Monday, January 27, 2014

SASFAA Vice President Information
Submitted by Jeff Dennis, Nominations and Elections Committee Chair
During the February 2014 elections you are being asked to select a candidate for the office of Vice President. This article is being posted to show you what the SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes as the duties of this position.

The candidates for the office of Vice President are:

· Brenda Burke (4 year public, Virginia Commonwealth University – Virginia)
· Marian Dill (4 year private, Lee University – Tennessee)

You will be able to learn more about these candidates by reviewing their candidate statement and biographical information on the SASFAA website at www.sasfaa.org/elections.

The SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes the duties of this position as follows:

5.4 Vice President
The vice president is elected for a one-year term and has a leadership role in the professional development and training activities for the Association. Included in this role are the following responsibilities:
a. plans and coordinates the new aid officers and mid-level workshops, including curriculum development, recruitment of faculty, site selection and advertising the workshop (the workshop guide is referenced in Appendix B);
b. coordinates other new aid officer and advanced level seminars and selects instructional faculty and training sites;
c. in the absence of the president serves with the powers and performs the duties of the president;
d. serves as chair of the professional advancement committee; and

e. performs other duties as requested by the president.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Use Grace Period Counseling to Reinforce Education Value
By Pam Beckmann, Inceptia Director of Customer Service

“Is college worth all that debt when I probably won’t find a job anyway?”

These words could be echoing the halls of high schools across the country. Student loan debt. Graduate unemployment. The media hasn’t been kind to higher education lately.

Despite the statistics quoted in news stories, a college education is still a sound investment. Unfortunately the economic downturn has impacted recent college graduates who are experiencing 8.9 percent unemployment. But according to a 2013 study by the Center for Education and the Workforce, unemployment rates are even higher for job seekers with a recent high school diploma at 22.9 percent, and devastating for high school dropouts at 31.5 percent. Plus, the potential for earnings are far greater for college graduates as detailed in Education Pays by the CollegeBoard.

When a family considers investing in a college education, often their decision hinges on who will provide the best value for their future college student. In addition to quality of academics, living arrangements, payment options and placement opportunities, a family wants to know how an institution will nurture their student throughout his or her tenure.

Grace period counseling is one way to demonstrate you care about the success of your students. This low cost program has a high rate of return for students’ peace of mind. Even if you have a low cohort default rate, prospective students and families will be impressed with your level of commitment to student success.
Often overlooked, grace period counseling fills the gap between exit counseling and the borrower’s first student loan payment. Although graduates and withdrawn students learn about repayment options during exit counseling, grace period counseling reinforces accurate communication during a time of uncertainty.

By having highly trained counselors reach out to the students who graduate or are no longer
enrolled at least half time, you can prevent potential issues that may come up during this crucial
period. Their grace period is the perfect opportunity to help them understand their:

• student loan status

• repayment start date

• repayment options

• rights and responsibilities

Plus, grace period counselors can answer repayment questions and direct them to resources like
NSLDS. When considering a grace counseling outreach service, be sure they are up to date on
regulations and abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) for your own protection.

No matter what the media says, a college degree still delivers a lifetime of value. By offering
grace period counseling, you’re adding one more benefit that you can promote to future students
and families. Grace period counseling can be that final, caring touch point that reassures students
on how to navigate the repayment process as they transition from your institution to their future

For more information about grace counseling outreach, visit Inceptia.org.

Friday, January 17, 2014

SASFAA Secretary Information
Submitted by Jeff Dennis, Nominations and Elections Committee Chair

During the February 2014 elections you are being asked to select a candidate for the office of Secretary. This article is being posted to show you what the SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes as the duties of this position.

The candidates for the office of Secretary are:

· Vickie Adams (4 year public, Jacksonville State University – Alabama)

· Kimberly White-Grimes (2 year public, Trident Technical College – South Carolina)

You will be able to learn more about these candidates by reviewing their candidate statement and biographical information on the SASFAA website at www.sasfaa.org/elections.

The SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes the duties of this position as follows:

5.6 Secretary
The secretary is elected for a two-year term and serves as the scribe for Association meetings and custodian of its records. The secretary’s duties include:

a. facilitates meeting arrangements, including lodging, meal functions and meeting rooms for Board meetings;

b. records the proceedings of the Board and general business meetings;

c. is responsible for emailing meeting minutes (including board meetings, and annual business meeting minutes) to the board and/or SASFAA membership at the end of the meeting. The membership and board will have a two week time period to respond with corrections to the minutes. Once the two week time period has elapsed, the meeting minutes shall be considered approved. The Secretary shall post all approved minutes to the SASFAA website;

d. e-mail the SASFAA membership prior to the current year’s Annual Business Meeting directing them to review the Annual Business Meetings Minutes from the prior year before the start of the current business meeting;

e. electronically collect board meeting agendas and written reports from all board members approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled meetings, compile the agenda/reports into a single report, and e-mail the compiled agenda/report to the board one week before the meeting for board members to review prior to the meeting;

f. serves as chair of the bylaws committee, which annually conducts a review and recommends changes to the bylaws to the Board;

g. reviews, updates and maintains the Manual;

h. prepares and submits meeting minutes with supporting documents and publications, including annual conference programs, special reports, and membership directories to archives;

i. creates and distributes the Association’s official stationary;

j. distributes agendas developed by the President in advance of Board meetings;

k. sends appropriate cards and gifts to members and colleagues on behalf of the Association; maintains the seal; and

l. performs other duties as requested by the president.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year SASFAA

It is hard to believe it is already 2014 and the SASFAA Annual Conference is only a few weeks away!

