Insider Look: What is the difference between FAFSA and Profile Need Analyses?

Presenter:  Bill Smith
Date:  Monday, May 13, 2019

What is the basic model of need analysis?  How does the Federal Methodology (used by the FAFSA) and Institutional methodology (used by the Profile)  differ?  Bill Smith helps us dig deep into this topic. He will give an overview of the basic model of need analysis and a comparison of Federal Methodology. Using a case study, data collected on the FAFSA will be compared to what is collected on the  CSS Profile.  How do the two methodologies compare?  What are the fine points of differences? Presentation topics will include:

  • Why do colleges use an alternative need analysis methodology
  • Comparison of treatment of income, assets, and allowances in FM and IM
  • Variations in application of IM: home equity, imputed values, FM overrides
  • Treatment of divorced/separated parents in IM
  • Considerations of Need-Aware admissions

Bill Smith

Bill Smith has been a forward thinker and thought leader in higher education for many years.  Bill Smith bought Think Ahead, a financial aid software company, in 2007 after a career in manufacturing. Think Ahead's software combined an EFC calculator with award packaging algorithms customized for colleges so they could offer online college cost estimators, precursors to Net Price Calculators.  Customers included MIT, Yale, Amherst, University of Arkansas, University of Tampa, and others. As Bill worked with colleges he learned their approach to calculating the EFC and packaging their need- and merit-based financial aid. After selling Think Ahead to Student Aid Services and helping the new owners expand the market for NPCs he founded ScholarFITS LLC in 2014. ScholarFITS works with individuals, high schools, and organizations to offer personalized college financial planning services.

Bill's BA is from Williams College, he has an MBA from Northwestern University, and a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA.

Wearing the Enrollment Management Hat

Date:                       Tuesday, May 14
Presenters:         Rick Diaz, Regional Director of Admissions, Southern Methodist University
                                   Christine Bowman, Dean of Enrollment Services, Southwestern University

Recent news has drawn attention to admissions and financial aid practices within institutions of higher education in the U.S.  What challenges does an admissions committee face when weighing factors for admissions?  What goes into the creation of an award or appeal on behalf of a student in a financial aid committee?  What are the ethics and standards institutions commit to and uphold in these processes? These sessions give conference participants an opportunity to wear the Enrollment Management hat for a day to learn more about the challenges and opportunities admissions and financial aid offices face.  These sessions feature:

  • 1 session on admissions, led by Rick Diaz
  • 1 session on financial aid, led by Christine Bowman
Participants will have an opportunity to participate in both the admissions and financial aid sessions.  By wearing the enrollment management hat, participants will receive more insights and clarity, enabling them to serve students and families better.

Rick Diaz, Regional Director of Admissions
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, Texas

Christine Bowman, Dean of Admission and Enrollment Services
Southwestern University
Georgetown, Texas

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Provide education and resources for college planning professionals, students and families.

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NCAG is accepting new members and is growing quickly. Membership is inexpensive, but the information that you gather and community that you will form will be invaluable as your practice continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of those you serve.


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