’s office receives over 123,000 questions related to billing and payments from students and parents. In addition to providing employment opportunities to students—which helps improve retention—the SCC provides a peer-to-peer channel for current students and families to receive answers to their questions. The center also improves service levels by meeting customer demand during high-volume periods. Audience members will walk away with ideas on hiring timelines, training materials, and professional development materials, as well as a solution that can improve service levels.


Speakers
  • Alice Seaton, assistant director, customer service and cashier operations, University of Illinois
  • Joseph Shroyer, director, University of Illinois

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Management Services

Monday • 8 am Sessions

March 18 • 8–9 am PT

Cooperative Leadership : How a Successful Team is Everyone's Responsibility

Imagine having six staff members, with over 200 years of combined service, retire over the course of the pandemic. Learn how one institution re-imagined their operating structure with new technologies and vendor services, as well as streamlined recruitment, training, and on-boarding processes for new employees. The presenters will also share how they engage all staff in cross-functional working groups to deliver ongoing professional development and enhance employee retention. Attendees will review the unique assessment tools—an annual employee survey and engagement focus groups—used to provide continuous feedback and improvements to staff. These lessons can be applied to any organization desiring to build a strong employee retention program with cooperative leadership.


Speakers
  • Jennifer A. Waters, University Bursar, University of Chicago

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Personal Development

Going Cashless with Eastern Michigan University

More campuses are exploring the option of going cashless, which changes the on-campus experience considerably. In the past two years, the way we pay for goods and services has transformed dramatically. In fact, before the pandemic, the number of consumers using tap-to-pay with either a credit card or smartphone was relatively low. Today, consumers are expecting contactless payments and students come to campus with the same expectations. This session will examine the considerations and questions that need to be addressed before going cashless and review how one institution transformed campus payments by going cashless, which resulted in improved cash flow year-round.


Speakers
  • Beth Hardcastle, Assistant Controller, Student Business Services, Eastern Michigan University
  • John McElroy, Sr Product Strategy Manager, TouchNet

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Finance

Improving Support for Veterans and Active Duty With Growth and Collaboration

Since the formation of the Post 9/11 GI Bill®, additional services, partnerships, and advancements have been necessary to ensure students using federal or state military benefits understand how those funds are applied to the student’s bill, and where they can go when help is needed. Texas A&M University—with its long history of supporting active-duty students, veterans, and their families—has mobilized many departments to think critically and push boundaries to ensure our military-affiliated and veteran students receive top level service and care. Attendees will walk away from this session with ideas on how to process veterans benefits to student accounts and how to bridge relationships with other departments on campus.


Speakers
  • LeeAnn Pickett, assistant director, Texas A&M University

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Monday • 10 am Sessions

March 18 • 10–11 am PT

Collaborating With Internal Partners for Student Success

Explore two different initiatives implemented at the University of Cincinnati where partnerships with internal offices and colleagues were critical to success. The panel will review the “Make a Plan to Pay” project, which included targeted counseling for incoming students whose aid was insufficient to cover their costs. The presenters will also cover the university’s retention grant program which developed partnerships with financial aid and enrollment services to provide grants to students with small balances that were preventing future enrolment. You’ll hear about best practices for engaging campus partners in developing such programs, including identifying the issue and stakeholders, developing measurable goals, and getting buy-in from leadership.


Speakers
  • Leigh Jackson, bursar, University of Cincinnati
  • Scott Medley, executive vice president, sales, Reliant Capital Solutions

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Leveraging Institutional Data to Inform Institutional Decisions

The extent to which institutional leaders can locate, leverage, and effectively communicate data can either assist decision making or result in a substantial data gap that hinders progress. At the foundational level, NACUBO's IPEDS Peer Benchmarking data tool empowers institutions to identify key data trends, understand the potential institutional impacts of such trends, and translate data into meaningful action. Through guided scenarios, attendees will gain the ability to clearly see their institutional and peer data, understand the inherent data patterns, and use these data findings to facilitate deep organizational learning and improvement. Session attendees will learn how to leverage this tool to understand their data better and develop a roadmap for contextualized data-informed decision making.


Speakers
  • Jo Ann Kern, director of the office of transformation realization, Tarleton State University
  • Kelli Rainey, senior director, grants management, NACUBO

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Information Technology

The Zero Budget Financial Literacy Program

Have you ever wanted to introduce a financial literacy program to your institution but felt it to be a lost cause without funding or any kind of budget? Come learn how to build your very own program that can take off and become a cornerstone of your campus. Through interaction and activities, discover how to develop a structured plan for the year and how to get your entire campus involved in one of the most important educational services that we provide to our students.


Speakers

  • Morgan O'Sullivan, director of financial aid communications and operations, Lynn University

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Finance

Monday • 11:15 am Sessions

March 18 • 11:15 am–12:15 am PT

The Bursar’s Office Role in Compliance

With increased attention on college and university policies and practices, student accounts professionals must understand the various laws, regulations, and public perceptions that impact their operations and identify proactive ways to respond. This session will cover the state and federal laws, regulations, guidance, and institutional policies related to student financial services functions. Audience members will understand how to conduct a thorough review of their institution's policies and implement appropriate risk mitigation strategies for their institutions if policies cannot be changed. You’ll also walk away with tools to solicit support from other campus partners.


