Monday, March 16, 2015

MASFAA Summer Institute: Testimonials

As those planning MASFAA's Summer Institute, there’s only so much we can say to convince you of the value in attending the event.  Instead, we’d like to offer personal insight from a few of our 2014 graduates!

Lea Polizzi - Advisor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

I had a wonderful experience attending the Summer Institute and would encourage my fellow colleagues to take advantage of this great opportunity. The positive and friendly environment supported inclusion for all attendees no matter the experience level. Some participants had financial aid experience of more than a decade while others had just as a few months of financial aid experience. The different skill levels of participants made little difference due to the fact everyone had something to learn. Our understanding of financial aid expanded on the macro level when we learned about how different institutions procedurally handle the same federal regulations. Summer Institute provided engaging group activities which encouraged attendee interaction and cooperation. Kudos to the organizers, they created an atmosphere where training can be fun and stimulating.

On a more personal note, I became friends with many of the other attendees and remain in regular contact. Some of these relationships will continue to grow and flourish over the rest of my life. Thank you, Summer Institute, for all of the knowledge you have provided and friendships you have fostered!

Katie Hill - Counselor, Ursuline College

Prior to Summer Institute, I had been working for a company who serviced families by helping them submit their FAFSA and guide them through the financial aid process. While I was gaining much needed experience where I was working, I knew that I eventually wanted to evolve my experience into a career at a college in the Financial Aid Department.

Summer Institute (SI) not only taught me important information about the federal financial aid process, it also validated my aspirations to become a Financial Aid Administrator. Our very first session was an ice-breaker exercise. The leaders of SI had everyone in attendance line up in sequential order per how long they have been working in financial aid. The range of the group began with people who had been working in financial aid for only two weeks to people who have been working in financial aid for years. When we got to the leadership committee, they explained why they work in financial aid and why it matters to them. It was really influential to hear our mentors explain how much they loved helping students succeed in college by guiding them through financial aid. This exercise really sealed the deal for me. I knew that I was where I belonged for all the right reasons.

The rest of the week was jam-packed with educational sessions pertaining to the application process, Verification, packaging, Return to Title IV, Federal Methodology, Professional Judgment, and more. Each session was informative and collaborative. We were able to discuss the diverse policies within each of the schools, and it was really interesting to compare and contrast situations that occur within the different Financial Aid Offices. At the end of each day, we were able to spend time with everyone in a more relaxed atmosphere. It was great to sit with new and old administrators and just talk. I was able to network with so many people who really enjoyed what they did. I was even being mentored while I was eating dinner!

Summer Institute as a whole was a very positive experience for me. I felt like I was part of something bigger than just processing paperwork. I connected with so many people whom I keep up with on social media regularly, and was even able to have my resume reviewed and critiqued which helped me acquire a position in a financial aid office. I am now a Financial Aid Counselor and can’t wait to get more involved with my state organization and hopefully one day MASFAA as well.

2015 MASFAA Summer Institute Details

Where? IUPUI Campus, Indianapolis, IN

When? June 1 – 5

Why? Increase your financial aid knowledge, earn NASFAA credentials, network with regional partners and colleagues, and be more involved with MASFAA

What? NASFAA Core Modules – from the Application Process through Return to Title IV

Registration will be open any day now! Watch the MASFAA website training page and keep an eye out for a MASFAA listserv e-mail! 

Looking for more photos? Check out MASFAA’s Facebook group and albums! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on a MASFAA Moments blog post! Comments are moderated, but your comment should appear shortly.