Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 SASFAA Summer
New Aid Officers Workshop
University of South Carolina Upstate
Spartanburg, SC
June 15-20, 2014
Training Camp – Gearing Up for Success

The SASFAA Summer Workshop is an intense professional development activity designed to provide a working knowledge of the federal financial aid programs, as well as an understanding of the laws and regulations that govern these programs. The curriculum will take the student from A-Z covering the basics of financial aid.

Intended Audience
The workshop is intended for new financial aid administrators with less than three years of experience in the field of financial aid. Other individuals whose professional responsibilities include significant contact with the financial aid process are welcome to attend the workshop on a space-available basis. Preference will be given to financial aid administrators.

Format of Workshop
A carefully selected faculty of experienced aid administrators from SASFAA states and representing diverse institutions will provide instruction. These individuals will team-teach and work with the same class of participants throughout the week. Instruction will include the use of case studies, lectures, and interactive instruction. The faculty will be on site for the entire week, providing opportunities for ample interaction outside the classroom.

Topics to be covered include:
Application Process
Federal Student Aid Programs
Professional Judgment
Consumer Information
Federal Update
Return of Title IV
Cost of Attendance
Financial Aid Toolkit
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Federal Direct Loans
Interest Sessions (TBD)
Student Eligibility
Federal Methodology
Packaging and Notification

Participants will be able to test for NASFAA Credentials in some of the topics listed above.  Details will be provided during the summer workshop.

Registration Fees
The registration fee includes all instructional materials, housing (June 15-20), most meals, and SASFAA 2014-2015 membership. 

Workshop Registration Fee - $675 - For registration on/before May 30
Workshop Registration Fee - $735 - For registration between May 31 and June 6

Optional Costs
Early Arrival Fee         $35       arrival on June 14 to include an additional night's lodging
Housing Option C       $85      2-person suite

*Cancellation Policy: Registration fee is fully refundable through May 30, 2014. From May 31- June 9, 2014, 75% of the registration fee is refundable. After June 9, 2014, there is no refund. The date the refund request is received by the Treasurer will determine the percentage of refund.

Location and Dates
The workshop will be held on the campus of the University of South Carolina Upstate.  Visit USC Upstate’s website at http://www.uscupstate.edu to view the campus. Classes will be conducted in classrooms that contain PC’s, projectors, and other equipment. All workshop participants will stay in the Magnolia House suite-style complex. Participants should plan to arrive no later than 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June15, 2014 to check-in and take care of on-site registration activities.

Check-in and on-site registration will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The first class begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The workshop will end on Friday, June 20, 2014 by 11:00 for room check-out.

Participants may arrive on Saturday, June 14, 2014. Check-in and on-site registration will be available from 3:30 pm until 5:00 pm on Saturday. There is an additional charge of $35 if you arrive on Saturday this includes extra night lodging and snack.

Please make your travel arrangements to allow you to arrive before the workshop begins on Sunday afternoon and for you to attend all of Friday morning activities.

University of South Carolina Upstate is located in Spartanburg, SC.  The Greenville Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) services most major airlines and/or commuter flights from around the country
http://gspairport.com/.  You are responsible for your transportation from the airport to USC Upstate.  Shuttle services are available, the charges and rates may be viewed at http://www.atchisontransport.com.


Magnolia House is a brand new housing facility. This 105,000 square foot suite-style complex can house up to 352 students in its eighty-seven suites, including single or double rooms and handicap-accessible units. You may view Housing accommodations by visiting: https://www.uscupstate.edu/studentaffairs/housing/default.aspx?id=24946You must provide your own television and laptop.  Telephone service is not available in apartments.
Option A and B will be assigned based on registration date, until suites are depleted.

           Option A                                                                                            Option B                       
4 per suite individual sleeping                                                             4 per suite/double sleeping            

    Option C - Additional $85
  2 per suite individual sleeping


Suite Amenities -  each suite in the Magnolia House is equipped with the following:
·        Bed, a desk, two chests of drawers, and an armoire
·        Full bathroom
·        Communal living area with furniture
·        Micro fridge (microwave and refrigerator combination).
·        Basic electricity
·        Water service
·        Garbage collection
·        Wireless internet access
·        Stain and scratch resistant furniture
·        Linens includes - one pillow, two sheets, one thin blanket, 2 bath towels and 1 washcloth.

