2018 Student Loans Agenda*

*Agenda subject to change

Sunday, November 4

8:30-4:00 PM

Pre-Conference Workshop A:
FlyForum: Featuring Flywire's OnPlanU

1:00-5:00 PM Pre-Conference Workshop B: PDG Collections A-Z Workshop
6:00-7:30 PM Welcome Reception

Monday, November 5

7:00-8:00 AM Breakfast & Registration
8:00-8:30 AM Opening Remarks - Jason Beard, President & CEO, Professional Development Group II, Inc.
8:30-9:30 AM
Keynote
Talk to Me: Secrets to W.I.N the Inter-Generational Conversation - Dr. Karen Jacobson, High-Performance Strategist
9:30-10:00 AM Networking Break
10:00-11:00 AM
Concurrent Sessions
Managing Conflict - Susan Kolls, Northeastern University
Collection Agency Audits - Jessica Sabourin, Harvard University & James Jones, Reliant Capital Solutions, LLC
Demystifying the Notorious Form 1098-T - Jenna Petefish, Ball State University
11:00-11:15 AM Transition Break
11:15 AM-12:15 PM
Concurrent Sessions
Your Perkins Portfolio: Part 1 - How to Assess if Your Portfolio is Fit & Healthy - Maria Livolsi, SUNY; Lori Hartung, Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc. & Jan Hnilica, Wheaton College
TBA
Safety and Security Strategies for Bursars - Laurie Beets, Oklahoma State University
12:15-1:15 PM Lunch
1:15-2:15 PM
Concurrent Sessions
To Fold, Merge or Mutilate - Vincent Simonelli, Boston University
Best Practices in Loan Collections - Jan Hnilica, Wheaton College
ROI: Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging - Jessica Sabourin, Harvard University
2:15-2:30 PM Transition Break
2:30-3:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions
Conscious Communication - Martie Adler, Indiana University
TBA
B-A-R-F...The Important Link Between the Bursar, Admission, the Registrar, & Financial Aid - Darrnell Long, Georgia State University
3:30-4:00 PM Networking Break
4:00-5:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions
Your Perkins Portfolio: Part 2 – Considerations for Servicing, Assignment and Liquidation - Maria Livolsi, SUNY & Lori Hartung, Todd, Bremer & Lawson, Inc.
TBA
Delivering News Students Don’t Want to Hear - Susan Kolls, Northeastern University

Tuesday, November 6

8:00-9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00-9:15 AM General Remarks - Jason Beard, President & CEO, Professional Development Group II, Inc.
9:15-10:15 AM
General Session
Best Practices for Preventing Financial Crime in Educational Payments - Jamie Prudhomme, Flywire
10:15-10:45 AM Networking Break
10:45-11:45 AM
Concurrent Sessions
Institutional Loans Part 1: Where Do we Start? (In a World Without Perkins) - Cathy Santamarina, Mercer University
Preparation for Trial: What Every School Needs to Know - Robert Schuerger, Schuerger Law Firm
Trending Topics in University Receivables - Laurie Beets, Oklahoma State University
11:45 AM-12:45 PM Lunch
12:45-1:45 PM
Concurrent Sessions
Revamping Your Collections Process for Optimal Results - Darrnell Long, Georgia State University
Strength in Numbers - Jan Hnilica, Wheaton College
When Tax and Student Financial Services Collide - Jenna Petefish, Ball State University
1:45-2:00 PM Transition Break
2:00 - 3:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions
Institutional Loans Part 2: Default Management & Resources for Compliance - Cathy Santamarina, Mercer University
Building Trust: Where to Begin - Martie Adler, Indiana University
Financial Literacy for Today’s Students – The Return of Title IV Funds - Pat Raines, Virginia State University
3:00 - 3:30 PM Networking Break
3:30-4:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions
The Reality Principal - Vincent Simonelli, Boston University
TBA
AR Best Practices - Torri Williams, Georgia State University

Wednesday, November 7

8:00-9:00 AM Breakfast
9:00-9:15 AM Closing Remarks - Jason Beard, President & CEO, Professional Development Group II, Inc.
9:15-10:45 AM Roundtable Discussions
10:45 AM Conference Concludes

*Agenda subject to change

Keynote

Talk to Me: Secrets to W.I.N the Inter-Generational Conversation

Dr. Karen Jacobson, High-Performance Strategist

With five generations in today’s marketplace and workforce, we are in a unique situation we’ve never been before. From communication differences to lifestyle habits, Radio Agers, Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials all speak different languages. From miscommunication and conflict to new ideas and technology changes, bridging the gap is key. The best way to build both a strong team internally and a strong presence in the community is to find the common ground by building bridges through mutual respect, understanding, and acceptance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Uncover the communication secrets to W.I.N. over any generation
  • Discover how do you share goals and engage people across the board
  • Learn to build collaborative relationships leading to stronger teamwork and higher productivity

 

Workshop Descriptions

FlyForum: Featuring Flywire's OnPlanU

PDG is excited to host “FlyForum: Featuring Flywire’s OnPlanU”. This complimentary all-day event will provide you with an inside view of Flywire’s latest technology advancements with OnPlanU; their full suite of new and innovative receivables solutions for both domestic and international student populations.

In collaboration with their peers, participants will propose and discuss solutions to address current and anticipated challenges affecting receivables management in Higher Education. Session topics will include “The Future of International Payments” and “Higher Education Institutions Preparing for the Next Generation of Students.” This event provides a unique opportunity to hear directly from EVP of Global Sales, Sharon Butler and VP of Engineering, David King about what lies ahead for Flywire. The lunch session will feature Flywire CEO, Mike Massaro.

8:30 - 9:30 - Continental Breakfast
9:30 - 12:00 - Morning Sessions
12:00 - 1:00 - Lunch Session with Mike Massaro, Flywire CEO
1:00 - 4:00 - Afternoon Sessions
6:00 - 7:30 - Evening Reception

This Users Group/Technology Workshop is open to all PDG attendees, although you do not need to participate in PDG's SLRC Conference to attend the workshop. (Note: This registration is separate from PDG's SLRC Conference registration.)

 

Collections A-Z Workshop

Jessica Sabourin, Harvard University

Session 1: Collections 101 (60 minutes)
In this session you will learn a general overview of debt collection in higher education, then we will get into specifics related to student accounts and student loan receivables. We will discuss the lifecycle of a student loan in relation to campus-based loans, servicing, collections and Federal regulations. We will also discuss campuses with internal collections departments as well as processes and procedures.

Learning Objectives:

  • Collections 101 – Overview of Higher Education Debt Collection
  • Student Accounts Receivable Collections – Active and Inactive Students
  • Student Loan Receivables Collections – The Lifecycle of a Loan
  • Internal Collections – Pre-Collections, Internal Collections Staff Departments

Session 2: External Collections and Working with Agencies (60 minutes)
In this session you will learn about RFIs and RFPs for sourcing external agencies. Discuss the importance of a Financial Responsibility Agreement for tuition accounts and ensuring your Master Promissory Notes and TILA documents are up to date with required language for collections purposes. We will discuss contracts, security review and compliance for your external agencies as well as ensuring a positive vendor-client relationship is created and maintained. There will be a brief overview of auditing your collection agencies.

Learning Objectives:

  • External Collections
  • Working with Agencies
  • Contracts
  • Audits of External Vendors
  • Security and Compliance

Session 3A: Financial Wellness 101 (30 minutes)
In this session you will learn the importance of financial wellness in higher education. Discuss what you are doing on your campus and how you assist your students with learning important life skills such as budgeting. We will discuss exit counseling for student loans and how that is managed on campuses across the country.

Learning Objectives:

  • Financial Wellness and Literacy in Higher Education
  • Debt Management
  • Best Practices of Financial Wellness
  • Exit Counseling
  • Budgeting for Students

Session 3B: International Students (30 minutes)
In this session you will discuss including your international student population in your collections practices and share best practices as this can be a difficult population to obtain demographic data on for keeping in contact. We will learn about the new General Data Protection Regulation that is important for European Union students and what that may mean for your school as well as contracts with your agencies and vendors.

Learning Objectives:

  • Best Practices when Working with International Students
  • Student Accounts and Student Loan Receivables at the International Level
  • Skip Tracing for International Students General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Session 4: Wrap-up, Best Practices, Discussion (30 minutes)
In this session we will have an open forum to discuss what we learned today, take-aways, best practices and what you are going to put into action when you get back to your campus!

 

Session Descriptions

AR Best Practices

Torri Williams, Georgia State University

This is not your typical best practices session. Are students the focus of your departmental procedures or were the students expected to fit into the box of our rules? We typically require students to fit inside best practices that work for our office and do not consider the interaction or encounter of our students. Come with an open mind and let’s review our office focus as it relates to student success. This session should provide simple and actionable items you can use at your institution.

