Senior Vice Provost David Laude to Host Panel Discussion on College Affordability and Transparency

EVENT: Senior Vice Provost David Laude will host David Bergeron, U.S. acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education, for a conversation on national higher education policy.

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2-3 p.m. Event is invitation only but open to the media.

WHERE: Student Activities Center, Legislative Assembly, Room 2.302

BACKGROUND: Students, administrators and a national representative from the Department of Education will discuss affordability and transparency in higher education, including the university's plans to debut the new Federal Financial Aid Shopping Sheet and its latest financial aid pilot programs designed to incentivize four-year graduation rates.

David Bergeron, U.S. acting assistant secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) in the U.S. Department of Education, will discuss federal perspectives on college affordability and college transparency. The OPE formulates federal postsecondary education policy and administers programs that address critical national needs, including the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, which has been adopted by more than 600 institutions nationwide.

Panelist Tom Melecki, director of the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS), will share UT Austin's plans for implementing the Shopping Sheet for the 2013-14 class. Each year, the OSFS disburses more than $470 million in financial aid to more than 33,000 students and provides personal money management training to more than 7,400 students.

Other panelists include Kristin Thompson, a civil engineering senior, and Jordan Metoyer, a senior in economics. They will talk about the importance of affordability and transparency from a student and family perspective.

Kedra Ishop, director of the Office of Admissions, will moderate the panel. The Office of Admissions recently started admitting the 2013-14 class.