Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NASFAA Awards Nominations Due Friday, Feb. 27

The NASFAA Awards Nomination Deadline is February 27th. Please consider nominating those in our profession who may fit the nomination criteria.


Gold Star Award
The Gold Star Award recognizes innovative ideas in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency. This award is open to individuals working at NASFAA member institutions; member institutions; regional associations; and state associations.


Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award 
The Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award is one of the highest awards that NASFAA bestows and may be awarded either for significant contributions in the furtherance of NASFAA's goals over a sustained period of time OR for a single contribution of such momentous importance as to deserve the award.

An award recipient may come from the financial aid, political, educational, business, or other community. In addition to any selection(s) made from nominations for the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award, the association normally recognizes the significant and sustained contributions of the NASFAA Chair with this award at the end of the Chair's term.

Members may nominate individuals for this award using the online form on the NASFAA website. Download the list of past winners of the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award.

Lifetime Membership Award
The Lifetime Membership Award is the highest award that NASFAA can bestow on one of its members or an individual who is affiliated with a member organization. In order to be eligible to receive this award, the individual must first be employed or have been employed by a member institution, be an affiliate member, be employed by a constituent or associated member organization, or be a student member.

In as much as this award is the highest that NASFAA can bestow on a member, the achievements and contributions of the individual must truly be outstanding and significant. Normally, the individual will have made these contributions and achievements over a sustained period of time. That is to say, this award is not typically made for a one-time achievement or effort, but for working over a sustained period of time for the Association and the profession in important capacities, and contributing significantly to NASFAA's success in meeting its goals.

Members may nominate individuals for this award using the online form on the NASFAA website. Download the list of past winners of the Lifetime Membership Award.

Meritorious Achievement Award
This award is presented to an individual who has made an important contribution to the Association or to the profession. To receive a Meritorious Achievement Award the individual should have made either:
  • An important single contribution to the Association or the profession; or
  • Significant multiple contributions to the Association or the profession.

As an example, Ruth Burns was honored for her developmental work on the original NASFAA Encyclopedia of Student Financial Aid.

Members may nominate individuals for this award using the online form on the NASFAA website. Download the list of past winners of the Meritorious Achievement Award.

Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award
The Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award may be presented each year to an individual or individuals chosen for their contributions to the literature on student financial aid. The award is named in honor of Bob Huff, former director of financial aid at Stanford University and himself an outstanding contributor to the scholarly literature on student aid. Bob received the first Golden Quill Award in 1984.

Nominees for the award are judged on the basis of published work which exemplifies the highest quality of research methodology, analysis, or topical writing on the subject of student financial aid or its administration.

Members may nominate individuals for this award using the online form on the NASFAA website.


Honorary Membership Award
Honorary Membership in NASFAA is the highest honor that the Association can bestow on a person who is neither a member nor affiliated with a member organization.

Since this is the highest such award that NASFAA can give, the individual receiving it must have made truly outstanding contributions to the Association and to the profession over a sustained period of time. It is not expected that honorary membership will be granted in recognition of a single accomplishment, but for continued efforts over a period of time. Several members of Congress, a former Secretary of Education, and a former Commissioner of Education have received this award.


Members may nominate individuals for this award using the online form on the NASFAA website. Download the list of past winners of the Honorary Membership Award.

Now, nominate a colleague or two by Friday!


Monday, February 23, 2015

MASFAA Leader Spotlight: Nick Prewett

Welcome to our first in a series of MASFAA Leader Spotlight posts. Throughout the year, we'll try to interview some of the leaders on the MASFAA Executive Council. First up is MASFAA Delegate at Large, Nick Prewett. Nick is the Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Missouri.


Could you briefly describe the route you took to becoming active in a MASFAA leadership role? What is your background with MASFAA involvement?

I think my participation is a bit outside of the norm.  I moved to Missouri from Kansas, where I was active in KASFAA and RMASFAA. Changing regions after 9 years was a bit tough, but I was surprised at how many people I knew in MASFAA and how many people knew me.  I think it also helped that when I moved, my Director was serving as MASFAA president. I was asked to serve on the Conference Program Committee for the Milwaukee conference and, while there, I met a few people and was asked to run for an office during the next election cycle.  I would say this is not typical of most MASFAA leaders.

