Wednesday, October 16, 2013

God Made the Financial Aid Administrator

And on the 8th day of November, 1965, the U. S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson, signed into law the Higher Education Act of 1965.  And he said, “We need individuals to administer these programs” – so came the Financial Aid Administer.

And LBJ said – “We need people who are willing to get up at 5am – work all day – hobble home tired and worn – eat supper – work at home for another 4 hours – go to meetings at high schools and attend other requests – go back home and sleep for a while – wake in the middle of the night and remember a task that was forgotten – go back to sleep if you can – and then get up the next day and do it all over again.”

“We need people who will work hard understanding multifaceted regulations – understand complex computer systems – award deserving students – only to see many, many of them fail – and then say, ‘Well maybe the next one will succeed. ‘ “

“We need a Financial Aid Administrator who can take an understaffed office – with a meager operating budget – which has staff who are severely underpaid – who is able to endure many audits and compliance reviews – who work alongside other offices who cannot or will not understand we are much more – and we do more – than merely award students.”

“We need dedicated individuals who work their 40 hours a week by Wednesday and then work 40 more before the week has ended.”

“We need individuals who are:   dedicated, determined, diligent –

who are often:   abused verbally, ridiculed, diminished, and misunderstood –

who are often called:   insensitive, uncaring, cruel –

who will:   read, study, comprehend, understand, plan, award, counsel, meet, listen, smile, laugh – and yes, cry – with others who struggle to achieve a treasured educational goal – even amid ever changing processes – with seemingly ever diminishing resources – in a country that somehow has lost control of the message about the importance of higher education – especially affordable higher education for the most disadvantaged – with elected individuals who appear at times to be more interested in agendas than our country’s most treasured national resource – our students.”

“We need you more than ever – those wonderful financial aid professionals – who are true change agents – affecting the future in a very positive way.”

So yes – you and the profession – were asked and you have stepped up to the challenge.  You are true professionals – and I say without hesitation – “God truly made a Financial Aid Administrator.”

Mr. Ron Day:  NASFAA Chair, SASFAA Speaker, GASFAA Colleague, Director of Financial Aid at Kennesaw State University, but most importantly Our Friend

Monday, October 7, 2013

Federal Shutdown Effects

Financial aid administrators should be aware of how the federal shutdown is affecting their students.

For example, at medical schools, students have been told their living expense stipends for the Health Professions Scholarship Program will be delayed.  Other students receiving the National Health Service Corps Scholarships may have living expense disbursements from their scholarships delayed.  This comes at term-end and is stressful for the students involved, to say the least!  Financial aid offices should expect get loan requests and, possibly requests for short term loans from the school to help fill the gaps.

Here's a link to an article that discusses other ways higher education is affected by the shutdown:


And here's a link to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (ifap) website and a Dear Colleague letter that discusses the effects of the shutdown: