STUDENT FINANCIAL AID RESEARCH NETWORK
30th Annual SFARN Conference
June 20-21, 2013
Info | Presentations | Speaker Biographies
SFARN Celebrates 30th Anniversary
The 30th Annual Student Financial Aid Research Network (SFARN) convened June 20-21in Portland, OR. SFARN, a national network of practitioners and consumers of research and policy analysis, annually brings together some of the nation's leading financial aid researchers and analysts.
The first conference met in Washington, D.C., and was organized under the leadership of Jerry Davis and Pell Institute Senior Scholar Tom Mortenson, who at that time were respectively at the Pennsylvania and Illinois state student aid agencies. As Mortenson noted in the published proceedings, it was convened as "an outgrowth of efforts to establish communications and build upon the research efforts underway in the state agencies responsible for administering student aid."
Thirty years later, the need to network face- to-face with colleagues to inform current research and practice still remains the paramount reason for this gathering. Conference participants frequently present work in progress, seeking the expertise and experience of colleagues to identify problems with data and analysis, discuss trends, and raise awareness of potential impact on other aid programs and research projects.
This year, the two-day conference featured 24 presentations on student aid and related topics. Highlights of this year's conference include:
The SFARN network was first organized by members of the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP) and the National Council for Higher Education Loan Programs (NHCELP) to encourage and disseminate research to inform public policies at the state and federal levels. Members come from state grant and loan agencies, federal agencies, faculties and staff of postsecondary institutions, education associations, and other groups.
Attendees at the first conference included representatives from 19 state agencies, 9 Washington-based organizations, 6 federal agencies/congressional committees, and 4 colleges and universities. The composition has changed over time, particularly as tight state budgets have limited participation but state agencies. The 2013 conference included representatives from 3 state agencies, 5 national and state membership associations, 3 federal agencies/congressional committees, 9 non-profit and research organizations, 10 colleges and universities, 2 programs, and 1 foundation.
Since 2004, the Pell Institute and the Council for Opportunity in Education have coordinated the annual conference under the guidance of former Pell Institute Director Colleen O'Brien.
Presentations from the 2013 Conference have been posted here; not all presentations will be available, as some data and findings were preliminary and / or not for general distribution. The conference agenda and other information on SFARN are currently available at (http://www.pellinstitute.org/). For further information, please contact Maggie Cahalan, Director of the Pell Institute.
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