Learning Objectives:

  • Purpose of Policy and Procedures
  • How to use Design Thinking to improve the student experience
  • Procedures and Student Success

B-A-R-F...The Important Link Between the Bursar, Admission, the Registrar, & Financial Aid

Darrnell Long, Georgia State University

This session will focus on defining the link that exist between the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of Student Accounts (Bursars) and what we can do to make the case for more integrative approaches to Enrollment Management.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop outreach initiatives for Academics and Financial areas aimed at connecting the dots for the students in the higher education process
  • Guide Advising (Academic and Financial) efforts towards the most critical areas of a students’ experience with our offices
  • Develop and implement timely, informative, yet brief communications (all offices) and billing statements (Bursar) and a schedule on which to send them

The takeaway should be a road map for planning more integrative process improvements that impact all areas of Enrollment Management and ultimately give the student a better experience in higher education.

 

Best Practices in Loan Collections

Jan Hnilca, Wheaton College

What does a success story in collections look and sound like on your campus? Loan collections offices can play an integral role in retaining current students. During this collaborative session we will get the chance to share in our student success stories, innovate and creative collection techniques and best practices. This is a session for both school and agency alike.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover new best practices in collection techniques.
  • Understanding the model of retention within loan collections.
  • Teaching financial responsibility to students.
  • Learn tips and tricks from collection agency experts

 

Building Trust: Where to Begin

Martie Adler, Indiana University

In this highly interactive workshop, participants will take a closer look at what is involved in building trust within an organization, a team, and even within themselves. It sounds so easy- just trust me; yet we all have beliefs that get in our way. Whether individuals, relationships, or team- lack of trust has an impact.

Learning objectives:

  • To begin understanding some foundational building blocks that will help us to create a foundation for trust.
  • To understand holistically, how we can move toward a much higher level of well-being personally and at work.
  • To determine how to best begin the work of building trust within our teams, relationships, and organizations.

 

Collection Agency Audits

Jessica Sabourin, Harvard University
James Jones, Reliant Capital Solutions, LLC

In this session you will learn how to plan for and execute an external collection agency audit. Included will be best practices for auditing your external collection agencies. What is the value of auditing your agencies and why should institutions pay attention to industry rules and regulations? You will understand the importance of financial responsibility agreements (FRA's) and why you need to validate debt. In addition, there will be discussion on security document review and contract tips and best practices. Industry updates from the external collection agency world will include what's coming down the road and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation from the EU that took effect May 25, 2018).

Learning objectives:

  • Collections best practices
  • Auditing
  • Collections tips & techniques
  • Security review & contracts

 

Conscious Communication

Martie Adler, Indiana University

When we communicate and engage in dialogue, how often do we take the time to be truly present to what is behind and within our communication? In this workshop, we will explore the concept of being conscious and aware of why and what we are communicating. We will discover how to communicate consciously through use of a variety of techniques.

Learning objectives:

  • Bringing intention, attention, and reflection to what we are doing
  • Engaging with total awareness
  • Using silence to create space for contemplation
  • Using creativity and imagination to enhance communication
  • Being mindful about the language we use and why

 

Delivering News Students Don’t Want to Hear

Susan Kolls, Northeastern University

Funding education has become increasingly difficult. Changes in circumstances do not always translate to increased aid. Funding may not be available for exciting educational opportunities. Are you responsible for communicating this or other potentially distressing news? From theoretical to practical, we will examine the role of the Business Officers in helping students and others receive and process (bad) news.

This will be an active, interactive session during which we will share strategies for delivering bad news. We will discuss Perry’s Theory of Emotional Development and where students might fall on that continuum. We will examine the way the medical community handles delivery of news and how we might learn from their experience. Ways to package the news in the best possible light, strategies for better student, parent, and staff understanding, alternative paths and follow-up strategies will be offered.

 

Demystifying the Notorious Form 1098-T

Jenna Petefish, Ball State University

While issuing the form is required, understandings its purpose is not. Let's change that. We'll discuss tax credits and deductions available to students and perhaps their parents, the ins and outs of section 529 plans and learn how to be helpful to our form recipients without giving tax advice. This session should make tax season much less stressful for you and your staff, even if your institution is converting from Box 2 to Box 1 as required.

Learning objectives:

  • Form 1098-T purpose
  • Education on 529 plans
  • How to be helpful without giving tax advice

 

Financial Literacy for Today’s Students – The Return of Title IV Funds

Patricia Raines, Virginia State University

If you could rank all the responses you hear for the reason a student’s title IV funds were returned, “I didn’t know” would most likely rank number one on the list. Today, we communicate and receive information different from “back in the day.” In this session, we will discuss some factors that contribute to the return of title IV funds, explore ways to provide financial information to our students and parents, and share how higher education partners can help provide financial education to our students while matriculating. This session should cause the generation of ideas that can help your area provide a transformative experience for your students.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss some factors that contribute to the return of Title IV Funds.
  • Explore ways to provide financial information to today’s students and parents
  • Share how Higher Education partners can help with providing financial literacy at your campus