All meals will be self-selected cafeteria meals except for Wednesday night.   Beginning with dinner on Sunday, June 15, 2014, participants will be provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner except for Wednesday dinner which is on your own. Morning and afternoon beverage and snack breaks will be provided. There are several special activities and functions planned throughout the week.

Sunday, June 15
Wednesday, June 18
Monday, June 16
Dinner - on your own
Thursday, June 19
Tuesday, June 17
Friday, June 20

2014 Workshop Faculty

Name of Institution/Agency
Vickie Adams
Jacksonville State University
Stephanie Miller
Jacksonville State University
Joan Bailey
St. Petersburg College
Peggy Myers
University of Florida
Jody Darby
Chattahoochee Technical College
Lori Mitchum
Murray State University
Cedric D. Trigg
University of Louisville
Kamesia Ewing
Fayetteville State University
Aria Simmons
Midlands Technical College
Sarah Dowd
Tri-County Technical College
David Haggard
Bryan College
Brenda Burke
Virginia Commonwealth University

For More Information

Tabatha McAllister SASFAA Vice President
University of South Carolina – Palmetto College
Sandy Neal, Curriculum Coordinator
Bellarmine University
Allison Sullivan, Site Coordinator
University of South Carolina Upstate
Amy Moser, Treasurer
Nelnet education Loan Servicing

Monday, April 21, 2014

SASFAA President 2014 Travel Log

One of the many blessings (and there are many trust me) of serving as your SASFAA President this year is the opportunity to represent our association at various meetings and most importantly to be able to visit with many of you at your state conferences.  I have been somewhat tardy in updating you on my earlier travels in 2014 so I wanted to get caught up today.  Hopefully, those of you who saw my post to the SASFAA listserv this past Saturday can agree (as Ralph Waldo Emerson said) that we should not dwell too much on our prior lapses but should look to begin each day with a brand new outlook! 

That being said, I have provided a summary below of my travels on behalf of SASFAA since the beginning of this calendar year.  It is a little lengthy (and believe me I could write much more about each) so I divided it by meetings/conferences so you can choose to read only those that interest you the most if you don’t read the whole thing – I won’t mind – smile!

Regional Presidents Meeting at NASFAA – January 17

I traveled up to DC on Thursday, January 16 for a first of its kind meeting the following day that Justin Draeger, President & CEO of NASFAA, convened with all 6 of the regional financial aid association presidents; the current, incoming and past NASFAA chairs and several NASFAA staff.  The meeting was an opportunity for the regional presidents to share successes and challenges we face in our respective associations, for NASFAA to solicit input from us on various current and proposed initiatives and finally to explore ways that NASFAA might be able to offer assistance to the regions.  One such example that is already in place is the ability for states and regions to participate in the same investment advisory services that NASFAA does.  Other examples will be shared with the SASFAA Board at our Transition Board meeting in June for their consideration.  The meeting was very worthwhile and I am happy to report that SASFAA is experiencing more successes in the past few years than challenges but that does not mean we can’t find ways to be even better at what we do for our members so any opportunity to share experiences with others is very valuable. 

SASFAA Annual Conference – February 12 to 19

Due to Winter Storm PAX, I ended up leaving a day earlier than scheduled to make my way to Jacksonville, FL for the annual conference.  Amy Berrier, Conference Chair, left a day before me to make sure she could get there in time to make sure all the various details were in place.  There were 531 people registered this year which is the second largest attendance since 2008, only behind last year’s conference in Atlanta which was our 50th anniversary.  Our theme was “Hitting our Stride by Celebrating our Strengths” and we did just that with great sessions, wonderful networking opportunities and a fabulous banquet night including a SASFAA’s Got Talent show!  We also raised over $4,000 for WHAS Crusade for Children, our selected charity. 