Why were you interested in a MASFAA leadership role?

I really liked the idea of a two year term on the board as a Delegate at Large.  The DAL is responsible for 4-5 committees and serves at the pleasure of the president.  I really enjoy the ability to work directly with committee chairs and sit on committee conference calls.  I feel like I am gaining a broader understanding of MASFAA, its purposes, goals, and future direction.

What recommendations do you have for someone who is interested in holding a MASFAA elected position? Where should they get started?

I think my first bit of advice is that if you are interested, make your interest known.  Now, doing that is a bit more complicated.  MASFAA comprises 9 states and really the only time you get to see people from all the states is at some type of regional or national conference.  My advice is to meet new people, have conversations over beverages, spend little time in your room.  You’d be surprised what you learn and who you meet.  The second part is volunteer for a committee.  Now when I say volunteer, that means participate on the committee, don’t just take up a slot to build a resume.  It takes work, but committees, chairs, and officers notice.  MASFAA is very interested in developing leaders and putting together the best election slate possible each year.

What advice do you have for someone who was just elected to a MASFAA leadership role?

Be part of the conversation, but don’t dominate the conversation.  Everyone can have an opinion on each issue, but that leads to wasted time.  Focus on what is important to you, your state, and your association.  Remember as an officer you support the association first and your state or your institution's interests second.  Sometimes difficult decisions must be made for the good of the organization.  Don’t be afraid to make them.

What have you learned from your leadership role that you were not expecting?

I've learned that the leaders of the organization are caring individuals who not only serve on the board of the organization, but they also forge relationships that extend beyond board service.  I’m amazed at how many emails get traded between past, present, and future board members on the “how to” or “what if” or “I have an issue I don’t know how to handle” which help with everyone’s real job as financial aid administrators.  Board members form some bonds that can be perceived by the membership is cliquey, but when you forge solid friendships with people you want to spend time with, it is hard to avoid that perception.  I will say it is a perception.

I always enjoy taking a step back from a meeting or call just to think about the big picture.  I’m a fan of understanding the dynamics that lead people or groups to make a decision and from a peanut gallery perspective, I enjoy every moment of serving on the board.

What tips do you have for being an effective leader?

I’m not sure how to answer this question.  A leader needs to set an example, listen, and not be afraid to do the work.  A leader always needs to credit those around them, because without followers, one can’t lead.  A leader needs to set a professional example, but a leader also needs to be willing to have fun.  Without fun, our jobs and leadership roles would be pointless.

Any final thoughts?

I think my best advice is to meet people.  We like to think that people on the executive board should be approachable.  When there is a blanket invite to an after-hours event/reception/get together, take that as an opportunity to meet people.  I think I have as many stories that begin with “Hey, remember that time we were playing LRC with sugar packets and bottle caps….” as I do, “Remember that kick ass session on ….”


Monday, February 16, 2015

ISFAA Update

(by Ben Burton, Indiana Representative)

What an interesting couple of weeks for financial aid professionals in the state of Indiana! 

First, we held our Winter ISFAA Conference in Indianapolis.  This year we transitioned our winter conference from December to January.  Unlike last year, Mother Nature was smiling on us and the weather was cold but there was no snow/sleet/ice or any of those other wonderful winter weather gifts.  Big THANK YOU to Kristi Fuller from Iowa who was our MASFAA exchange representative. 

Second, President Obama visited Ivy Tech Community College.   If you have not listened to the President’s speech I want to encourage you to do so.  It is available here.  He spent a great deal of time talking about the costs of education and how his free community college initiative would address that issue.  I have to say that his responses to some of the student questions were interesting.  Although, as financial aid professionals we often have to respond to questions like: Why do books costs so much?” to hear the President of the United States answer that question is a very different equation.