 

Institutional Loans Part 1: Where Do we Start? (In a World Without Perkins)

Cathy, Santamarina, MBA, Mercer University

Now that Federal Perkins Loans are unavailable, what can we do to continue to meet the financial need of our students? Mercer University recognizes that Institutional Loans are an important part of award packaging, especially for students who relied on the Perkins Loan to cover their Tuition costs. In this Part 1 session we will examine offering Institutional loans as a replacement to Perkins, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages for students. We will review the necessary student loan disclosure documents required for awarding.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determining the need for institutional loans
  • Advantages and disadvantages of institutional loans
  • Required student loan disclosure documents

 

Institutional Loans Part 2: Default Management & Resources for Compliance

Cathy, Santamarina, MBA, Mercer University

We will provide an overview of the Institutional Loan collections process. We will discuss the establishment of collection strategies, contact methods, and working in conjunction with collection agencies. Building rapport with your students before graduation is an invaluable tool related to default management. In this session we will discuss ways to keep in touch with your borrowers, as well as provide techniques to keep your institutional loan default rate low by utilizing various skip tracing techniques and strategies. We will also examine a helpful list of resources for compliance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Default management
  • Building rapport
  • Resources for compliance

 

Managing Conflict

Susan Kolls, Northeastern University

Most of us strive to avoid conflict in our lives, but as managers or advisors we often find ourselves in contentious situations. Conflict can arise when working with parents, colleagues, employees and students, and around issues ranging from admission to course selection to office politics and beyond. Handling conflict can be difficult for all – from supervisors to new advisors.

Without resolution, conflict can cause stress and make our work more difficult to accomplish. In this session, we will take a look at some advising theory related to, and specific strategies for dealing with, conflict, including the use of conflict resolution techniques that will allow us to embrace conflict as a way to move forward.

We will first examine types of conflict and conflict theory focusing on direct conflict, referred conflict and beyond. We will then apply these types to specific conflict examples from higher education and managing in higher education, with the idea of empowering new and seasoned advisors, managers and higher education professionals with the means to manage conflict better, regardless of the type of conflict or setting.

We will provide a method of conflict coping designed to help ease any situation fraught with conflict tension. Through example we will show how to use this strategy and then allow time for trouble-shooting conflicts brought up by the group.

 

Preparation for Trial: What Every School Needs to Know

Robert Schuerger, Schuerger Law Firm

Join in on a discussion on trial preparations that is relevant to staff at private and public colleges and universities alike. The principal at an education-focused collections law firm will review the topic of trial preparation on education-based delinquent accounts. Subtopics include supporting documentation review, contract and accounting evaluations, client & witness conversations and courtroom process expectations. An understanding and adequate preparation for this unavoidable event will help schools reduce obstacles to legal judgment and increase opportunities to move the account from a legal status back to recovery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Equip team with knowledge of how to prepare for success at trial
  • Develop increased comfort with litigation process
  • Understand important components of witness testimony

 

Revamping Your Collections Process for Optimal Results

Darrnell Long, Georgia State University

Do you ever feel like your process for collecting AR debts is not as efficient as it once was? Have the collections hit a wall or are they trending in the wrong direction? Do students seem not too responsive to the communications they receive from your office? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this session may be right for you. Sometimes the old tried and true way of doing things has run its course. In these times, we have to be innovative in our approach to help reverse the negative trend line and improve our collections.

This course will look at everything from the pre=collect cycle though final placement and return to the school and what you can do to impact the amount of money you are collecting on a monthly basis.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review and evaluate the efficiency of your current process
  • Develop strategies aimed at increasing collectability of student AR debts (internally and externally)
  • Craft a plan for evaluating current placement levels, recoverability rates (both % and $) and perform a trend analysis of your current collections with projections on future dollars to be collected
  • How to have difficult yet meaningful conversations with managers, directors, collection agency partners about your collections portfolio

The takeaway should be a comprehensive plan for evaluating, strategizing, planning, and communicating a revised collections process from start to finish.

 

ROI: Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Jessica Sabourin, Harvard University

We will define diversity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace. Learn to understand that focusing on both diversity and inclusion leads to better results when it comes to engagement, innovation, customer service, and collaboration. It is our job as managers and leaders to source your new hires and network outside of your "backyard." Truly diverse teams outperform their competition. With better financial returns and ability to attract and retain top talent. Many diversity programs have failed. How do we "move the needle?" Discuss leveraging our individual uniqueness to achieve our business goals and create a culture where everyone feels connected to the institution's mission, vision and each other.