Joint Hill Visits in DC – February 27

We partnered again this year with EASFAA, Tri-States (DC, MD and DE) and MASFAA for Hill visits.  Felicia Ailster (GA), Amy Berrier (NC), Nancy Garmroth (SC), Philip Hawkins (GA), Shelley Park (KY), Chad Sartini (VA), John Snow (FL) and I were the representatives from SASFAA and Philip Hawkins and Amy Berrier worked very closely with the other associations to coordinate the day.  We arrived in DC on Wednesday, February 26 and had a dinner to go over the details of the day and then we had a debriefing dinner after the visits on Thursday and we traveled back home that Friday.  All together, a total of 45 participants met with approximately 45 legislative staff and we talked about the importance of the Federal Pell Grant, new ideas for expanding the use of Pell, streamlining the consumer information requirements, campus based funding and Reauthorization issues. 

NASFAA Board Meeting – March 17 to 18

I serve as an observer on the NASFAA Board of Directors this year and Jeff Dennis, SASFAA Past President, serves as SASFAA’s voting member.  We are also very fortunate to have 3 other SASFAA members on the NASFAA Board this year – Ron Day, Past National Chair; Brent Tener, 3rd year Rep-at-Large and Lisanne Masterson, 1st year Rep-at-Large.  We met in Annapolis, MD and covered a lot of ground over those two days, including an update provided in person by Jeff Baker with the Department of Education. 

SCASFAA Conference – March 30 to April 1

I was able to visit with the wonderful people of SC in Myrtle Beach for their annual conference.  They had a fantastic President’s reception that Sunday evening with a photo booth, balloon art, yummy food and a great view of the ocean.  On Monday, I presented a concurrent session on Cost of Attendance in the morning followed by the SASFAA Update at the luncheon.  I was sorry to have to leave them prior to the end of their conference but want to thank Katie Harrison, SCASFAA President for helping my plans to attend the conference so easy and to her and all the SC financial aid folks for making my stay with them so inviting. 

NCASFAA Conference – April 13 to 16   

I traveled with my husband, Michael, to Wrightsville Beach where we enjoyed a fabulous dinner with the NCASFAA Board and Conference Committee on Sunday evening, I attended several great concurrent and general sessions throughout the conference and provided the SASFAA Update at the banquet on Tuesday evening (where we also danced the night away) and then we headed back home on Wednesday morning.  Rachel Cavenaugh, NCASFAA President, did everything she could to make me and my husband feel welcomed and I thank her and all of the NCASFAA members for showing us their great hospitality.

Upcoming Visits

Next up is the AASFAA conference in Mobile, AL – I leave this Wednesday for it, followed by the Mississippi, Virginia and Florida conferences in May.  These will be followed by our SASFAA Transition Board meeting in St. Pete Beach, FL will be June 8 – 11, the SASFAA New Aid Officer’s workshop at University of South Carolina – Upstate in mid-June and the NASFAA Board Meeting and Conference in Nashville, TN from June 27 – July 2.  I will be sure to follow up with you on these remaining travels on a monthly basis from this point forward.

Finally, I am looking forward to Nathan Basford, SASFAA President-Elect, taking over as President, unofficially at our Transition Board meeting in June and then officially on July 1st.  He has some great plans already in place and I know he is going to represent SASFAA extremely well and do a great job for all of us.  Don’t forget to volunteer to work with him next year by going to this link http://fs19.formsite.com/SASFAA/Volunteer2014-2015/index.html if you have not already!

Here’s a quote for you today (because that’s my thing): 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou

Zita Barree
SASFAA President

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It Takes a Campus to Prevent a Default: Rallying the Troops to Promote
Financial Education

By Carissa Uhlman, Inceptia Vice President of Student Success

In part one of this article, we discussed how to present your case for financial education and gain upper level support. Here, we look at the equally important task of gaining the support of your departmental colleagues, and how to keep them engaged.

Who: Self-interest gains the most interest
Human nature dictates that appealing to one’s self-interest is a powerful motivator. With this in mind, by helping other offices to see the benefits of promoting financial literacy, you’re likely to win over some enthusiastic ambassadors. Here are some suggested messages to motivate staff and faculty on your campus.

A robust financial education program could be the unique campus resource that sets your school apart from the rest. Work with your admissions team to provide them with program specifics such as how the program is administered, how many students have gone through the program, and the resources you provide. Make a brief survey available to prospective students that measures their level of financial literacy; it may help to drive home the value of the program, and be a factor in the decision making process. Admissions representatives also have the unique job of having the initial conversation about cost and career earnings; make sure your messages are simpatico.

