Monday, December 12, 2016

Seeking Candidates

MASFAA Members, 

As we wind down the year and head into next year, it’s that time of year where the MASFAA Nominations and Elections Committee is seeking officer nominations for the 2017-18 year.  Available positions include President-Elect, Vice President, Treasurer-Elect and two Delegate At Large positions.  Please consider nominating yourself or fellow colleagues to serve MASFAA.  Additional details about each position and the Nominations and Elections form can be found on the MASFAA website at http://www.masfaaweb.org/docs/forms/pdf/2017-2018BoardNominationForm.pdf.  You may also complete an online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/39QKKRR.

The nomination process is open until January 27.  Once nominations close, the Nominations and Elections Committee will assemble the ballot with the goal of having it posted by March 1st.  Once the ballot is posted, current MASFAA members will have fourteen days to vote.

Questions regarding the process or any of the open positions can be directed to a member of the Nominations and Elections Committee.  Members include Kathy Bialk (WV), Triena Bodart (WI), Cheryl Willard (OH), Nick Prewett (MO), Thomas Ratliff (IN), Val Meyers (MI), Aaron Steffens (IA), Susan Swisher (IL), and Dick Battig (MN).

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Susan Swisher

MASFAA Nominations and Elections Committee Chair

Monday, December 5, 2016

November Proclaimed Financial Aid Awareness Month in Iowa

On October 17, a group of Iowa financial aid administrators gathered at the State Capitol in Des Moines to witness Governor Terry E. Branstad sign a proclamation proclaiming the month of November to be Financial Aid Awareness Month (FAAM) in Iowa.  The change of having the FAFSA available beginning October 1 has also changed the timing of promoting financial aid and FAFSA filing.

In the past, February had been proclaimed as Financial Aid Awareness Month in Iowa.  In recognition of FAAM, IASFAA promotes a challenge among Iowa’s colleges and universities to use unique and creative ideas to promote FAFSA filing on their campuses.  The winning campus receives a traveling trophy, Freida the Flamingo, to proudly display and a gift card for the office to use for a fun lunch.  The last winner of the trophy and gift card was Coe College in Dubuque!

With the signing of the proclamation now occurring in the fall rather than during the dead of winter, one financial aid administrator commented that it was nice to travel to the capitol and not have to worry about icy roads or snow!  Plus, no coats were required with the balmy fall that Iowa has been experiencing.  And now that November has arrived, the campuses are once again promoting FAFSA filing with the hopes of being the next winner of Freida!

Iowa Delegation

Because the state legislators are not in session during the month of October, the timing of the signing allowed for the group to be able to do a self-guided tour of the capitol building.  A visit to see the House and Senate chambers allowed them to stand on those respective floors rather than viewing from above in the gallery.  A decision to visit the state library in the capitol to take in the views of downtown Des Moines resulted in an impromptu presentation given by the state librarian showing some historical law books, including one from 1787 that has John Hancock and Samuel Adams’ names listed.


Promoting FAFSA filing is the first step in the financial aid process and IASFAA is thankful to Governor Branstad and the State of Iowa for recognizing how important this step is!  

Kristi Fuller
Assistant Director-Continuing Student Programs
Office of Student Financial Planning
Drake University

Monday, November 14, 2016

MASFAA Membership Reminder

MASFAA Membership Reminder


Now is the time to renew your MASFAA membership!  Unless you opted to pay your 2017 membership dues at the time you registered for the Kansas City conference, your membership likely already expired!

You can submit the 2017 membership application now by going to www.masfaaweb.org and clicking on Member Services.  Make sure you do that soon so that you don't miss out on any MASFAA activities as we enter the new year.  If you have any questions about your membership status, please let me know. 

Best wishes to all as we swim through this new PPY!!!

