2016 Access Group Graduate & Professional Financial Aid Conference
About the Conference
Graduate and professional school administrators face different challenges than their undergraduate counterparts. The Access Group Graduate & Professional Financial Aid Conference embraces these differences and is dedicated to education and discussion relevant to you – those serving the graduate and professional students.
For 29 years, the Access Group Graduate & Professional Financial Aid Conference has provided the most comprehensive and well-respected educational program for those committed to serving and supporting graduate and professional students. Whether you’re in financial aid, admissions, school or career services or other student-facing role – a new administrator or a veteran – here are just a few reasons to attend this premier graduate and professional event:
- Learn new skills and upgrade current ones. No matter how long you've been in graduate/professional financial aid or administration, or what position you hold, chances are there is still something you need to learn. Trends and regulations change and new strategies and innovations happen all the time. To stay up-to-date, you need an educational opportunity that provides you with the full range of financial aid knowledge and professional development training.
- Network with your peers. We know you've heard it all before, but networking is a huge part of your professional success. When you meet with your peers, you have an opportunity to collaborate, hear new ideas, and validate or change your perspectives. You may hear what others are doing and be inspired to implement something similar - or you could even hear another idea and realize you're already on the right track! You can find a mentor or become one, and even make connections to help you further your own career.
- Hear from the experts. Our speakers are proven leaders, strategists, practitioners and peers. Many of them are current financial aid professionals; others are well-respected industry leaders who know what you need to know. Our session development and presenter selection processes are thoughtful and focused to be sure you're getting the information you need on the topics you want from the best
- Have a great conference experience. Let's be honest - the Access Group Conference is a lot of learning packed into a short amount of time. But the experience is always one that exceeds expectations. And it has a 100% recommendation rate from past attendees year after year to prove it.
Join your colleagues from graduate and professional schools across the country for this “don’t miss” event. Register today!
The Conference Planning Committee
Jenny Branson (Chair)
Baylor Law School
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Stanford Graduate School of Education
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Brigham Young University
Jessica Le Duc
The University of Arizona College of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
The Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law
Thursday, November 17
|Financial Aid 101||8:30am||11:30am|
|First Time Conference Attendee Meet & Greet||11:45am||12:15pm|
|Conference Opening Lunch & General Session
Glenn Thrush – Ok. So We Have a New President. Now What?
|Dinner and Keynote Speaker
Carla Harris – Tools for Maximizing Your Success
Friday, November 18
|Buffet Breakfast at Your Leisure||7:30am||8:30am|
|Luncheon & Exclusive Brand Preview||12:00pm||1:30pm|
|Livin’ the Chi-Life! – Enjoy an Evening on Your Own in Chi-Town||7:30pm|
Saturday, November 19
|Buffet Breakfast at Your Leisure||7:30am||8:30am|
Adam Carroll – When Borrowed Money Isn't Real – Strategies for Financial Capability
Scott Schwertly – How to Master Financial Aid Presentation Design
Want to expand your influence and knowledge regarding the challenges facing legal education?
Immediately preceding the Conference on November 16-17, Access Group Center for Research and Policy Analysis will host the second annual Access Group Legal Education Research Symposium. The Symposium will feature panel discussions dedicated to the issues of access, affordability and the value of legal education. Join law school deans, administrators, faculty, and researchers from across the country. Click here to read more about the Symposium.
This comprehensive workshop covers basic need analysis, the fundamentals of budget construction, the use of professional judgment and the development of financial aid. This is a ‘must’ attend for professionals new to the field, as well as veterans looking for a refresher course. This session is also a great compliment to Conference programming for those administrators with primary responsibilities outside of financial aid.
While most graduate and professional school administrators face similar challenges, each discipline has specific issues to address. These sessions will provide a robust experience and opportunity for you to identify solutions, discuss recent developments and current issues, as well as connect with your colleagues, all within the discipline you serve.