Student Advising
If your financial education program calls for students to determine how they will pay for college (which it should), what their expected starting salary will be (per DOL statistics), and what they need to do to remain in good standing (think SAP and enrollment status), they will be one step up on Maslow’s hierarchy. Having those initial needs met should allow your students to better focus on goal-setting and academic planning. In turn, your advisors will jump for joy at the chance to form a developmental advising relationship with students. Additionally, training advisors to incorporate financial aid requirements into academic planning is a form of just-in-time counseling that further enforces the goals of your program, and strengthens the advisor-advisee connection.

Career Services
Speaking of expected salaries, career advisors know all about gainful employment. Those who assist students in career planning are keenly aware of the unrealized correlation between student loan debt and expected earnings. How much easier would those conversations be if students had already completed this analysis themselves, through your financial education program, and had adjusted their borrowing and/or major accordingly? Your Career Services partners would be a powerful ally in reinforcing these concepts.

Alumni Services   
An ASA study links alumni giving to how well students feel their alma mater provided education regarding loans, debt management, and repayment options (2011). Additionally, with graduated borrowers buried under average debt loads of $29,400, most are too busy treading water to even begin to contemplate giving back to their schools (2013). It should not take great convincing for alumni officers to make the connection between a strong financial education program and strong alumni giving. They may help sponsor an event or workshop, and may even be able to solicit alumni guest speakers. Having former students, especially those within the financial field, carry your message to current students can be quite effective.

Knowing that student stress level and school abandonment are most often related to finances, you can make the argument that financial education contributes to a more focused and full classroom. As they are often the first to hear about a student’s intent, instructors should be encouraged to make referrals as necessary to ensure students can make informed decisions. Faculty in the economics and finance departments may be valuable resources to your program for content development, guest speakers, and to potentially integrate your program into the classroom.

These are just a few examples of how to gain buy-in; a myriad of other reasons can be found to champion departments to your cause. From the business office to records to student life, there is a common link to be found if you focus on what appeals to each.

Call to Action: Empower your ambassadors
Finally, once you have achieved widespread support, you must find ways to keep your team engaged and empowered to carry the message. Provide literature and advertising about your program so they can make student referrals; train appropriate staff and faculty on key financial education concepts that directly link to their job functions; partner with others to sponsor student events and workshops for increased participation. And always provide opportunities to join the movement.

Financial education should be a forum open to all. You may be surprised to find many who share your enthusiasm and passion, and are just waiting in the wings for someone to start the movement.

 If you have tips or suggestions for turning financial literacy into a campus initiative, we’d like to hear your thoughts. Email carissau@inceptia.org.

To learn more about how Inceptia can help you train and prepare your campus for financial education, please contact us via email at inceptiasales@inceptia.org or dial 888.529.2028.


Monday, April 7, 2014

ECMC Foundation Announces Peter Taylor as President

OAKDALE, Minn., March 26, 2014 –  ECMC Foundation has announced PeterTaylor as its next president. Taylor comes to ECMC Foundation from the University of California (UC) system where he serves as the executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“We sought a leader who is passionate about improving America’s education system and shares in our commitment to help students succeed,” said John DePodesta, ECMC Foundation chairman of the board.  “ECMC Group intends to provide substantial new funding to our Foundation over the next several years.  We are delighted to have someone with Peter’s vision and experience lead our Foundation to the next level.”

During his time at the UC system, Taylor oversaw all aspects of financial management at the ten campuses, five academic medical centers and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Previously, Taylor held senior positions in investment banking, including Barclays Capital where he served as managing director of public finance. Taylor has also served in senior positions in other
large, complex organizations, including GTE California. His experience encompasses governmental work as well, which includes more than six years on the legislative staff of the California State Assembly Majority Leader.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be part of a mission-driven organization that is making a difference in the lives of students,” said Taylor.  “It is exciting to see a board of directors and management team so well aligned on its mission to help students succeed.”

Taylor currently serves on the board of directors of the J. Paul Getty Trust and Edison International. He holds a bachelor of arts in political science from UCLA and a master’s degree in public policy analysis from Claremont Graduate University.