Crystal M. Bruntz
MASFAA Member Services Chair

Friday, November 4, 2016

Federal Issues - Election Update

Federal Issues - Election Update


With less than a week to go before the election, most of us probably can’t wait for it to be over. Every election is important and it is important that everyone exercise their constitutional right by taking the time to vote. Sometimes it is hard to know who to vote for; the media tends to focus on the personal tit-for-tat that goes on between the candidates instead of spending the time going over the issues and the stance of each candidate on those issues. So to save you some time, below is a summary of each presidential candidate’s stance on higher education and college affordability. This is not an endorsement of one candidate over another but a summary of their position as stated on their web sites.

Clinton wants families with income up to $125,000 to pay no tuition at in-state public four year colleges and universities and all community colleges will offer free tuition. All borrowers will be able to refinance loans at current rates. She also wants to help those in default protect their credit and cut interest rates on student loans. Clinton wants to develop a payroll deduction portal for employers and employees to simplify the repayment process of student loans. Aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to defer their loans with no payment or interest up to 3 years. Lastly, Clinton will use executive action to offer a 3-month moratorium on all federal student loan payments.

Trump wants to work with Congress on reforms to ensure universities are making a good faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt in exchange for the federal tax breaks and tax dollars. He wants to ensure that the opportunity to attend a two or four-year college, or to pursue a trade or a skill set through vocational and technical education will be easier to access, pay for, and finish. Most of Trump’s plan for education focuses on school choice at the K-12 level.

I would encourage each of you to look into the positions of each candidate when deciding who to vote for come Tuesday and to make every effort to get out and cast your vote.

Brian Weingart
MASFAA Federal Issues Chair

Monday, October 31, 2016

From Missouri to West Virginia: State Exchange Experience

Last week I had the privilege to travel to West Virginia for the WVASFAA Conference! Thank you, MASFAA and WVASFAA for making this a possibility through the state exchange program. I must say that West Virginia is gorgeous during this time of year. Many pretty fall colors and very fitting to the conference theme, Seasons of Change, something of which is all too familiar to a financial aid professional. 

The conference kicked off with a Financial Aid Trivia that incorporated many different game shows. I absolutely enjoyed the answer to the first question, ‘It Depends.’ So many times in our world, rightfully so, the first thought is it depends. Following this, Brian Weingart from the WV Higher Education Policy Commission gave the state update and I must admit that West Virginia has implemented a clever idea to encourage NASFAA Core training. Hey Missouri, they are making their way to the top in credentials! As of the conference, West Virginia was third however I know many of my new friends attended training two days prior to this conference. They may surprise us and take the lead soon.  

Many of the conference sessions were geared toward change. Working with Millennials, being the Gen Xer that I am, this is an ever important change for me. They also held a roundtable session for PPY and PJs. This is on the top of every financial aid professionals mind currently and probably one of our biggest changes in recent history. Additionally many of us have seen an increase in veterans on our campuses. Sandy Corwin from Fairmont State University shared how their campus created a Green Zone for their veterans. Each faculty/staff person following training may post a Green Zone sticker outside their office door. This makes for a safe place for a veteran to go to someone for assistance or have someone to lean on or just talk with during tough times. I was in complete awe with how simple a program could be and yet make such a big impact for our veterans who are returning to a college campus.  

We heard from Special Agent, Erik Wolfson. He spoke about investigating student aid fraud and abuse and shared little things to be mindful of when processing student aid. We also had other sessions from which to choose regarding Student Loan Repayment Plans, Program Reviews, Title IX, and Easy Fixes to Crisis Proof Your Retirement to name a few.  

All in all, my visit was wonderful. I have many new ideas to take back to my state association. Being an introvert, it was difficult knowing that I was attending a conference and knew no one in advance. I thank you West Virginia for welcoming me and being very friendly. I have made many knew friends with whom I hope to see at future MASFAA conferences!  

Thank you! 
Kerry Hallahan 
2017 MASFAP President-Elect 

PS: I must share the awesome gift in which the WVASFAA Executive Board gave to me. Each of them signed about where their institution is located in West Virginia. This is going on the wall in my office and is such a great memory of my exchange to West Virginia!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Want to Make Something Great?

Have you ever had that one project you really wanted to do, but you didn’t feel like you had quite enough resources to make it happen as quickly as you’d like?  But if you got what you needed to make it happen, you just know it would be great!

That’s kind of what we feel with a terrific project our Communications and Electronic Initiatives Committee is doing.  They have taken on the ambitious challenge of setting up a totally new web presence for MASFAA.  Using a tool called Wild Apricot, this strong team has started diving in to restructure and design our new MASFAA website from scratch.  It’s a meaningful thing that we are all eager to see succeed this year.  There’s plenty of work to be done and having some additional MASFAA members join in would make things flow even better. 

Do you like being part of a team that is making something special happen?  Would you enjoy being able to help launch something that will be noticed for a long time?  Here’s your chance.  Complete a Volunteer Form today and mark that you want to be a part of the Communications/Electronic Initiatives Committee for 2016-2017. 

Thomas Ratliff
MASFAA President


***Note, the Communications and Electronic Initiatives Committee is having their first committee meeting next week, so please volunteer today!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Leadership Symposium Testimonial - #MASFAAMEUP

#MASFAAMEUP

When the ISFAA Executive Board asked me if I would like to participate in the MASFAA Leadership Symposium I really had no idea what to expect.  I thought I would just be going to an event that would be a great place to network with other leaders in the financial aid world.  What I took away from the Leadership Symposium was much more!

I went in to this thinking, “What can I learn, I have been in a leadership role in financial aid for nearly seven years?” I learned that you can never stop learning to be a good leader.  From the very first project I began understanding this was going to be more useful than I gave it credit. On Tuesday morning when we worked on “Building the Leadership Foundation” I learned that almost everyone in the room had the same worries, hopes, fears, and desire to accomplish their dreams.  Learning how to incorporate social media into networking, and continuously educating myself in the financial aid world was something new for me.



I gained valuable resources from this experience.  The connections I have made through this symposium have already helped me answer questions back at the office.  Questions like how are other offices gearing up for prior/prior, and how are other colleges/universities preparing for new overtime rules that go into effect December 1, 2016. 

What I gained most though was invaluable insight.  I learned just as much if not more from my experience from those individuals who were aspiring to be leaders in the financial aid field.  I was able to take away what those who I lead may be thinking but afraid to share.  I took away what those aspiring leaders had to say and asked my employees their thoughts on the issues.  I would recommend anyone whether they have been in financial aid for a year or a decade, if they aspire to be leader or have been a leader for years to attend these types of symposiums because the take away is priceless. 

This post was submitted by Ron Herrell, Director of Financial Aid, Ivy Tech Community College North Central/Northwest

My First Marvelous Awesome Stunning Fantastic Amazing Awe-inspiring (MASFAA) Conference

You know when you’re telling a non-financial aid person a hilarious story about a student (complying with FERPA regulations, of course) and you realize about half-way through that they won’t think it’s funny? Or you come up with that perfect joke about the FAFSA that you ramble to your mom, and she does that pity chuckle because she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings?

Welcome to my life.

The 2016 MASFAA Conference was my first financial aid conference ever. I was anxious and not sure what to expect. What if no one talks to me? What if I’m not familiar with some of the things in the sessions? During the hot topics speed-dating, my table had a great conversation about PJs and prior-prior year. We discussed how our offices were planning on handling the changes, and what we were expecting things to look like. All of my hilarious student stories were answered with even crazier scenarios from other institutions. It was wonderful to speak FA language all week and have every single person understand. It was awesome (and easy!) to meet new people and connect over this thing everyone in the room had in common: financial aid.

When I walked into my first interest session, I realized the conference is kind of like a family reunion. Except unlike that one weird family reunion you went to that one time with your first boyfriend/girlfriend, everyone here was friendly, welcoming, and they all want to talk to you! You can literally turn to the person sitting next to you at anytime and start a conversation. The people are what make financial aid so great, and at the MASFAA Conference, I met some marvelous awesome stunning fantastic amazing awe-inspiring people. Everyone here speaks the same language and we all have a passion to help students.

And don’t worry, the conference isn’t all work and no play. Going into the week, I didn’t think I would see my boss in shorts (or in a wig and a dress for that matter…), watch someone literally break their leg, meet Ted Malone (have you seen this guy dance?!), learn what an Irish car bomb is, and sing along to Nelly until midnight with some amazing financial aid administrators (including Ted, of course).

If you have never attended a MASFAA Conference, you gotta go! You will meet so many amazing people, make friends, find mentors, and learn a ton! If finances prevent you from attending, I would encourage you to apply for the MASFAA Conference Scholarship. This scholarship covers your full conference costs, and without this scholarship, I would not have been able to attend and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

And guess what? All of your FAFSA jokes will kill it with this crowd.

This post submitted by Keri Gilbert, Financial Aid Advisor at the University of Missouri.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Memo from Justin Draeger - Follow Up on IRS Confirmation of Nonfiling Letter

During the MASFAA conference, a member from a community college raised the concern that applicants and parents who did not file a 2015 tax return and who are selected for verification for 2017-2018 will be required to obtain a letter from the IRS confirming that they did not file.  In his presentation, Jeff Baker said that he did not know if the IRS is ready for the volume this will generate.  As a community college aid director, this member justifiably feels that this new requirement adds a barrier and delay for poor students trying to obtain the funding they need for 2017-2018. He asked if we had and if we will apply any pressure on the Department to work with the IRS on creating a process for obtaining proof of non-filing that is easy to use and provides a timely response.

I went back to DC and conferred with the NASFAA policy team and they reminded me that we did object to that requirement in the spring when they first announced it, but we were rebuffed by ED because the data they had for 2014-15 showed that nearly 15% of parents and 17% of students who reported that they did not file, actually did file. ED felt that that was a lot of apps and a lot of possible incorrect amounts. Of course the bigger question is whether any of those changes resulted in any changes in EFC (since most Pell students are zero EFC regardless). On Friday we sent another note over to ED on this and haven’t heard back just yet. We did get a commitment previously that they would re-look at this as the data came in. We also suggested that it would be best if the non-filing applicant could use the DRT at the time of application to certify that they didn’t file taxes, so then they wouldn’t have to go through the mostly manual IRS process to request a certification on non-filing later if they were selected for verification.

We’ll keep the pressure on and think schools should do the same.

Justin

Monday, October 10, 2016

President's Welcome to 16-17

HELLO MASFAA!

We have started a new year and your 2016-2017 MASFAA Board welcomes you to jump in with us as we build upon our great history of serving peers and students within our nine great states.  Right now, today, we have opportunities for you to contribute and grow within your regional Financial Aid association.
If you are new to MASFAA, become an active participant.  Attend our Summer Institute or Leadership Symposium and you will grow.
If you are a seasoned professional, share your expertise and help us train.
If you want to help students, jump into our advocacy efforts.
If you have something to say, contribute to the MASFAA Blog.
If you are an associate member, please keep helping us succeed.  We need your insights, creativity, ideas and products so we can do our best.
If you are from around THE state of Ohio, please help with our 2017 Conference Local Arrangements.
If you can teach, develop a conference session.
If you’re technologically savvy and secretly want to go Wild, help us build our new website using Wild Apricot. (contact Jayme Jarrett)

If you have heart, join a MASFAA committee.
If you have vision, run for a MASFAA office.
If you have breath, Make Every Moment Count in all aspects of your life.  For yourself.  Your family.  Your friends.  Your work.  Your profession.
I encourage you to live abundantly in every aspect of your life, including your professional contributions.  Make Every Moment Count in everything, including MASFAA.

-          Thomas Ratliff, MASFAA President 2016-17

2017-18 Officer Nomination Form Available

While not intended to parallel the changes to the FAFSA timeline, it seems that having the MASFAA Officer Nomination Form available in October is doing just that.  This form is now available on the MASFAA website and will remain open until the end of January.  All we have done is extend the time for making nominations as the deadline for nominations is similar to what it has been in the past.  The board made this move so that the form would be available during its annual conference.  

The conference is (was!) an ideal time to identify and visit with potential nominees as well as garner publicity for the overall process.  Please take a few moments to encourage a colleague to run or consider running for a position yourself.  It is your duty as a member to submit nominations.  Nominations are currently being sought for President-Elect (3 year term), Vice President (2 year term) and two Delegate-at-Large positions (2 year term). 

Have someone to nominate?  Fill out the survey form here!  Questions?  Contact Nominations and Elections Chair (and current Past-President) Sue Swisher at swisher@sxu.edu 

Monday, October 3, 2016

What is Communications & Electronic Initiatives? (and how you can help!)

Hello from beautiful Kansas City! Conference has gotten off to a wonderful start, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve handed out some awards, and I encourage you to check out MASFAA’s twitter account (@masfaaweb) if you don’t already follow the twitter to see some of yesterday’s action.  You can also follow other conference attendees’ tweets at #mymasfaa to see what’s happening.

The Communications and Electronic Initiatives Committee is gearing up for a big year, and we’re looking for a few brave souls to help us with our mission.  Curious about that long title and what we really do?  Right now, you’re reading part of it.  The blog is one of our main functions – making sure the membership stays informed of what MASFAA is doing through communication in a timely fashion through blog articles, and we also solicit other articles we think the membership would enjoy (think the Leadership Spotlights or Zach’s Technology in the Office post).

Speaking of timely communication, the twitter account is another one of the ways that the committee gets the word out to the members about what’s going on – either in the association or in the financial aid world at large.  We know that some folks would prefer to read a blog and don’t really do the twitter thing, and some folks really tweet it up – that way, people have options when it comes to us putting information out and ways for people to communicate back to the association.

There’s also a Facebook group for MASFAA – if you’re a part of it, awesome!  One of the tasks this committee has been charged with is converting that from a closed group to a “like” page, so that’s something that we’ll be taking on this year.  Work on that has already begun, but with all of the other tasks we have, it’s not an overnight switch.

Ah, yes. “Other tasks.”  If you like website work…here’s where you come in!  Our committee is also in charge of the MASFAA website, and we’re going to be doing some WORK to that this year.  I would LOVE to have some folks help out with that – we’re going to be doing some really rewarding work.

Please feel free to contact me with questions about the committee – I’m happy to answer anything.  Definitely volunteer to help us have a successful year in 16-17!


Jayme Jarrett,
Chair, Communications & Electronic Initiatives
j-jarrett@onu.edu

Monday, September 12, 2016

Michigan All-Stars Win At NASFAA 2016

Michigan All-Stars Win at NASFAA 2016
Gold Star Award: Michigan State University
Regional Leadership Award (MASFAA):  Lori Vedder, University of Michigan Flint

Submitted by:
Krissy Bhaumik
MSFAA President

Michigan’s financial aid community could not be more proud of our colleagues who won national recognition at the 2016 NASFAA Conference for their outstanding and innovative work.  We enthusiastically congratulate them for these achievements and want to share this with our MASFAA friends and colleagues.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) recognizes innovative ideas in the world of financial aid through their Gold Star Award each year.  This year, Michigan State University’s Office of Financial Aid was recognized with this award.  MSU’s Gold Star Award winning program, “Utilizing Learning Management Systems for Financial Aid Training,” is an online training program “that offers many benefits including reaching learners from various geographical locations, allowing self-paced learning, and the ability to review training materials at any time.”  Congratulations to MSU’s Office of Financial Aid staff for this great achievement!


Also being recognized for her achievements and leadership in the financial aid profession was Lori Vedder, Director of Financial Aid at University of Michigan – Flint.  Lori has long provided leadership and guidance for the Michigan association and is a former president of MSFAA.  She is a former MASFAA VP and, in 2013, brought her passion, dedication and witty sense of humor to MASFAA’s president position.  Lori has led strategic planning committees, been an active mentor to young professionals and is frequently sought for her expertise on compliance and advocacy.  While still being active at the state and regional leadership levels, Lori has also served NASFAA on their Board of Directors and as their treasurer.   She is a 2015 NASFAA MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and a long-time shining star in MSFAA and MASFAA.  Lori, you are deserving of the NASFAA Regional Leadership Award for the Midwest Region and MSFAA and MASFAA share in celebrating this recognition with you!  Cheers!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

MSFAA Early Awareness and Multicultural Outreach Activites


Michigan’s Early Awareness and Multicultural Outreach (EAMO) Committee –
Our Financial Literacy Warriors

Submitted on behalf of and with special thanks to:
Julia Delagarza and Ingrid Clover
MSFAA EAMO Committee Co-Chairs

Submitted by:
Krissy Bhaumik
MSFAA President


This is just a short note to update you on the Spring 2016 EAMO workshops at the Ojibwe Charter School (OCS).  Monday, April 11 was the kick-off day for the five workshop series that ran through May 20.  The series of workshops, conducted in partnership with Lake Superior State University (LSSU) GEAR UP program, addressed college financing and college success strategies as well as incorporating a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) component.  The workshops also included The Tiny Warrior: A Path to Personal Discovery, by DJ Eagle Bear Vanas.  The OCS students were familiar with Mr. Vanas and his work, as he has previously conducted workshops at their school.   The students were very excited to hear that Mr. Vanas would be evaluating their scholarship essays.  The Guardian of the Fire Scholarship recipient, Kara Pennington, was invited to MSFAA’s Summer Training Conference on beautiful Mackinac Island and recognized at a lunch session.

During the kick-off, students participated in a new, STEM-specific version of Extreme Reality, a financial literacy activity in which students are assigned a profession (in a STEM field), and then challenged to create budget strategies and balance a checkbook.  This activity was a great lead into an activity a few weeks later at LSSU’s  Exploration Sensation featuring the Michigan Technological University (MTU) STEM roadshow, Mind Trekkers (for more information, see http://mindtrekkers.mtu.edu/index.php)


While a commute up to Sault Ste Marie in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula did pose challenges for some volunteers, MSFAA members from around the state were encouraged to attend the OCS workshops.   This is the first outreach initiative where MSFAA has partnered with our tribal communities in Michigan.  We are hopeful that what was started this year will grow thrive like a a “Three Sisters Garden serving our tribal students and families for years to come.  (Hint: If you don’t know about the Three Sisters Garden, look it up! It’s a transformative metaphor for us all!)

Conference is Soon - Register & Reserve your Room NOW!

The clock is ticking on the room block for the MASFAA conference.  The reservation cutoff HAS BEEN EXTENDED to Thursday, September 15h.  Register and book your room before it is too late. 





Plans are being finalized for the MASFAA 2016 fall conference.  Things you will not want to miss:

MASFAA training 100 high school counselors on the FAFSA application and eligibility. 

MASFAA Lip-sync battle and The College Basketball Experience (with BBQ)

Federal Update with Jeff Baker

NASFAA Updates from Justin Draeger and Lisa Blazer, our National Chair

The Wisconsin Hope Lab, the nation’s first laboratory for translational research aimed at improving equitable outcomes in postsecondary education. Visit http://wihopelab.com/index.html for more information!

An out-of-the-ordinary look at the importance of the work we do with Brooke Haycock from EdTrust. See sneak peeks here: https://edtrust.org/our-resources/catalyst-theater/


A riveting talk from the visionary behind Broke, Busted & Disgusted documentarian, Adam Carroll. http://www.adamspeaks.com/watch/

Monday, September 5, 2016

Access Committee recognizes University of Michigan: College Wallet Workshop Third Place Access Award Recipient – 2015


Written by Virginia Washington

The Access Committee would like to recognize one of the MASFAA 2015 Award winners in today’s blog. We are featuring the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and their program “College Wallet Workshop”!

Overview: The “College Wallet Workshop” was successful because the program allowed students to have the opportunity to connect the dots and see in black & white, on paper, a visual reviewing all the expenses they will incur as a college student. Adding to the experience of the event, students could view their college financial aid budget and pay for all their various required college expenses.