Tools for Maximizing Your Success
Carla Harris is a Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley. She is responsible for increasing client connectivity and penetration to enhance revenue generation across the firm. She formerly headed the Emerging Manager Platform, the equity capital markets effort for the consumer and retail industries and was responsible for Equity Private Placements. Ms. Harris has extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and healthcare sectors. In August 2013, Carla Harris was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the National Women’s Business Council.
Ms. Harris began her career with Morgan Stanley in the Mergers & Acquisitions department in 1987. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Carla received from Harvard Business School an MBA, Second Year Honors and an AB in economics from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude. Carla has also received Honorary Doctorates of Laws, Humanities and Business from Marymount Manhattan College, Bloomfield College, Jacksonville University, Simmons College, the College of New Rochelle, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Fisk University respectively. Carla Harris is actively involved in her community and heartily believes that “we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to someone else.”
She is the immediate past Chair of the Board of the Morgan Stanley Foundation and sits on the boards of The Executive Leadership Council, The Toigo Foundation, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), A Better Chance, Inc, St. Vincent’s Hospitals and Xavier University. Ms. Harris is co-chair of the National Social Action Commission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and was a member of the Board of Overseers’ Committee on University Resources, Harvard University. She has been named to the New Jersey Hall of Fame (2015) and has received the Bert King Award from the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association, the 2005 Women’s Professional Achievement Award from Harvard University, and a number of other awards. Carla is also the author of the books, Strategize to Win (2014) and Expect to Win (2009) (Hudson Press).
When Borrowed Money Isn't Real – Strategies for Financial Capabilitiy
Today's graduates are success oriented, technologically gifted, perpetually connected, and blissfully unaware of the financial hole they have dug for themselves. Given the high cost of education and the need for student loans to fund their degrees, how do you begin to have the conversations necessary with students to prepare them for a financial life after college? Sharing research from his documentary Broke, Busted & Disgusted, as well as work with over 700 colleges and universities from around the country, financial educator Adam Carroll will share his strategies for creating financially capable graduates who live on less, pay their loans, and build bigger lives in the process. Adam's work with students and financial literacy have spawned books, a documentary, two TED talks, a podcast, and a new website geared to make people more Money Savvy.
Adam Carroll is recognized as one of the top Financial Educators in the Country with his core message being “You are the architect of your own life and that starts with your behavior around finances”. Having presented at over 500 colleges and Universities nationwide, hundreds of leadership symposiums, and countless local and regional organizations, Adam Carroll’s message of Building A Bigger Life, Not a Bigger Lifestyle has been heard by over 200,000+ people. A family man, a podcast host and the founder of National Financial Educators Adam is fueled by helping others financially through his presentations, books and his new documentary on student debt, Broke Busted & Disgusted.
How to Master Financial Aid Presentation Design
Scott Schwertly is back this year by VERY popular demand. If you attended the 2015 Conference, you saw Scott, author of How to Be a Presentation God and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN based presentation design and training agency, speaking about Presenting in a Millennial World. Due to overwhelmingly rave reviews, Scott is back… and with a whole lot more!
Everyone has seen (and maybe gives) the typical PowerPoint presentations… lots of bullets, too much text and complicated charts and graphs. While your current presentations may be informative, if they’re the same old “same old”, you can lose your students’ attention soon after the title slide. But not anymore! As part of his session, Scott and his team at Ethos3 will critique and redesign University of Virginia Law School's entrance counseling presentation which was randomly selected from a pool of submissions. Find out Mr. Schwertly’s tips, tricks and best practices for building and designing a presentation that speaks to YOUR specific audience in How to Master Financial Aid Presentation Design.
Ok. So We Have a New President. Now What?
Has Hillary Clinton just made history, winning in a landslide victory to become the nation’s first female President, and bringing with her Democratic majorities in the Senate and the House? OR, has Donald Trump shocked the world once again and is now our Commander-in-Chief? Whatever the outcome on November 8th, Thrush will provide the unvarnished, non-partisan, behind-the-scenes analysis that has established him as one of the most trusted and well-informed insiders inside the Beltway today. Adeptly connecting how the election results could impact legislation and public policy in a wide range of industry sectors, Thrush reveals what you can expect from the inauguration of our 45th President and the swearing-in of the 115th Congress – in 2017 and beyond.
Glenn Thrush is chief political correspondent for POLITICO Magazine and the host of the popular podcast, Off Message. Thrush previously served as POLITICO’s main White House correspondent winning the two top awards issued by the White House Correspondents Association, the prestigious Aldo Beckman Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Merriman Smith Award for Breaking News Coverage. He is also the 2014 recipient of the Gerald R. Ford Award for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. He is the author of two New York Times bestselling e-books on the 2012 campaign and has worked for numerous publications as a reporter and editor, including Newsday, The New York Observer, Bloomberg News, the Daily News, City Limits and the Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald. His long-form journalism has been published in leading outlets, including the New York Times magazine, New York, The Washington Post and Spin and he is a frequent network and cable TV political commentator.
Conference sessions are designed to lead and advance the conversations that are so critical in the world of higher education – student indebtedness, loan repayment, diversity and so much more. Learn to meet the challenges you face every day in resourceful and innovative ways with sessions like:
Establishing personal financial goals is the first step on your students’ ”Road to Zero” — the path they’ll take to reach a zero balance on their student loans. To ensure success, their financial plan should be based on the long-term goals they set for their future. This session takes a strategic decision-making approach to understanding current financial goals and realities – along with future plans – to craft a repayment strategy that works with an individual’s goals. You’ll walk away with the information your students need to know and the next steps your students need to take to make their plans truly work for them.
Most students are aware that a loan forgiveness program exists – and, usually, they are thinking of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (even if they don’t know it by name). But PSLF isn’t the only loan forgiveness program. In this session you will learn the ins and outs of, not only PSLF, but other major forgiveness and loan-payment programs of which grad/professional students should be aware.
A new administration in the White House and a shifting political dynamic in Congress may set in motion significant movement on HEA. Hear from policy experts about what might be in store for higher education policy in 2017 and beyond.
The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act presents an opportunity for policymakers to make changes to the law that will impact graduate and professional students. While many of the needs of undergraduate and graduate students overlap, graduate and professional students have unique needs that require more tailored policies. This session will feature an engaging discussion on shaping a policy agenda that will best serve these students.
Today’s students often face a challenging financial puzzle. Between high student loan debt, uncertain job prospects, and limited in-school work opportunities, financial stress levels can be significantly high and impact academic success. Creating a culture of financial well-being to ensure your students have the knowledge they need to make good decisions both today and in their future careers is good for both students and your institution. In this session you will learn strategies for creating this beneficial culture and gain a practical financial understanding that will allow you to provide meaningful advice to your students along their journey.
The 1960s brought about a Stanford University research series that became known as the “Marshmallow Experiment.” Why do the actions of pre-schoolers matter to us 50 years later? How do they relate to financial planning? It’s all about the power of delayed gratification. We’ll take a tour through a child’s mind to explore the concepts surrounding strategic decision making (or lack thereof) for both short- and long-term goals related to financial goals. We will also discuss the importance of keeping promises to students and how that can impact their actions. You will walk away with some tricks to implement in your own financial life as well as in your student programming.
More than half of students misunderstand or are surprised by some aspect of the borrowing process. Based on recently published work, this session will examine the consumer information most vital to students’ borrowing decisions during enrollment and after their graduation. NASFAA representatives will speak specifically about their work related to their Access Group grant.
With cost becoming an increasingly important consideration for applicants choosing a law school, admissions team members spend a lot of their time fielding financial aid questions. Many admissions professionals have "financial aid" in their titles, without having access to accounts or the financial aid process. This session will focus on the nuts and bolts of what admissions team members need to know to adequately address students' concerns. The session will present a bird's-eye view of cost of attendance, budgeting, packaging, settling bills, loan types, and loan repayment and will discuss structures schools have put in place to make sure admissions professionals are up-to-date with financial aid processes and changes.
Is your institution on a quarter or trimester system? Do you have modules? Do you offer study abroad opportunities? Do different programs operate on different calendars? This session will address some of the challenges and pitfalls for schools that are on different calendars. Panelists will discuss optimally serving students and avoiding mistakes while staying within the federal guidelines.
One size does not fit all when it comes to higher education financing. The good news is borrowers do have options. Should a student borrower consider Grad PLUS and/or private loans to help meet their budgetary needs? Is refinancing a good choice for graduates who may potentially qualify for lower interest rates and better terms through student loan consolidation? This session will shed light on the options for financing, as well as federal and private refinancing, and how each option affects borrowers’ differently. What’s best for some, may not benefit others in the same way. Join us for a discussion on how to best counsel students while ultimately letting them make the final decision – one that’s right for their specific situation. Bring your ideas and be prepared to share!
With rising debt rates, students need a comprehensive loan repayment strategy. Ranging from the federal online exit counseling to one-on-one meetings with graduates, schools have many choices in steering their students in the right direction. This discussion will highlight effective ways schools are handling their exit counseling requirements.
Microsoft Excel can be a powerful tool to quickly analyze valuable data, but users can often get stuck doing things the “long way,” without realizing shortcuts exist. This session will help attendees to develop intermediate Excel skills such as pivot tables, calculating data across worksheets, filtering techniques, creating charts and graphs, and advanced formulas. Feel free to bring a great Excel tip or trick to share with others!
For the 2012-2013 academic year, Michigan State University College of Law launched its thrifty budgeting program. This session will focus on the program’s successes and challenges during the first three years of implementation. Advice and key considerations will be outlined for other schools entertaining the idea of moving to a thrifty budget model.
They served our country, now how do we best serve them? This session will provide an overview of the most common veterans’ benefits relating to graduate school, best practices for helping veterans transition into higher education, and perspectives from experienced administrators and former members of the military.
Unconscious biases may affect one’s decision-making processes. This session will focus on how unconscious bias may play a role in everyday decision-making, and you can identify ways to use sound judgement to better serve and advise students.
International students can help diversify and strengthen the educational experience. Financial assistance for these students takes a different approach. Join us for a panel discussion regarding available resources and what has worked at other schools.
Is your school interested in starting a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP or LRP)? Not sure where to begin? This session will help you get started and cover important questions to consider when structuring your program. If your school is fortunate to already have an LRAP/LRP, come learn why you may want to consider restructuring your program to better align with Federal IBR plans and how to navigate this process.
This interactive and hands-on workshop will show you how to communicate with your students using high-value, relevant content that gets your messages across in ways that resonate with the millennials you’re trying to reach. You’ll learn strategies for creating and repurposing content that will save time and resources.
Resumes are a vital part of the application process, even for internal positions. In this session, participants will learn how to position themselves for a promotion by emphasizing transferable skills, showcasing their unique value, highlighting relevant accomplishments, and incorporating appropriate keywords.
The information you have to convey to your students is imperative to their success and finding ways to cut through the clutter and make sure they hear your message in increasingly difficult. Stay up-to-date with trends in mobile technology, social platforms and web communication. Ask the experts and get real life examples of how these technologies can help you reach your students.
Planning for your golden years can be one of the most daunting aspects of personal finance. This session will focus on common misconceptions and how to prioritize saving for retirement throughout your career. You’ll walk away with an action plan to skillfully invest for a brighter future.
This session will share the findings from a survey on graduate and professional school financial literacy programming collected by NASFAA and Access Group in 2014 and 2016. The exciting news is many graduate and professional schools are engaged in initiatives related to financial education. Learn about the various ways institutions have implemented programming - including what topics are offered, how programs are structured, who participates and/or supports programming across campus, what resources are used and how they measure success. Walk away with new ideas to help support your own efforts on campus - whether you are looking for ways to create buy-in, new programming ideas, or outcome measures to consider.
