Secretary Spellings Names Scott Giles and Joseph Russo to Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the appointment of Scott Giles and Joseph Russo to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA). The eleven-member Committee serves as independent counsel to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Secretary of Education on student financial aid policy.
“I am pleased to have Scott Giles and Joseph Russo join the Advisory Committee,” said Secretary Spellings. “Their added expertise will contribute to the valued recommendations that this committee makes to ensure sound financial aid policy.”
Scott Giles is the vice president for policy, research and planning and assistant secretary to the Board of Directors at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Previously, Giles was deputy chief of staff for the Committee on Science and professional staff member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in the U.S. Congress.
Joseph Russo serves as the director of student financial strategies at the University of Notre Dame, where he began working in 1978 as the director of financial aid. Prior to that, he served in similar positions at Le Moyne College and Genesee Community College in New York. In his 42 years as a financial aid administrator, Russo has served as a consultant for several organizations, including the College Board.
ACSFA conducts objective, nonpartisan and independent analyses on important aspects of the student assistance programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. The Advisory Committee traditionally approaches its work from a set of fundamental goals: promoting program integrity, eliminating or avoiding program complexity, integrating delivery across the Title IV programs and minimizing burden on students and institutions. Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act has provided the Advisory Committee with a significantly expanded agenda.
Established by the U.S. Congress with the enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1986, ACSFA began operating in 1988 and consists of eleven members who serve in staggered terms of three years. Three members are appointed by leaders of the House of Representatives, three by leaders of the Senate and five by the Secretary of Education. The membership is geographically and professionally diverse, consisting of financial aid officers, students, college presidents and administrators, directors of student loan guaranty agencies, leaders of national educational associations, a banker and other policy experts from across the country.
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