Speakers
  • Megan Casey, director, bursar operations, Johnson County Community College
  • Jacqui Gatlin, bursar, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Kristy Pritchett, director of student account services, The University of Alabama

CPE Available

  • 1.5 credits
  • Specialized Knowledge

Open Forum

This conversational roundtable is designed to bring like-minded individuals together early in the conference to collaborate, discuss trends and hot topics, and network. Come join your peers to review tips, tricks, and best practices. Chances are that if you are thinking about an issue, someone else is, too! 


Speakers
  • Ellen Curcio, director, student financial services, Ursinus College
  • Chris Foster, assistant vice president, student accounting, University of North Texas

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Student Financial Services: Helping to Drive Student Success and Improve Retention

Student success retention is a critical component in a higher education institution’s survival, as it is generally more cost effective to retain a student than it is to enroll a new student. Additionally, financial concerns tend to be a top factor in a student’s ability to persist with their education, which means the area of student financial services is becoming more and more crucial in campus-wide retention efforts. This interactive session will discuss specific student success and retention strategies that can be implemented by these offices to ensure the success of our students and institutions.


Speakers
  • Kevin Smith, assistant vice president and director, student records and financial services, Canisius University

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Monday • 4 pm Sessions

March 18 • 4–5 pm PT

Leadership Through Mentorship: Effective Strategies for Succession Planning

Learn how to effectively mentor your staff to build a sustainable succession plan for your office. This session will identify successful leadership strategies targeted at various generations and employee levels, allowing you to cater to their preferred methods of learning and communication. You will learn how to approach leadership from a mentorship lens by applying 10 guiding principles. You will also discover how to lead “across” to your peers and how to lead “up” to gain respect and opportunities while being your authentic self.


Speakers
  • Susanna Nelson, director of student accounts and business services, Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Personnel/Human Resources

Life Beyond Transcripts: How a Transcript Law Impacted the Late Registration Process

After a law in New York mandated that colleges and universities no longer withhold transcripts for balances owed, institutions realized they needed to be more creative with how they encouraged students to pay in a timely manner. Learn about measures one institution has taken to combat balances owed and the successes they have experienced, including a 50% decrease in receivables in one year’s time. But the goal wasn’t just to reduce AR balances. The college also wanted to be transparent with students and families about the cost of attending the school. Walk through the learning process, discover how staff got the administration on board, and discuss what future changes the institution is considering.


Speakers
  • Christina M. Cardinale, senior associate director, student accounts and bursar services, Manhattan College

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Student Success Roundtable

When many people think of student success initiatives, they often think of big programs that require significant investments. At this interactive roundtable conversation, we will instead discuss the simple solutions; the small victories. Think about those general collaborations, communications strategies, and other methods that demonstrate how student accounts can serve as a partner in student success—all while balancing the financial responsibility you have in ensuring timely payments. This session is designed to allow participants to share their questions and discuss results that are achievable and replicable.


Speakers
  • Megan Casey, director, bursar operations, Johnson County Community College
  • Kristy Pritchett, director of student account services, The University of Alabama

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Specialized Knowledge

Tuesday • 8 am Sessions

March 19 • 8–9 am PT

Beyond the Bill: Communications Strategies to Drive Student Financial Engagement

Over 50% of students pay their bill late at least once and 100% of schools wish they could resolve balances sooner. We know a lot of the reasons why, so why is it still so hard to get students to pay? This interactive session will address the ways effective student engagement and communications strategies can change the game for any institution that wants to improve payment outcomes, decrease A/R, and support student success. Participants will walk away with a framework for identifying gaps in their own billing processes and communications as well as tools and resources to enhance their existing approaches.


Speakers
  • Christy Miller, executive director of financial aid, Wayland Baptist University
  • Anthony Morrone, assistant vice president, student financial services, Nevada State University
  • Alfredo Brillembourg, CEO and cofounder, Meadow
  • Amy Jenkins, chief operating officer and cofounder, Meadow

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Finance

The Financial Conundrum

Do you want to learn how cross campus collaboration can make things smoother for a Student Financial Services Office by the time a term begins? Do you want to see accounts resolved sooner, financial aid processed quicker, and the traditional stress and rush of the Fall orientation week evaporate into just another regular workday? Through working closely with an admission office, the student financial services offices at Lynn University and Marist College have found a potential solution! By sharing strategies used, historical data, and the positives and negatives of the various processes used over the last 3 years, the presenters will provide a broad roadmap for such a transformation.


Speakers
  • Morgan O'Sullivan, director of financial aid communications and operations, Lynn University
  • Joe Weglarz, executive director, student financial services, Marist College

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Finance

Providing Customer Excellence in a Hybrid Environment

Most institutions pivoted to a remote work environment at the peak of the pandemic. But many staff became comfortable with that way of work. Through the use of technology, Student Financial Solutions at UCSD successfully balances work and life by continuing to offer staff the option of working in a hybrid setting. The biggest challenge, of course, was how to maintain service levels despite working remotely. Hear how the institution trains employees virtually, uses data and analysis to plan coverage schedules, and expanded customer service offerings to keep customers and staff engaged. This presentation will describe the pre-pandemic conditions, post-pandemic operations, and the digital tools used to not only maintain customer service levels but to improve upon them year over year.


Speakers
  • Jared Church, senior associate director, student financial solutions, University of California San Diego

CPE Available

  • 1 credit
  • Personnel/Human Resources

Tuesday • 9:30 am Sessions

March 19 • 9:30–10:45 am PT

Leadership Strategies to Thrive in a Post-Pandemic World

Who are your rising stars? What happens if a third of your team announces their retirements? What happens when you retire? Running the business office is among the myriad challenges SFS leaders face. This session will examine practical strategies covering essential aspects such as business continuity plans, recruiting and retention in a hybrid world, and team building. Attendees will learn about ways to approach cross-training, manage staff turnover, and build a robust talent pipeline within the evolving landscape of today's dynamic higher education environment. The presenters will also address leadership transitions and succession planning as retirements loom, and share lessons learned and insights gained from years of experience in managing successful teams.


Speakers
  • Isaiah Behnke, director, student account operations, University of Virginia
  • Steve Kimata, associate vice provost for enrollment and student financial services, University of Virginia

CPE Available

  • 1.5 credits
  • Personnel/Human Resources

Navigating the Legislative and Regulatory Environment to Enable Students to Pay

This panel will provide insight into the ever-increasing amount of state laws and federal regulations impacting accounts receivable and will assist institutions in preparing for what these restrictions may mean to their bottom lines—and ultimately their students. Speakers will examine rules regarding transcript holds, reduction of statutes of limitations, the ability to add collection fees, and pending legislation. Hear about the actions their respective institutions have already taken and what they are planning for in the future, as well as a couple of their top collections tips. The strategies and insights shared will apply to all institutions, large and small, public and private.


Speakers
  • Christine Blakney, University Bursar, Texas Tech University
  • Christopher Cook, Executive Director Office of Student Accounts, Vanderbilt University
  • James D. Jones, senior Executive vice president of Sales and Marketing, Reliant Capital Solutions

CPE Available

  • 1.5 credits
  • Specialized Knowledge

Promoting Financial Literacy While Reducing Financial Losses From Students

The increasing cost of college, national increases in student medical withdrawals, and enrollment challenges have created new forms of financial risks for students and institutions. Unexpected but regularly occurring events can cost colleges vital income, create adversarial collections issues, and become a resource-heavy administrative burden. This session will feature a review of emerging trends in how colleges and universities are using student insurance programs to transfer the financial risk from institutions to insurance partners, reduce financial losses and collection issues, and provide student benefits that support the enrollment and success objectives of the institution. You’ll also learn how institutions have addressed the concerns and questions of university stakeholders, including general counsel, and their communication and outreach strategies.


Speakers
  • James Fairchild, director of student accounting, University of North Texas
  • Cassandra Rayne Gross, director, student accounts, Hawaii Pacific University
  • Nance Roy, chief clinical officer, The JED Foundation
  • Steve Fucci, vice president for campus sales, GradGuard

CPE Available

  • 1.5 credits
  • Finance


Rates

Registration is now closed for the 2024 Student Financial Services Conference in Las Vegas.

We hope to see you at another NACUBO event!

Cancellation Policies

Member Early Ended February 18, 2024

$800

Member Regular Ended February 20, 2024

$960

Non-Member Early Ended February 18, 2024

$1,360

Non-Member Regular Ended February 20, 2024

$1,630

Hotel & Travel Information

  • March 17-19, 2024
  • Tropicana Las Vegas - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
  • Las Vegas, NV

Located just minutes from Harry Reid International Airport major convention centers, sports and entertainment venues, the Tropicana Las Vegas - a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel will host the 2023 Student Financial Services Conference.

NACUBO's Group Rate for the 2024 Student Financial Services Conference:  NEW LOWER RATE of $105 single/double Club Deluxe King includes a $30 resort fee (plus applicable taxes)

NOTE: If you have already made your room reservation prior to February 6, 2024, your rate will be automatically adjusted to the new lower group rate.

The deadline to reserve a room at the NACUBO Group Rate:  February 26, 2024

To make your room reservation: CLICK HERE

Tropicana Las Vegas

Exhibitor and Sponsorship Opportunities

This meeting is your opportunity to reach bursars, student financial services directors, loan collectors, financial aid administrators, and other staff within the college and university finance services.

NACUBO 2024 Student Financial Services Conference Corporate Opportunities details all the opportunities to support this meeting. We look forward to you joining us!

NACUBO thanks the following supporters of this event:

Premier

Classic

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