Monday, March 18, 2013

Annual Hill Visits

submitted by Nathan Basford, FAFSAA President


Dear SASFAA Members & Friends:

I had the honor of attending the third annual Hill Visits in Washington, DC on February 21st.  I was there with other SASFAA folks, as well as folks from the Eastern Association (EASFAA), the Midwest Association (MASFAA), and the Delaware, DC, and Maryland Association.

We were divided into teams! Our team consisted of four financial aid professionals who are so committed to ensuring students a chance for higher education. They were:  Julie Lundgren, Donald Jones, Karen Sokol, and I.  What a fantastic group of folks.

We were able to visit with representatives from the following states:  South Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, and North Carolina.  We were welcomed and left feeling that we had built relationships so that we can continue our support for higher education.

  • Each of our visits lasted about 25 minutes.
  • Our first visit went quite well:  We were able to meet with Elizabeth Simmons, aide for Tim Scott (SC). With Elizabeth being a recent graduating student she understood the importance of keeping the interest rate tied more closely to market rates. 
  • Our second visit was with Thomas J. Woodburn, Jr., Legislative Correspondent to Representative Rush Holt, (NJ).  He was filling in for both of the aides for which we had original appointments, and perhaps for that reason, the conversation was not as smooth and flowing as the others.  Nonetheless, he was knowledgeable about Title IV aid and asked specific questions on how many students were awarded Perkins at each of our schools.  He also asked if we had a specific consumer information piece we liked better than the others.
  • Our third visit with Justin Zorn, aide for Frederica Wilson (FL) went quite well, he was very interested in following up with us on education issues
  •  Our fourth visit with Meghan Stringer, aid for Virginia Foxx, (NC) went very well also. As we left our last meeting Megan said "Thank you for all you do for students!”    This made our day on Capitol Hill a Success
I am very grateful that I had the opportunity of meeting with our Congressional representatives last week.  Our group took the time first to thank them for their support to the students that we serve nationwide in securing a post-secondary education. Our group also had the opportunity to thank them for the support they will continue in the future. We also offered our assistance to answer any questions they may have in the future regarding issues and decisions related to Title IV financial aid programs.

I look forward to continuing the relationships that have been made during our visits, and I will continue to push for students to have the funding that will allow them to achieve their educational dreams.

Submitted by: Nathan Basford
Group 9:  Julie Lundgren, Donald Jones, and Karen Sokol

SASFAA Election Results

Submitted by Brad Barnett, Nominations & Elections Chair

Some technical difficulties with the original elections held in conjunction with the February 2013 Annual Conference caused us to suspend the elections and delete the votes that were cast.  However, financial aid officers are accustomed to dealing with challenges, so we re-grouped, switched to a new service, and the election results are in.

The following people were elected to the respective positions:
  • President-Elect:  Nathan Basford (Florida State University)
  • Vice President: Tabatha McAllister (University of South Carolina Regional Campuses in South Carolina)
  • Treasurer:  Amy Moser (Nelnet)
The officers will begin their service to SASFAA at the June 2013 Transition Meeting in Clearwater, Florida.

I sincerely appreciate each of the candidates putting their name on the ballot.  SASFAA had a top notch ballot, and I am looking forward to the future of the association.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Call for SASFAA Volunteers

submitted by Zita Barree, President-Elect

Anne Frank said “How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” You can take a minute right now and show your interest in helping SASFAA continue to improve.  Planning is already underway for the 2013-2014 year!  I promised at the Annual Conference in Atlanta last month to have the Volunteer Form available by the end of February.  With the delayed elections process, I decided to wait until it had concluded and the new officers were announced. 

Now it is time for YOU to volunteer to help make this coming year a success for SASFAA!  Please go to www.sasfaa.org, click on “About SASFAA” and then “Forms” and you will see the “SASFAA Volunteer Form” at the top of the page. When you have submitted the information I will receive an email confirmation. One of the committee chairs will be in touch with you sometime between late June and late July. We will find a way for you to help SASFAA in some way if you volunteer!

It is not too early to remind you of the annual conference to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, February 16-19, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. Our theme for next year will be “Hitting our Stride by Celebrating our Strengths” and we hope you will join us as SASFAA continues to hit its stride!

Your elected officers for next year include:

  • Zita Barree from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia as President
  • Jeff Dennis from Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina as your Past-President
  • Nathan Basford from Florida State University in Florida as your President-Elect
  • Tabatha McAllister from University of South Carolina Regional Campuses in South Carolina as your Vice-President
  • Sharon Oliver from North Carolina Central University in North Carolina as your Secretary
  • Amy Moser from Nelnet in Georgia as your Treasurer

In addition, the other voting members of the Board include the State Presidents for 2013-14:

  • Alabama – Kevin Ammons, Enterprise State Community College
  • Florida – Wayne Kruger, St. Petersburg College
  • Georgia – Cathy Crawley, Georgia College and State University
  • Kentucky – Katie Conrad, Midway College
  • Mississippi – John Windham, Northeast Mississippi Community College
  • North Carolina – Rachel Cavenaugh, Cape Fear Community College
  • South Carolina – Katie Harrison, South Carolina Tuition Grants Commission
  • Tennessee - Ashley Bianchi, Rhodes College
  • Virginia – Ashley Reich, Liberty University

The committee chairs who serve on the Board as non-voting members will be finalized by no later than the Board’s Transition Meeting to be held June 2 – 4 in Clearwater Beach, FL. 

I used the following quote from T.S. Eliot in my speech at the SASFAA Annual Conference last month when the gavel was passed to me:

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

Please volunteer so that we can work together to find out how far YOU and SASFAA can go!