MASFAA Conference

2020 Conference

Greetings from the MASFAA Conference Committee! The next annual conference will be held virtually from November 9th through the 13th.


The 2020 Conference will be held virtually via GoToWebinar.


Monday, November 9th

1:45 PM – 2:00 PM – Conference Welcome with MASFAA President Monica Blondin

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM – Navigating Together Towards Tomorrow: Some ADVICE with Helen Rothberg


We can’t always control what happens in life, but often we can choose how to respond.

Challenging times can also provide an opportunity for visioning, re-visioning and change. During

our time together we will consider the ADVICE model and how it provides a pathway for turning

the daunting into doable, even inspiring.


3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Transitions and Navigating Change with Jillian Glaze from Bunker Hill Community College, Stephanie King from Bay Path University, Laura Biechler from Bridgewater State University, and Ebony Marsala from Northeastern University


Tuesday, November 10th

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM – 2019 Taxes and 2021-2022 Verification – What’s New and What’s Changed with Robert Weinerman

Verification in 2021-2022 is not too different from verification in 2020-2021, but there are changes – some obvious, and some subtle. This session will look at the changes to the 2019 tax forms and tax code, 2021-2022 verification, and recent changes to the Application and Verification Guide of note. Included will be a line-by-line search through the 2019 tax forms, so we can find all the FAFSA related tax items found there. We’ll review the changes to the 2019 Schedule 1 and the revisions to the tax-form based qualification requirements for the Automatic Zero EFC and Simplified Formula Variants. We’ll discuss what we know about the treatment of alimony now that some alimony payments will not be reported of the tax forms. And we’ll look at recent changes in the taxation of a dependent student’s unearned income. In addition, we’ll look at upcoming changes to the 2020 tax forms and, as we will be addressing a lot of appeals based on COVID-19 related reductions in 2020 income, we will discuss how you might get the documentation you need to estimate 2020 income to support your professional judgments.


Thursday, November 12th

2:00 PM – 3:15 PM – Federal Update with Justin Draeger from NASFAA

3:15 PM – 3:30 PM – Business Meeting

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM – Kahoot Happy Hour Trivia


Friday, November 13th

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Virtual Magic with Steve Hughes

Remote offices, shrinking timelines, and technological advances are making online presentations an increasingly popular way to communicate. However, if you approach a virtual presentation the same way you approach a live one, your chances of success are limited. The good news is that a great webinar is relatively easy to create and deliver if you understand the dynamics of online presentations. This cutting-edge program will give you the tools you need to make things happen when you’re presenting over the Internet or phone.

By attending this program, you will be able to:

  • Incorporate proven strategies to keep your remote attendees engaged.
  • Avoid the five common mistakes that can derail any virtual presentation.
  • Increase the effectiveness of your remote presentations.
  • Get better results from your webinar activity.

3:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Closing remarks, MASFAA award winners, and Raffle Pull


School on Wheels Massachusetts (SOWMA) is the charity selected for the 2020 MASFAA Conference. Please consider buying 50/50 raffle tickets to support this amazing organization.


Their mission is to support the academic, social and emotional growth of students impacted by homelessness. Today SOWMA provides one-on-one tutoring to 280 students at 18 program sites.  Since the start of the 2019/2020 academic year, they have distributed more than 5,800 new backpacks, customized according to grade-level, to children and at-risk youth living in 38 Massachusetts communities.  They currently mentor 57 college students as part of the Bridge Program, where they shepherd high school students through post-secondary school plans, including vocational training and college.

Thank you to add who participated in the 50/50 raffle!

Keynote Speakers

Helen Rothberg, opening keynote

Helen Rothberg, PhD, bartended in New York City throughout her academic career. She has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, small technology start-ups, and nonprofit organizations.  She speaks regularly on bartending and leadership at alumni, student, association and company gatherings. Dr. Rothberg is dual degreed in business and behavioral science, is professor of strategy at the School of Management at Marist College, senior faculty at the Academy of Competitive Intelligence, president of consulting firm HNR Associates, and a contributing author for Her latest book, The Perfect Mix: Everything I Know about Leadership I Learned as a Bartender, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2017. She lives in Orange County, NY, with her husband, dog, 2 cats, and several part-time goats. She still  makes a mean Cocktail.


Steve Hughes, closing keynote

Steve Hughes is a sought-after speaker and consultant who helps people look and sound smart when they talk.  He’s the author of Captivate and he has been featured on NPR, BBC Radio and in The Wall Street Journal and Businessweek. Today he works with a select list of blue-chip clients including leading universities, Fortune 500 companies, top law firms, and national associations. Steve holds a BA in French Literature and European History from the University of Kansas and an MBA in Marketing from Washington University’s Olin School of Business, where he was awarded the prestigious Olin Cup. He travels out of St. Louis where he lives with his wife and their two well-behaved daughters.

Additional Speakers

Justin Draeger

Justin Draeger is President and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He serves as the primary voice of NASFAA and as the liaison between the association members, the U.S. Congress, federal agencies and the media. Most of Justin’s career has been devoted to assisting disadvantaged populations achieve their educational goals and better their communities. Since 2002, Justin has been engaged in either administering, interpreting, communicating, or developing student financial aid policy. His prior experiences include working as a financial aid director, regulatory and policy analyst, and spokesperson. He has held senior positions overseeing government relations, communications, and policy work. Justin is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on The Today Show on NBC, National Public Radio, APM’s Marketplace, Fox Business News, CNBC, and C-SPAN, and is often quoted in national news outlets. Justin currently serves on the boards of directors of Baker College, the Association Mutual Health Insurance Company, the Northwood Education Foundation, and other organizations that promote health and education. He earned his undergraduate from Brigham Young University and his MBA from Baker College. Justin lives in Fairfax, VA with his wife and three children, where he spends his free time shuttling children to various events, bicycling, motorcycling, playing racquetball, and running.


Robert Weinerman

Robert Weinerman started his financial aid career in 1993 as a financial aid officer at MIT – where he quickly became the go-to guy who reviewed the complicated tax returns that families submitted. After more than a decade as an aid officer at MIT, Babson College, and a few other schools in the Boston area, Robert left the aid office to counsel students and parents about saving and paying for college as the Senior Director of College Finance at College Coach.


Robert began his current career as a trainer for financial aid officers five years ago, focusing specifically on the intersection of financial aid and the tax code – and was selected by Jim Briggs as Jim’s successor when Jim retired from tax training to work on his other businesses.