Full registration fees cover all conference sessions, program materials and conference-related meals.
|$540||Early Bird Registration||If registered between June 14 and August 15|
|$590||Standard Registration||If registered between August 16 and September 30|
|$630||Late Registration||If registered between October 1 and November 17|
Daily registration fees cover all conference sessions and program materials for the day specified, as well as meals for the day.
|$275||Thursday, November 17||Opening Lunch and Welcome, concurrent sessions, Evening Reception, Dinner & Keynote Address|
|$375||Friday, November 18||All sessions, breakfast, lunch, and evening reception|
|$175||Saturday, November 19||
Breakfast and general sessions
|To register for daily rates, please call Julie Fox at 484-653-3366.|
Guest Meal Tickets
Registrants may purchase tickets for their guests for specified meal-related Conference events. Guests are welcome to attend the meal functions listed below at the following costs:
|Price per person||Date||Includes|
|$100 per person||
Thursday, November 17
|Reception, Dinner & Keynote|
|$40 per person||Friday, November 18||Buffet Breakfast|
|$50 per person||Friday, November 18||Evening Reception|
|$40 per person||Saturday, November 19||Buffet Breakfast|
To order guest meal tickets, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday, November 7. Guest meal tickets will be billed separately and can be picked up at the registration desk.
Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile
633 North Saint Clair Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Located in the heart of Chicago, one block east of Michigan Avenue, just about everything is within walking distance of the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile: the symphony, museums, galleries, world-class restaurants, shopping, Lake Michigan and the Loop. This beautiful AAA Four Diamond hotel boasts captivating views of the Windy City while providing an oasis of warmth and sophistication.
Making Your Hotel Reservations
The group reservation deadline at the Hyatt has now passed. The hotel no longer has an obligation to provide rooms at the group rate. Please contact Julie Fox at email@example.com or 484-653-3366 for further assistance.
Why Stay at the Conference Hotel?
We know that Chicago offers many hotel options, but please take these reasons into account before even considering another hotel:
To hold this Conference at a beautiful venue with great event space, quality services, and very reasonable room rates like the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, Access Group must make certain room guarantees to the hotel in return. If these guarantees are not met because attendees opt to stay elsewhere, the costs in attrition penalties for unreserved rooms can be severe. Moreover, a history of attrition can make it more difficult to negotiate a beneficial hotel contract for the next Conference, and the registration fee is then under pressure to sizably increase.
While you may find a hotel at a lesser rate, it’s not likely to match the quality of the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile for the special rate being offered – and you will certainly incur other added expenses and inconvenience.
Most importantly, it's the center of conference activity! You're able to network easily with other conference attendees. It's a quick trip to the sessions and events, and just as quick to pop back to your room for a break. Overall, you'll have a better conference experience.
Please support the Access Group conference and its future by staying at the Conference hotel.
Attendees are responsible for making their own transportation arrangements to and from the Conference. And getting to the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile from either O’Hare International Airport (ORD) or Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) is just an easy drive by cab, shuttle or car!
- From O’Hare — 18 miles; approximately $50 one way.
- From Midway — 13 miles; approximately $45 one way.
For your convenience, Access Group has arranged for reduced rates on all Enterprise-Rent-A-Car rental cars. For easy pick-up and drop-off of your rental car, Enterprise is located on-site at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Access Group conference participants will receive a guaranteed discount of 10% off the standard rate. To reserve a car or get more information, call 1-800-RENT-CAR (1-800-736-8227), or go online. When calling to reserve your car, be sure to mention the Access Group Corporate Code #: 17AA542. When making reservations online, please enter the corporate code listed above. Then, when prompted, enter the letters ACC to continue with your reservation.
Traveling by Car:
If you are driving to the Conference, or choose to rent a car, the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile offers valet parking to guests at $65 per night. Drive up to the front of the hotel to enjoy indoor parking at the downtown Laz Parking Garage.
Cancellations and Refunds
In the event you must cancel, your registration can be transferred to another individual at your institution at no additional cost. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of the change. Requests for substitutions or cancellations must be submitted in writing.
Access Group has no desire to retain fees paid by those unable to attend; however, hotel guarantees and other related expenses make the following schedule necessary:
- A full refund of registration fees will be made if a written request is submitted to Access Group by Friday, October 21, 2016.
- For cancellations made between October 22 and November 8, a refund minus $100 per registrant will be given.
- No refunds will be given after November 9; however, substitutions will still be accepted.
Please remember to cancel your reservation at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile as well. Hotel cancellations must be received 24 hours prior to arrival, or one night’s room and tax will be assessed.
Reminder: In the event that you check out of the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile prior to your reserved check-out date, an early departure fee of $179 will be charged to your account. To avoid this fee, you must advise the hotel of any change at or before check in.
After the Taste of Chicago Reception on Friday evening, November 18, or even before or after the Conference, have dinner at one of the world-class restaurants along Michigan Avenue (if you still have room!)… or browse the shops along the Magnificent Mile. Take a stroll through Millennium Park… or get your jam on at one of the many fabulous Blues clubs in the city. You get the picture!
Whether you’re visiting Chicago for the first time or are a veteran traveler to the area, grab a friend or colleague and discover something new and exciting:
Visit Choose Chicago! for more information. Or, visit the hotel concierge located at the front desk in the main lobby for menus, reservations, and plenty of great advice!
Sure, a taste of Chicago means deep-dish pizza, hot dogs and Italian beef – in a traditional sense. But to create a true taste of this exciting city, we’re bringing you home-grown Chicago laughter too!
The Second City opened its doors on a snowy Chicago night 57 years ago, and has been producing the stars that we all know and love ever since… Steve Carell, Bill Murray, Tina Fey and so many more. And at this year’s Conference, The Second City’s best actors will perform live and unscripted using audience suggestions to create an evening of comedy magic.
Don’t miss this unforgettable event starring Chicago’s favorite foods and fun.
2016 Conference Charity
It is an Access Group Conference tradition for staff and attendees to raise funds for a worthy charitable organization local to the Conference site. This year, the organization selected for support is Chicago-based SitStayRead.
SitStayRead is a unique literacy intervention program that uses Certified Reading Assistance Dogs in the classroom to improve student reading and writing outcomes in disadvantaged Chicago public schools. It is the leading literacy organization in the United States to use dogs as a tool to develop reading and writing skills in grades one through four. Founded in 2003, SitStayRead has demonstrated significant improvements in children’s attitudes towards reading. The results have shown improved reading skills and more participation in the classroom. And because pets accept people without conditions, the human-animal bond creates a relationship free of the stress of judgments and expectations, and thereby increases confidence and excitement about reading.
Please help SitStayRead serve Chicago’s at-risk youth who truly need our help to ensure their future. SitStayRead is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization; all donations are tax deductible and will be matched by Access Group after the Conference.
As Conference planning continues, we’ll keep you posted on how you can help! Click here to watch a news segment featuring SitStayRead.
First Time Conference Attendee Meet & Greet
It's kind of like your first day at a new school. You're surrounded by faces you don’t recognize. And there's a little bit of nervousness mixed in with the excitement of being somewhere you’ve never been before. Well, this reception will send those butterflies packing! Join your fellow newcomers at this casual ‘Meet & Greet’ before the Conference kicks off and you’ll feel like a seasoned attendee in no time. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet the 2016 Conference Planning Committee and Access Group staff to learn more about what the Conference holds in store – but most importantly, you’ll meet the folks who will share your Conference experience. So come a ‘newbie’ and leave energized, confident and with lots of new friends.
More highlights coming soon! Check back often for more updates.
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