2017 Keynote Speakers
is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, and Founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the nation’s only translational research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable. She is best known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, having led the two largest national studies on the subject, and for her work on making public higher education free. She is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award and the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and in 2016 POLITICO magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, is an Amazon best-seller, and has been featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, the New York Review of Books, and CSPAN’s Book TV, among other venues. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls her “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” and she is ranked 10th in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week.
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 the American Council on Education (ACE), Baker College, the Association Mutual Health Insurance Company, 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, playing racquetball, running or swimming.
Colin Ryan is a comedic financial speaker and author who travels all over the country sharing the secrets of universe. To date he has spoken to over 200,000 students and adults.
Colin has performed across North America and Europe, has partnered with National Geographic Television, and was named one of the top 10 youth money presenters in the U.S. Colin won The Moth's storytelling GrandSlam and has been featured on NPR. His comedy charity series has raised over $150,000 for good causes.