Learning objectives:

  • The importance of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
  • Why Creating a Sense of Belonging Is a Gateway to Diversity and Inclusion
  • Belonging: I can be authentic, I matter, and am essential to my team
  • Conscious and Unconscious Bias
  • How do we 'move the needle'?

 

Safety and Security Strategies for Bursars

Laurie Beets, Oklahoma State University

Protecting staff and protecting privacy is a top priority and legal duty. This session focuses on measures we can take to improve security of our staff and security of the vast information we access. Best practices will be shared.

Learning Objectives:

  • In this session you will learn about simple safety tips for the office and staff.
  • Recognize the importance of safeguarding private information and ways to ensure it’s protected.
  • Examples will be provided to create procedures and policies for your institution

 

Strength in Numbers

Jan Hnilca, Wheaton College

In sports, numbers play a key part in the success of a team. Championship teams do not come from an individual person, but rather through strategy, numbers and team work. The Golden State Warriors won their most recent championship on this model. In this session, we will take a look at how Managers can play the role as coach in developing and enhancing the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses of their fellow team members. With the aid of a personality assessment test, attendees will discover 'strengths and weakness in the numbers? Are you even in the right job as to how your strengths play out? This session will be enlightening, fun and an encouragement for all.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses in your current role
  • How to build your team members up with their strengths
  • Develop and coach your team for a more healthy work environment

 

The Reality Principal

Vincent A Simonelli, Boston University

We all work in a vacuum that requires an understanding of various realities: Where we are in the University hierarchy, the legal ramifications of our efforts, the need to understand our clientele at various stages of repayment and the maximization of resources. We will examine why schools even have a Collection Department, what we are expected to accomplish, how we fit in the school's mission and how to understand the nature of our portfolios. Remember, how you collect is more important than what you collect.

Learning objectives:

  • Budgeting a Collection operation
  • Utilizing government labor information to target populations
  • Establishing a goals-oriented work force
  • How to avoid legal potholes

 

To Fold, Merge or Mutilate

Vincent A Simonelli, Boston University

As institutions of higher education deal with enormous financial pressures, decisions must be made to either press on, merge with another institution or to fold altogether. As Boston University has just undertaken such a merger with Wheelock College we will examine the reasons behind the merger, the impact on the Receivables and Student Loan Management, as well as, the implications for both schools and their students.

Learning objectives:

  • The scope of such an undertaking
  • Perkins implications from NSLDS to FISAP reporting
  • How to honor and absorb vendor contracts
  • Public relation concerns and how to soothe alumni

 

Laurie Beets, Oklahoma State University

This session provides a forum to discuss hot emerging business topics with peers.

Learning Objectives

  • In this session you will take away the latest trends in the Student Accounts Office
  • Take away cutting edge solutions that schools have implemented and seen results

     

When Tax and Student Financial Services Collide

Jenna Petefish, Ball State University

The term scholarship is often used, but sometimes not completely understood. What is a scholarship? Why are some scholarships taxable? What's with the different treatment for international students? If a department on campus wants to award money to a student, why does it matter how the money is paid? Why the partnership between the financial and student teams is essential to maintaining an institution's compliance and properly servicing students. We're all on the same team, how do we act like it?

Learning objectives:

  • Legal definition of scholarship
  • Knowing when a payment should not post through student accounts
  • How institutional partnerships bolster compliance

 

Your Perkins Portfolio: Part 1 - How to Assess if Your Portfolio is Fit & Healthy

Maria Livolsi, COHEAO, SUNY

In loan management, much like in the medical industry, prevention is the best solution to ensuring your portfolio is “healthy” and that loans at risk are quickly identified and dealt with before they infect the portfolio’s overall financial health. This session is intended to discuss all the little and not so little processes (or preventative measures) an institution should do to make sure their portfolio continues to run smoothly and is prepared for the future.

Learning objectives:

  • How can you assess the quality of your Perkins portfolio?
  • What can you do to improve the portfolio’s collectability?

 

Your Perkins Portfolio: Part 2 – Considerations for Servicing, Assignment and Liquidation

Maria Livolsi, COHEAO, SUNY

Now that the Perkins Program has expired, schools must decide whether they will continue servicing their Perkins loans or liquidate the program. This session will focus on analyzing and developing an informed strategy for your institution's Perkins Loan portfolio, protecting and maximizing your capital investment and understanding the benefits and risks of assignment and liquidation.

Learning objectives:

  • What is the best strategy for your Perkins portfolio in order to maximize recovery of your institution’s investment?
  • Is it more cost effective to service your loans or assign them to the Department?
  • What information do your decision-makers need in order to best decide your course of action.