1) Have you registered for the conference? If not, please register at the following link:


2) Have you made your hotel reservations yet? Reminder - the hotel reservation deadline is January 21, 2014. You can make your reservation online by visiting the SASFAA website and clicking on the hotel reservation link.


3) For those of you who are New Aid Officers, take this opportunity to register for the SASFAA New Aid Officers Pre-Conference Workshop being held on Sunday, February 16, 2014 from 9 AM until 3 PM. The cost for this workshop is $50 per member.


4) The Conference Committee is in the process of finalizing the session agenda. We are waiting on some final information from the Department of Education so we hope to release the final agenda in a week or two! You can check out the list of sessions being offered at SASFAA by visiting the following link:


5) Don't forget to check out the information on our website about the SASFAA Charity - the WHAS Crusade for Children.


6) Have you signed up yet for our Tuesday night event - SASFAA's Got Talent? We need you!

Calling all performers of all kind (suitable for the family hour)!
SASFAA’s Conference committee wants everyone to help celebrate SASFAA’s 2014 Annual Conference Hitting Our Stride by Celebrating Our Strengths. The conference is February 16–19, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida and we will celebrate our talents by putting on a Tuesday evening edition of SASFAA’s Got Talent!
A DJ will be on hand playing and providing sound and music. Please consider sharing your talent with your SASFAA friends.

We need you! If you have a talent (or think you have a talent!), please contact either Pennie Strong (pennies@gsfc.org) or Cindy May (cmay1@olemiss.edu).

Please consider groups – the more the better and please consider unique talent. We are not all singers we all have something we do well. If you have one good joke come up and share it. This will be a fun time. And we will have prizes!
We look forward to seeing you in Jacksonville next month! If you have any questions or concerns, please email me directly at alberrie@uncg.edu.
Have a great day!

Amy Berrier
SASFAA Conference Chair

(336) 334-3372

Friday, January 3, 2014

Most Valuable Professional

Brenda Brown
Director of Financial Aid at University of Miami School of Law
(Coral Gables, Florida)

/uploadedImages/System/Images/mvpheadshots/tami_sato.jpgBrenda began her financial aid career 25 years ago, in December 1988, as a financial aid advisor at the University of Miami Office of Financial Assistance Services. While there, she held several positions at differing levels including financial aid advisor, delivery and scholarship coordinator, and a number of assistant director and manager positions which included responsibilities in areas such as counseling, verification, staff training and publications. In June 2002, she moved to the law school as an associate director of financial aid and a few years later was promoted to director. Brenda has served on NASFAA's Graduate & Professional Initiatives Committee (GPIC), NASFAA's Student Access & Diversity Committee, and has been active at her local level serving on the Executive Board of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA).
What I do when I'm not at work:  
I usually stick close to home and spend time with family. I enjoy cooking, reading, listening to music and watching sports. But, every now and then I like to travel. When I travel I have three things I always try to do: 1) visit a Major League baseball park; 2) visit a national park; 3) dine at any place that Guy Fieri has recommended on his show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
The best advice I ever got: 
Never respond in anger. Let some things sit before responding, so you never "add fuel to the fire" or say anything you may regret later.
If I weren't working in financial aid: 
I would probably be in some area of finance, since that was my major in college. However, if I could have a “do over,” I would have studied communications to be a sports broadcaster. 
One thing working in financial aid has taught me:  
I have learned that some people do not know how to ask for or accept help. Many times, students are not really asking the question that they need answers to.  You have to listen and read between the lines to determine what they really need.
Whom do you admire? 
My parents. They have been married for over 53 years and have always put faith and family at the forefront of all. 
What is your greatest accomplishment? 
Being the BEST daughter, sister, aunt, friend and colleague that I can be. That means always shooting straight (no minced words here) and remembering to LIVE - LAUGH – LOVE, at home and at work.
What is a goal you've set for yourself for the upcoming award year? 
Take time off for vacation. Not just because you have to use it or lose it, but because we all need to take time for ourselves and our well-being. 
If you had a super power what would it be? 
I would like to have the knowledge to heal or prevent the illnesses/diseases that we are dealing with today - cancer, MS, CP, etc. That would be a true blessing.
You can have dinner with three celebrities, dead or alive. Who are they? 
  1. The actress, Patty Duke. My sister, Denise and I became fans when she was a childhood actor. We loved The Patty Duke Show. Then when I began in the financial aid profession my mentor, colleague and friend turned out to be Patty’s sister, Carol Kennedy. 
  2. The comedian, Steve Harvey. I have been a fan of his morning radio show for years. 
  3. Roberto Clemente. He was a Puerto Rican baseball player who had the opportunity to play in America. He was my father's sports hero-- so I learned to love him too. 
What NASFAA service/product is most helpful to you? 
NASFAA Today's News! It's the best way to keep up with the legislative and regulatory activities affecting federal student aid on a daily basis. But, most importantly it is the gateway to all the other products, services and updates (i.e. conferences, online learning/training, resources, etc.) available to help us assist us ensure compliance.
Most motivating financial aid experience: 
I have experienced a few in my career and it is hard to pick just one. But, I do recall one student who decided to return to college at the age of 28 as a transfer student. He was having a difficult time with his relocation from NY and the "financial" transition to being a student. He just needed some extra assistance to make it through his first-year at the university. I was able to assist him and he sent me a very nice thank you card and went on to complete his bachelor's.