So, your trivia question of the day and NO you do not get to google the answer, no cheating:  Prior to the completion of the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1955, what building had the largest free-spanning dome in the United States and was the largest in the world from 1902 to 1913?

ANSWER: West Baden hotel and casino in French Lick Indiana.  What else will be in French Lick Indiana in May?  The ISFAA Summer conference! I would like to personally invite all of you to join us at our Summer Conference.  Check out our webpage for the all of the information.


So that is quick breakdown of what is happening in Indiana. 

-------------------------------------------------------------
SPONSOR MESSAGE

A Visit to Indiana

(by Kristi Fuller, Iowa Representative)

During the last week of January, I was privileged to be able to attend the ISFAA (Indiana Student Financial Aid Association) Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the MASFAA State Exchange program. The theme of the conference “Sailing Away the Winter Blues” was a reminder of warmer and sunny days to come, especially during these cold and blustery days of winter. The best part was being able to return to Des Moines before we received our foot of snow!


Everyone in ISFAA was very welcoming and made me feel right at home as if I was still in Iowa! From the welcome at the airport when I arrived, to my departure from the hotel, I was always welcomed into every activity and session. I was also excited to catch up with MASFAA members from Indiana I had met at the MASFAA Leadership Symposium last year in Columbus, Ohio.

This experience reminded me of how it feels to be a newcomer at a conference and that we must always help out our newer financial aid professionals. The Indiana members were so very kind and went out of their way to introduce themselves to me and make me feel included. I found that one ISFAA member had been a mentor to a current student at Drake University, where I work, while the student had been in high school. Another member had raised her family in Iowa in the same county where I live. Some even knew a former Drake employee or two! What a fun reminder of Iowa while being in Indiana!

Being able to attend another state’s conference was a wonderful experience. Indiana President, Debbie Schumm and her Executive Board were so fun to get to know and learn from. I was able to bring back some ideas of different ways to do things, but was also reminded that no matter where we live, we all have the same rules and regulations to follow, and the same desire to help student’s fulfill their dreams of a higher education.
Thank you ISFAA for your gracious welcome and I hope to see some of you in October here in Iowa!

Kristi Fuller
Drake University
Iowa President-Elect

Friday, February 13, 2015

FAFSA Campaign Series: Social Media Engagement

With the start of each new calendar year, we begin our task of creating a successful campaign encouraging students to file the FAFSA, and preferably file early. This is our last post in our series and we hope that is has helped you provide resources that can assist you as you continue with this year’s campaign.



The Federal Student Aid Digital Engagement Group has put together several tools to make your FAFSA Campaign easier. These include helpful videos you could embed on your website, prewritten tweets to promote FAFSA completion, infographics to use in your financial aid night presentations or other publications, and much more. We've shared all of these on the MASFAA Moments blog for the past two weeks. And you can access these resources and more at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov.

www.facebook.com/FederalStudentAid





#AskFAFSA Office Hours

Federal Student Aid hosts a live Twitter Q&A session on the last
Wednesday of every month from 5pm–6pm ET.

Use #AskFAFSA to submit questions & join the conversation!



 You can also watch this video from the 2014 Federal Student Aid Conference (Session #35) on “FSA's Easy-to-Use Resources to Engage Students & Families.”


Thursday, February 12, 2015

FAFSA Campaign Series: 25 Tweets

With the start of each new calendar year, we begin our task of creating a successful campaign encouraging students to file the FAFSA, and preferably file early. This week we’ll continue to provide resources that can assist you as you continue with this year’s campaign.




The Federal Student Aid Digital Engagement Group has a Twitter account (@FAFSA) and also has prewritten 25 tweets to make your FAFSA Campaign easier if you have a Twitter account for your financial aid office or even just one account for the whole school (you can share these prewritten tweets with your marketing or admissions office). These 25 tweets are listed below. You can share these and access other resources at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov.

  1. 7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the FAFSA: http://1.usa.gov/1y7rR3a (TWEET THIS)
  2. The 2015-16 FAFSA is now available! Let the funds begin: fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)
  3. HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: The 2015-16 FAFSA is now available! Complete it as soon as possible here: fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)
  4. Thinking about going back to school? The 2015-16 FAFSA is available! Apply for financial aid: fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)
  5. PARENTS: The 2015-16 FAFSA is now available! Go to fafsa.gov to help your child apply for financial aid. (TWEET THIS)
  6. How many schools are you applying to? You can add up to 10 at a time on your #FAFSA. How: http://1.usa.gov/15fBAZW (TWEET THIS)
  7. Did you already submit your #FAFSA? Here's what to expect next: http://1.usa.gov/14YVEPP http://bit.ly/1znquPX (TWEET THIS)
  8. 5 Reasons to Complete the #FAFSA: http://1.usa.gov/1B0QX3N (TWEET THIS)
  9. Don't leave free money on the table. Find out what #scholarships are available to you: http://1.usa.gov/1ytIfdp (TWEET THIS)
  10. 7 Common #FAFSA Mistakes: http://1.usa.gov/1uaIprD (TWEET THIS)
  11. 7 Common Financial Aid Myths: http://1.usa.gov/1sIlKly (TWEET THIS)
  12. FACT: You must fill out the FAFSA every year to apply for financial aid: fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)
  13. Complete the #FAFSA ASAP before your state's financial aid funds run out! Deadlines here: http://1.usa.gov/17RIc2e(TWEET THIS)
  14. Do you know when your #FAFSA deadline is? Find out: http://1.usa.gov/1C91USf (TWEET THIS)
  15. Still filling out #college applications? Here are 8 tips to help you: http://1.usa.gov/1whv379 (TWEET THIS)
  16. A work-study job can help pay for college, but you must fill out the #FAFSA to apply. http://1.usa.gov/1B91z0t (TWEET THIS)
  17. How to complete the FAFSA: http://1.usa.gov/1ytN08p http://bit.ly/1DLOihM (TWEET THIS)
  18. The most frequently asked #FAFSA questions & answers are here: http://1.usa.gov/1znqJdK (TWEET THIS)
  19. Everyone should fill out the #FAFSA. There's no income cut-off for federal financial aid: fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)
  20. How long does it take to fill out the #FAFSA? Average time to complete is just 21 minutes! fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)
  21. The 1st "F" in #FAFSA stands for FREE! You don't have to pay for assistance that's available for free! Official site: fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)
  22. If you already filled out your FAFSA, you need to read this: http://1.usa.gov/1E8C6VV (TWEET THIS)
  23. How to send your FAFSA to more than 10 schools: http://1.usa.gov/1E8C802 (TWEET THIS)
  24. Learn how your #FAFSA aid is calculated, submitting your info and more: http://1.usa.gov/1ytNo6H (TWEET THIS)
  25. Be sure to fill out the FAFSA! Some schools won't consider you for scholarships if you don't: fafsa.gov (TWEET THIS)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FAFSA Campaign Series: 25 Facebook Posts

With the start of each new calendar year, we begin our task of creating a successful campaign encouraging students to file the FAFSA, and preferably file early. This week we’ll continue to provide resources that can assist you as you continue with this year’s campaign.



Using Facebook to Promote FAFSA Completion
The Federal Student Aid Digital Engagement Group has a Facebook page and also has prewritten 25 Facebook posts to make your FAFSA Campaign easier if you have a Facebook page for your financial aid office (you can also share these with your marketing or admissions office). These 25 posts are listed below. You can share these and access other resources at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov.

  1. The 2015-16 FAFSA is now available! Let the funds begin: fafsa.gov
  2. HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: The 2015-16 FAFSA is now available! Complete it as soon as possible here: fafsa.gov
  3. Have you been thinking about going back to school? Now's your chance! Get money for college. The 2015-16 FAFSA is available at fafsa.gov
  4. PARENTS: The 2015-16 FAFSA is now available! Tag your children in the comments to remind them to complete their FAFSA at fafsa.gov
  5. If you're asked to pay for the FAFSA, you're not on the official government site. Complete the FAFSA for free here: fafsa.gov
  6. FACT: You CAN complete the FAFSA even if you or your parents haven't filed taxes yet. Here's how: http://1.usa.gov/1Cy6dVr
  7. The average time to complete a FAFSA is just 21 minutes! Get started on yours at fafsa.gov
  8. Don't forget! You must complete the FAFSA each school year in order to receive financial aid and be eligible for some scholarships. fafsa.gov
  9. States, schools & the federal government each have their own FAFSA deadlines. Make sure you complete the FAFSA by whichever deadline comes first. Click here to see the deadlines: http://1.usa.gov/1BebnZC
  10. One thing you don’t need for the FAFSA? Money! Remember, the FAFSA is FREE when you use the official .gov site: fafsa.gov
  11. Federal Student Aid has $150 billion to help you pay for college. The only way to qualify is to fill out the FAFSA. Don't leave $ on the table: fafsa.gov
  12. There's NO income cut-off for federal student aid: http://bit.ly/1fnNwsv Everyone should fill out the FAFSA: fafsa.gov
  13. Even if your parents don't support you financially, you might need their info on your FAFSA. Find out: http://1.usa.gov/1ytGwEW
  14. Confused about the financial aid process? Let us walk you through it step by step:
    1. Infographic: http://1.usa.gov/1ytKhM6
    2. Video: http://bit.ly/Sggdkb
  15. Tired of scanning confusing tax documents to answer FAFSA questions? You may be able to transfer your tax info into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Here’s how: http://1.usa.gov/15fzsSb
  16. Finished your FAFSA? Find out what you can expect next: http://1.usa.gov/17RFJF9
    1. Video: http://bit.ly/17RFVEg
  17. Have you been selected for verification? If your school asks for additional documentation to verify the data on your FAFSA, provide what is requested ASAP so your financial aid isn't delayed.
  18. If you've already completed your FAFSA, you may be wondering when you'll get your financial aid. This might help: http://1.usa.gov/14Lt7gB
  19. Don't wait until the last minute to make sure your FAFSA is up to date. Here's how to correct or update your FAFSA so that your financial aid isn’t delayed: http://1.usa.gov/1GbT626
  20. How to complete the FAFSA if you haven't filed your taxes yet: http://1.usa.gov/1ISmIhd
  21. Quick guide to filling out the FAFSA: http://1.usa.gov/1znqeQX
    1. Video: http://bit.ly/1udV8nU
    2. Infographic: http://1.usa.gov/14LtLuA
  22. Ever wonder what happens after you submit the FAFSA? Or maybe you want to know when you'll receive your financial aid? This should help: http://1.usa.gov/1ISmXJ1
  23. Don't fall for it! Here are 7 common myths about applying for financial aid: http://1.usa.gov/1ytLGCq
  24. Parents: Your kids may be headed off to college, but they still need you. How you can help them: http://1.usa.gov/1BeerF0
  25. Need help understanding how the FAFSA process works? Check out our NEW INFOGRAPHIC! Share with your friends, add to your website, print and hang up... The options are endless!
    1. Image: http://1.usa.gov/14LugF5
    2. Clickable PDF: http://1.usa.gov/1IKQQNj




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

FAFSA Campaign Series: Blog Posts

With the start of each new calendar year, we begin our task of creating a successful campaign encouraging students to file the FAFSA, and preferably file early. This week we’ll continue to provide resources that can assist you as you continue with this year’s campaign.


Using the U.S. Department of Education’s Blog Posts to Promote FAFSA Completion



The U.S. Department of Education, with the help of the Federal Student Aid Digital Engagement Group, has posted several blogs to make your FAFSA Campaign easier. You can find links to these (and future) blog posts online at www.ed.gov/blog/topic/federal-student-aid/. Below are screenshots from several of the recent blog posts.

http://www.ed.gov/blog/2014/12/7-things-you-need-before-you-fill-out-the-fafsa-2/


http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/6-steps-to-filling-out-the-fafsa-2/


http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/5-reasons-you-should-complete-the-free-application-for-federal-student-aid/

http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/7-common-fafsa-mistakes-2/



http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/7-myths-about-the-fafsa-and-applying-for-financial-aid-2/


Michigan Update: 2015 Winter Training

(by Val Meyers, Michigan Representative)

There were many great events at the MSFAA Winter Conference, held January 25-28, 2015 in Dearborn, Michigan, but I would focus on two in particular.

