Friday, October 28, 2011


Monday, October 24, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the objectives of Financial Aid Day (FAD). FAD reserves the third Wednesday in October to honor the role financial aid professionals across the United States play in helping students realize their dream of attaining a college education.

Today, student aid is under attack, despite that the fact that millions of students rely on and benefit from federal student aid each year. In fact, the number of students applying for federal financial assistance increased to approximately 19.5 million in 2010-2011, up by nearly seven million students since 2006-2007. From school years 1999-2000 to 2009-2010, the total amount of Title IV federal financial aid awarded to students jumped from $62.1 billion to an estimated $146.5 billion, an increase of 136 percent.

FAD recognizes that assisting
citizens of all ages to attain a higher education puts aid administrators among the forefront of this nation’s efforts to compete in the global economy and contribute to the common good. Without such dedicated administrators, an untold number of students from diverse financial backgrounds would not be able to continue their pursuit of higher education due to a lack of necessary information and counseling.

Mr. Speaker, a post-secondary education would be unachievable for many of our nation’s students without federal student aid. As such, I welcome the opportunity to honor those who serve these students on a daily basis. I support the goals of Financial Aid Day and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to recognize the important role played by financial aid professionals in helping students realize their college dreams.

Nominate a SASFAA Member for the Distinguished Service Award

Hi SASFAA Friends,
The Awards Committee is now soliciting nominations for Distinguished Service and Honorary Membership awards.
For the Distinguished Service Award, the nominee must have provided outstanding, significant and meritorious contributions to the advancement of student financial aid.
If you know of anyone that is retiring or has retired and has been actively involved in SASFAA, please let me know so they can be considered for Honorary Lifetime Membership.
You may contact me at sneel@bellarmine.edu or (502) 272-8283 for more information or to nominate someone.  I would love to hear from you.

Sandy Neel

SASFAA Is Looking For Members Willing to Serve

Dear SASFAA Friends,
Albert Schweitzer said:
“I don’t know what your destiny will be but the one thing I do know is that the only ones among you who will be truly happy will be those who sought and found how to serve.”
Nominations and Elections Committee is still looking for people to serve!
This year we are looking for President-Elect, Secretary and Vice President.
If you nominate someone, please be sure to have that person’s permission and they will need to be prepared to provide a biographical statement to the Nominations and Election Committee. We will present a slate of candidates to the Board for approval in November. 
Please send your nominations to anyone on the committee.
Committee members are:
Sandy Neel, Chair – sneel@bellarmine.edu
Andy Weaver (Alabama) weaver@uah.edu
Rebecca Lydick (Florida) rlydick@keiseruniversity.edu
Doug Tanner (Georgia) dtanner@valdosta.edu
Dave Cecil (Kentucky) dcecil@transy.edu
Donna O’Quinn (Mississippi) doquinn@prcc.edu
Paul Coscia (North Carolina) pcoscia@guilford.edu
Jeff Holiday (South Carolina) jsholli@presby.edu
Sandra Rockett (Tennessee) rockett@dscc.edu
Heather Hollandsworth (Virginia) hhollandsworth@ferrum.edu

Thank you for taking the time to help grow SASFAA!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Financial Aid Day From President Brad Barnett

Good morning SASFAA and Happy Financial Aid Day!  

Today is your day...a day to celebrate all that you do as financial aid professionals to make the hopes and dreams of our students a reality.  Whether you realize it or not, the work you do impacts the lives of our students on a permanent basis...that's pretty awesome when you think about. You have the ability to change lives.

I would like to say thanks for all that you do, not only for our students, but for each other as well. We are in a fantastic profession with people who love to collaborate and are always there to help each other out in a pinch.  It takes a special type of individual to do what and aid officer does, and that is worth celebrating.

So, take a few minutes today to pat your coworker on their back, send an email to a colleague, or grab a bite to eat with someone in the office and let your financial aid colleagues know that you appreciate what they do.  After all, today is your day...Financial Aid Day, so make the most of it.

Brad Barnett
SASFAA President

How Financial Aid Day Began

Financial Aid Day is a special day that is set aside to celebrate and recognize the contribution of all Financial Aid Professionals across the United States of America for helping students realize their college dreams and for being so ever effective at helping our institutions accomplish their mission.

Financial Aid Day, FAD as it is commonly referred to, is celebrated on the third Wednesday in October. The first FAD was held on October 20, 2010; the second will be on Wednesday October 19, 2011. On FAD, colleagues are encouraged to do something special - have an office party, a potluck, a toast, etc., to celebrate our contribution to our profession.  Colleagues are also urged to take lots of pictures to record this momentous occasion, so that we can share them with our regional, national, state and federal colleagues, as we demonstrate our respect, love and passion for Financial Aid: A Grand Profession.

FAD was created by Neville R Brown, the President of EASFAA, during his 2010‐2011 tenure, as part of what he referred to as “The President’s Projects.”  Other projects under this initiative were: EASFAA Across Our Region (EAOR) - a video of aid administrators within our EASFAA region at work in their respective institutions, Moments-of‐Silence (MoS) - a conference project honoring administrators and their spouses who passed during President’s Brown’s tenure,
Certification of the Financial Aid Professional - an initiative to promote support for the certification of aid professionals and Dolls-For‐Diversity - a conference project that depicted ethnic diversity through dolls.

On Saturday, June 25, 2011, at the Annual EASFAA Retreat in Baltimore, Maryland, then Past‐President Neville Brown entertained a motion to have the 3rd Wednesday in October be designated as Financial Aid Day for Financial Aid Professionals across the EASFAA Region.  Motion passed unanimously.

On Saturday, July 16, 2011, at the NASFAA Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, EASFAA Past-President and BOD Regional Representative Neville R Brown introduced FAD as part of his Annual EASFAA Report and urged all Regional BOD Members to supplicate their colleagues to “join forces with EASFAA,” to celebrate FAD and help it gain national recognition for all financial aid administrators across the nation.  His plea was well received by the Board: It won the support of NASFAA, although he did not entertain a motion likewise.

Happy Financial Aid Day From Nathan Basford

October 19, 2011:  Financial Aid Day

On this day I stop and ask myself two questions? 

·         How did I get here in this profession we call Financial Aid?
·         Why do I stay? 

It all began over 30 years ago.  I was working on campus at Florida State University with the US Postal Service, and the financial aid office was one of my delivery stops. Being the shy kind of person that I am, (Do I hear laughter) I noticed a job posting in the financial aid office.  It read:  Financial Aid Position I knew some of the staff that worked in the office of financial aid (OFA) so I asked about the position.

They informed me that the position being created was in the Special Program Section. “Special Programs” Well that was a new term for me.  I asked what is “Special Programs?”  I was told this is a department that reviewed students and parent’s files that had unusual circumstances happen in their life, and that this position would review the circumstances and hope to increase their financial aid eligibility.  Well, that sounded interesting, helping people that is what I like to do.  So I applied, interviewed, and was hired!

As I began my first day in the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) I said to myself over 100 times: "What was I thinking, here I am, in an office with three other people ;( yes, we shared offices back then).  They were all talking about their weekend, and then they began to speak in a foreign language:  "Financial Aid" Their conversations were: Did you review the IVF? Look at the SAR! Adjust their COA! I thought what in the world am I going to do!  I could hardly wait till lunch, I said to myself, I am not coming back after lunch, I hope my old position is still available at the post office.

My immediate supervisor came to my table, yes TABLE; I did not even have a desk!  She began talking the financial aid language, and I thought oh my!  She gave me the paper application called the "Free Application for Federal Student Aid, (FASFA) another foreign word.  She also provided me with tax returns, and other forms that I had never heard of.  She said: "The only way to learn about financial aid is to complete the FASFA, so she ask that I take the information that I had and complete the form.  I thought; “will lunch time ever get here?'  I began to review the form, and read the instruction (yes, can you believe that someone took the time to read them?) completed the form and then gave to my supervisor.  I then went to lunch, and thought Good bye OFA!

I took my lunch break, and had a little talk with myself and thought; I need to give this a chance!  Change is good!  So I returned back to the OFA and when I got to my table (still no desk) there was the FASFA that I had completed with a BIG A+.  Boy did I feel good!  I was hooked! I was going to enjoy learning the financial aid foreign language, and was going to enjoy my new found profession.

I stayed in the profession for over twenty year, and after 30 years working at Florida State University, I retired!

I have returned back to Florida State University, in the OFA office, doing again what I enjoy: Assisting students and their parents in finding sources of financial aid to assist them in meeting their educational goals. 

In doing my job I find that sometimes students just need someone to talk to.  We are more than financial aid staff who award aid to students, we counsel them on debt management, we help them research for scholarships, and most of all we sometimes just listen.

My profession Is rewarding!  I hope you all feel the same way!

Nathan Basford
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Fl.

The Kids Are Alright

Facing the most challenging job market in at least a generation, today’s younger workers are currently confronted with economic realities that have forced them to reconsider career choices that might have been foregone conclusions just a few years ago. Imagine looking for work if the unemployment rate jumped to 17.4 percent. Now, consider that is the actual unemployment rate for the age cohort of 16 to 24 year olds across the United States.
Once considered the key to greater economic freedom and financial success, the value of a college education is being called into question. In the wake of the recession, an outpouring of reports have cited increasing tuition costs, escalating student-loan debt burdens and diminishing job opportunities for recent college graduates as justifications for younger workers to forego college.
How can economics help today’s youth make an informed decision about what can fairly be described as one of life’s most important choices? Our analysis suggests that the decision of whether to attend college, pursue a technical degree or discontinue education after high school not only plays an important role in helping young people find a job, but also completely changes the trajectory of a prospective student’s lifetime earnings. With the constant growth of globalization and the shifting trends in the production of goods and services, we also consider the eternal question of passion versus practicality as it relates to pursuing a course of study. In addition, we survey the employment landscape to provide a snapshot of how different generations are staggered across the labor force and what that distribution means for younger workers seeking employment today, as well as how changing demographics will likely shake things up in coming years. Finally, we consider the role of fiscal policy and what federal spending cuts may mean for higher education in the years ahead.
Is College Still Worth It?
Today’s younger workers are currently grappling with the most challenging labor market for their age cohort since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate for workers between the ages of 16 and 24 is nearly twice the national unemployment rate, and participation in the labor force among younger workers has plummeted in recent years, compared to prior economic recessions in the 1970s and 1980s.

If you would like to read the entire report by the Wells Fargo Economics Group, click on the link below: