Monday, January 5, 2015

15 Books Financial Aid Administrators Should Read in 2015

If you're looking for some great reads for financial aid administrators in 2015, you've come to the right place! We've assembled a diverse list of books you might enjoy (in no particular order). From some of the most talked about higher education readings to classic leadership development material, this list is great for new financial aid administrators and veterans alike! And, if you read one of these this year, please let us know! A book review blog post would make an excellent edition to MASFAA Moments!

Developing a list of only 15 books proved quite difficult, so we've got a list of honorable mentions that we will post in the near future. Keep an eye on the blog each Monday for new posts!

If you have already read one of these books, plan to choose a book to read from the list, or willing to organize a book club, please feel free to post in the comments section. Even if you know of a great book that is not mentioned here, please feel free to comment. Enjoy!

American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know
by Goldie Blumenstyk

October 13, 2014 (216 pages) Image via Amazon
"As a nationally regarded reporter, Goldie Blumenstyk brings a unique and objective perspective to the nation's rapidly changing higher education context. This book is an impressive, comprehensive overview of the most pressing-and sometimes controversial-issues confronting higher education today." Jamie Merisotis, President, Lumina Foundation 

by Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers

July 29, 2013 (165 pages) Image via Amazon
"...very helpful in setting our association on a pathway towards ongoing success!!" Robert Juhasz

If you like this book, you might also like Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations by the same authors. 

October 14, 2014 (288 pages) Image via Amazon
"In Reinventing Financial Aid, Andrew P. Kelly and Sara Goldrick-Rab present a variety of perspectives and insights on ways to improve the effectiveness of student aid funding. They highlight the need to question assumptions, test ideas, and rigorously research what works and what does not, so as to identify and avoid the unintended consequences of well-intended policies." Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher,

You're the Director: A Guide to Leadership in Student Financial Aid
by Sarah Baumhoff, Lisa G. Blazer, Linda Conard, Eric K. Cooper, 
Erika Cox, Ron Day, Justin Draeger, Pamela W. Fowler, Sara Beth Holman, Gigi Jones, David Levy, Lisanne Masterson, Dawn McCoy, Barbara Miller, Billy Satterfield, Doug Severs, Barry Simmons, Leslie Turner, and Jim Trimboli

July 24, 2012 (218 pages) Image via Amazon
"Whether you're the financial aid director or an understudy rehearsing for the leading role, our newest publication, You're the Director: A Guide to Leadership in Student Financial Aid, can help. This book is our first-ever anthology, written by financial aid professionals for financial aid professionals. Think of the authors as your personal acting coaches! The pages are packed with their guidance on leadership concepts, long-term planning, change management, budgeting, and so much more." National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)

by Jim Collins

November 22, 2005 (35 pages) Image via Amazon

"I have direct experience in the social sector with over twenty-five years as an advisor or board member of several, varied non-profits. Good to Great and the Social Sectors resonated with me as it fills a very deep void in social sector leadership guidance." Thomas M. Loarie

This short book is a nice companion piece to Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by the same author.

October 21, 2014 (208 pages) Image via Amazon
"Summer Melt addresses an urgent national issue. These practical strategies for increasing college enrollment among underrepresented students will affect the lives of thousands of young people across the country." Teresa A. Sullivan, president, University of Virginia

by Reynol Junco

August 18, 2014 (368 pages) Image via Amazon
“Rey Junco’s important new book provides a valuable corrective to rhetoric demonizing youth engagement with Facebook and other social networks. Armed with a wealth of research, including his own in-depth studies, Junco shows that social network services are an important locus for students’ identity development and an important space for student affairs professionals to understand and navigate.” Ethan Zuckerman, director, Center for Civic Media, MIT and principal research scientist, MIT Media Lab

Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality
by Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Laura T. Hamilton

April 8, 2013 (344 pages) Image via Amazon
"With astute observations and insights, Paying for the Party sheds new light on the lived experiences of contemporary students. It is a very important piece of scholarship that will inform the national discourse on the current state of U.S. higher education." Richard Arum, author of Academically Adrift

by Raechele Pope, Amy L. Reynolds, and John A. Mueller

July 21, 2014 (224 pages) Image via Amazon
“To demonstrate that acknowledging, understanding, and engaging with diverse others is not only the right thing to do educationally, politically, and socially, but actually possible to achieve, Creating Multicultural Change on Campus amasses in a skillful way much of the most significant scholarship on the matter. […] The authors offer theories but wisely couple them with concrete practices, examples, advice, checklists, and constant reassuring words....” Caryn McTighe Musil, Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives, The Association of American Colleges and Universities

by Sheryl Sandberg

March 11, 2013 (240 pages) Image via Amazon

“Sheryl Sandberg has done a tremendous service with this work. It offers a vital and sharp message, for women and men. We need great leaders in key seats spread throughout all sectors of society, and we simply cannot afford to lose 50 percent of the smartest, most capable people from competing for those seats. Provocative, practical, and inspired!” Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

by Ron Lieber

February 3, 2015 (256 pages) Image via Amazon
“All of us worry about how to give our kids a proper dose of perspective and gratitude. Ron Lieber’s explanation of how money conversations imprint these good values (and so much more) is just the thing parents need to read right now.” Madeline Levine, author of The Price of Privilege

by Suzanne Mettler

March 11, 2014 (272 pages) Image via Amazon
“Degrees of Inequality is a trenchant analysis of how our severely dysfunctional politics has undermined one of the foundational pillars of the American Dream. Mettler powerfully and convincingly demonstrates how partisan polarization and plutocratic biases have shaped higher education policy in recent years and why reform is so urgent. An engaging and essential read for citizens and policymakers alike.” Thomas E. Mann, author of It’s Even Worse Than It Looks

by Derek Bok

August 25, 2013 (496 pages) Image via Amazon
"A detailed progress report on the challenges and opportunities facing our nation's colleges and universities. . . . Competition among schools produces benefits and causes problems. Most of the important ones are addressed in Bok's helpful volume. I hope he is right that we already have the ingredients in place to make the necessary reforms. I know we need university leaders like him to help activate those ingredients so that American higher education can continue to contribute in vital ways to our culture, our economy and our polity."Michael S. Roth, Washington Post

by Mindy Hall

October 27, 2014 (168 pages) Image via Amazon
"Being 'intentional' is a simple concept that when applied is so powerful. It allows you to shape how you engage and are viewed as a leader. This book is going to be a must-read for my entire leadership team." Michael Conway, Executive Vice President of Global ChannelDevelopment, Starbucks

"The best leaders I have met never stop looking for ways to improve. Because Dr. Hall's stories and tools are deceptively simple to use but profoundly real in their impact, these leaders will want to keep this book close at hand." Christi Shaw, President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Reframing Academic Leadership
by Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos

January 25, 2011 (288 pages) Image via Amazon
"Too often, higher education administrators understand neither the organizations they lead, nor the theories that provide them with knowledge they can apply to this complex task. Bolman and Gallos have written a practical, lucid text that brings together illustrative vignettes and robust frameworks for diagnosing and managing colleges and universities. I recommend this book to new and experienced higher education administrators who will routinely confront difficult people, structures, and cultures in their workplaces." Christopher Morphew, professor and chair, Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, College of Education, University of Iowa


  1. The Bok book is one of the required texts for my organization and governance course this semester. I'm looking forward to reading it!

  2. Thank you for making this list!

  3. I think an online book club would be a neat idea!


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