The first was a response to a conversation that many of us have had in the past with our Federal Trainer(s) – specifically, that we as financial aid administrators are often being told to make sure our schools follow a certain policy or file a certain report, when the data involved has nothing to do with financial aid, nor is it in our sphere of influence to make it happen.  He suggested that we find a way to bring our colleagues to a conference where they could hear the news directly from a Federal Trainer, in the hope that this might reinforce the importance of compliance.

So, with the formation of an ad-hoc committee to work with the MSFAA conference committees, we were able to set aside a day during the conference for a drive-in event for Bursar and Registrar staff. In addition to sessions from our federal trainer, the attendees also heard from Megan McClean of NASFAA about what is going on in DC that might affect them.  There was a session on how the Bursar and Financial Aid office can work collaboratively (presented by a former aid administrator who is now in the bursar area); a presentation of State of Michigan aid for Bursars, and information on Military and Veterans Affairs for Registrars.

MSFAA had hoped to attract about 60 participants to this track, but ended up recording 117 attendees.  Many of them were very enthusiastic about what they had learned, and more than one expressed the understanding that they need to review the procedures in their offices to see that they are in compliance.

Our second highlight came in the person of our Federal Trainer.  Since we have lost two training officers from the Chicago region, David Bartnicki from the Atlanta office graciously came to our conference to present our federal sessions.  As expected, he was knowledgeable and direct, a good communicator, well versed in the regulations.

However, what we could not expect was that he would end his sessions with a song.  To the tune of “What a Wonderful World”, he sang to us about seeing SARs and tax transcripts.  Later on, he ended his final session with a rousing renditions of “When the Feds Come Marching In”.  The creativity and humor was very much appreciated by the 242 MSFAA members in attendance.

Other items of note included the MSFAA Silent Auction charity, an annual MSFAA tradition, which this year raised over $6,000 for the Fostering Futures scholarship program of the State of Michigan, which supplies scholarships and guidance to students from the foster care system to go on to college. The leaders of MSFAA are proud of the generosity shown by our members in raising money for this year’s charity.











Please Take Our Preconference Survey

Please take the survey below. If you are reading this via email, please click here to view the survey online. Thank you!

Friday, February 6, 2015

FAFSA Campaign Series: Fact Sheets

 With the start of each new calendar year, we begin our task of creating a successful campaign encouraging students to file the FAFSA, and preferably file early. This week we’ll continue to provide resources that can assist you as you continue with this year’s campaign.


The Federal Student Aid Digital Engagement Group has put together several tools to make your FAFSA Campaign easier. These include helpful fact sheets (below) that can be hyperlinked on your school’s website. You can access other resources at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov.

You will need Adobe to view these downloadable PDF documents. A link to the PDF is provided below each preview image.



Download this PDF here.


Download this PDF here.



Download this PDF here.


Download this PDF here.


Download this PDF here.


Download this PDF here.

We'll continue the 'FAFSA Campaign Series' next week.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

FAFSA Campaign Series: Infographics

With the start of each new calendar year, we begin our task of creating a successful campaign encouraging students to file the FAFSA, and preferably file early. This week we’ll continue to provide resources that can assist you as you continue with this year’s campaign.



The Federal Student Aid Digital Engagement Group has put together several tools to make your FAFSA Campaign easier. These include helpful infographics (below) that can be embedded onto your school’s website. You can access other resources at FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov. In each image below, we've provided a link to the original image you can download and use.


Download the full image here.


Download the full image here.


Download the full image here.


Download the full image here.


Download the full image here.