Target Group served:  The event targeted students who were admitted as freshman for the fall and came to campus to participate in a summer student support service initiative called “Bridge”. This program helps these students make the transition from high school to higher education.  More often than not, these students are the first in their families to attend college. Participating in the “College Wallet Workshop” provided them with the hands on experience to learn how to manage their finances.

Financial education content covered: The “College Wallet Workshop” taught students the basics of spending money wisely and to make good budgeting choice during their college career.  Students participated in real life college experiences like:

- Purchasing books                                - How to select housing
- Transportation                                     - Getting a job
- Paying Tuition                                     - Covering personal expenses
- Learning to balance your checking account

The event also included life’s “Temptations Station” for the lesson on “wants” vs. “needs” like:

- Starbucks                                - M-Den (apparel)
- Latest/greatest iPhone            - Cable TV –Internet

Interesting highlight:  Students gave some feedback saying the experience was “eye-opening” for them and it really helped.  Some also commented how they should not live the life of luxury now, but spend less and have money for other things that are important for the future. The idea of being frugal is not just to survive college, but it’s also being financially prepared for the road ahead. 

So as the saying goes:  What’s in your “College Wallet”?

Other Ideas:   While the students learned a lot from the event, so did the staff. Session leaders and experts came away with suggestions for working with the Comprehensive Studies program and plan to continue encouraging students to work with the financial aid staff to develop a college budget, talk through wise borrowing habits and persuade students to consider taking a one credit hour financial literacy course to further enhance their knowledge.  

Congratulations to the University of Michigan on winning the Third Place Access Award for 2015. U of Michigan won $250 to continue to grow and develop the College Wallet program.

To learn more about the College Wallet – Check the U of Michigan webpage at

Interested in nominating your financial education program for the 2016 Access Award?
Check out the Access Award application at MASFAA website http://masfaaweb.org/docs/forms/pdf/2016MASFAAAccessAwardApplication.pdf and apply by September 9, 2016. Winners will for the 2016 Access Award will be announced at the MASFAA Conference in Kansas City, MO – October 2-5, 2016. 

If you have questions, contact Angela Johnson, Access Chair at angela.johnson@tri-c.edu or (216) 987-4213.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Access Committee recognizes Moberley Area Community College: UCAN2 as Second Place Access Award Recipient – 2015


Written by Donna Holubik

Moberly Area Community College’s (MACC) UCAN2 program is designed to encourage middle school students to prepare for high school and life after high school.  The programs strives to provide students with the belief that college is possible.

MACC partnered with the Moberly Public School District so ALL students in the district are provided equal opportunity to engage in the UCAN2 program.  MACC provides 100% of the funding for this program.

UCAN2 is composed of three levels:

  • 6th Grade:  Students receive an exclusive tour of the college campus and get a first impression of college and the importance of making positive choices while in school.
  • 7th Grade:  Students begin exercises in career exploration.  Several speakers are brought in to discuss their story and provide students with a “day in the life” of their career.
  • 8th Grade:  The third and final year of UCAN2 focuses on financial literacy and high school preparation.  

Using a version of the “Reality Store”, students participate in the game of “REAL LIFE” by choosing an occupation and making decisions on real life activities.

At one point during REAL LIFE, students have the opportunity to have their picture taken in a cap and gown with the caption “I CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN” on the frame. When students realize “I CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN”, it validates the whole purpose of the program.

Congratulations to the Moberly Area Community College on winning the Second Place Access Award for 2015. Moberly Area Community College won $500 to continue to grow and expand the UCAN2 program.

To learn more about the UCAN2 program – Check the Moberly Area Community College webpage at www.macc.edu/financial-aid. 

Interested in nominating your financial education program for the 2016 Access Award? 

Check out the Access Award application at MASFAA website http://masfaaweb.org/docs/forms/pdf/2016MASFAAAccessAwardApplication.pdf and apply by September 9, 2016. Winners will for the 2016 Access Award will be announced at the MASFAA Conference in Kansas City, MO – October 2-5, 2016. 

If you have questions, contact Angela Johnson, Access Chair at angela.johnson@tri-c.edu or (216) 987-4213.