Taylor will assume his new responsibilities in May 2014.

About ECMC Foundation
The mission of ECMC Foundation is to inspire and facilitate improvements in the systems that affect educational outcomes—especially among underserved populations—through evidence-based innovation and targeted deployment of resources.  ECMC Foundation is funded by ECMC Group.

Media inquiries:
Geri Gjesdahl
Report on Testimony at Senate HELP Committee on student loan reform. Marian Dill, Director of Financial Aid at Lee University, testified before the Senate HELP Committee on March 27, 2014 on student loan reform. According to Ms. Dill,

“This was an amazing opportunity and one that I won’t quickly forget. My goal was to represent the interest of not only Lee University students, but all students. I am very appreciative to the numerous individuals who submitted comments and helped in the formulation and editing of the testimony. As to be expected the SASFAA community responded quickly and with excellence. I couldn’t have done it without you all. “

Marian was able to meet with  NASFAA staff Megan Mclean on Wednesday preceding the hearing. Megan provided insight to the procedures of the hearing and provided example questions to assist in the follow-up questioning by the Senators. Justin Drager, NASFAA President also provided materials and links to NASFAA initiatives on the student loan reform which proved most helpful. Finally Claude Pressnell President of TICUA met with Marian early Thursday morning to provide additional preparation for the hearing. The full hearing is available for viewing in the C-SPAN Video Library at the following link Federal Student Loan Programs.

Ms. Dill has been asked by both Senator Harkin, Chairman and Senator Alexander, Ranking Member of the committee to provide additional follow-up and feedback specifically proposed bill S 546 and simplification of the FAFSA application.

 If you have suggestions on either topic, please send your comments to Marian at mdill@leeuniversity.edu no later than close of business Tuesday, April 8th.

Marian Malone Dill
Director of Financial Aid
TASFAA Past-President
Lee University
P.O. Box 3450

Cleveland TN 37320-3450

Friday, April 4, 2014

I know it has been a while but, as you know, in the world of financial aid there never seems to be any down time. So, I am on spring break this week with the boys (Christy is visiting her folks in Connecticut this week and getting a much deserved break from the men in her life) and as you can imagine I decided to do a little work just to get a break myself. So what have the boys been up to…
Bartnicki Boys:
Luke got his first “C” on a report card. My father-in-law says it builds character. Christy says it builds extra homework time, less video games and more study time. Guess which one Luke has to listen to. Luke was recently hired as a swim coach on his summer swim team. We have told him that you are not allowed to throw kids when they misbehave (even your brothers). He was excited about earning money until he found out that there is a rule (at least in the Bartnicki House) that half the proceeds go to their college fund. Wait until he finds out about the car insurance tax clause.
Adam got straight As this quarter and has adjusted well to life in middle school. He is running this spring for his track team and hopes to make the State meet. I let him drive the car down the driveway and though it took about an hour (he wore my brakes out) he was on cloud nine. Hey, when mom is away, the boys will play. But Adam is far from perfect. He loves to watch Honey Boo Boo - enough said.
Ethan is trying hard to reach his reading goal at school. He is close and has been reading 2 books a week. When he finishes reading the books he has to take a test. When he first started, he did poorly on a test. We asked him what happened and he said that he was just reading the last paragraph on each page and he must have missed some important information. Ethan, Ethan, Ethan… He is also running track and can’t wait for swim team to begin.
Oh, I almost forgot. Zyke (our canine companion) has actually survived the Bartnicki Household. When you see the smiles on the boys’ faces and mom holding Zyke like a newborn, you know he is one of the family. Of course, he is a boy and gets into his share of trouble as well. He chewed up Luke’s baseball cup (not a pretty sight), peed on a bookcase right in front of us, jumped up on the table during dinner, chewed up a corner of the rug, etc. As you can see, he fits right in.
Now this is normally where I would provide a host of valuable Title IV knowledge and guidance to assist you in your everyday administration of the Title IV programs.
I would let you know that the new NPRM for GE programs is out and you need to provide comments by May 27, 2014 or to read the new EA dated March 18, 2014 that discusses issues with schools not being allowed to require additional applications for Title IV eligibility or allowing tuition discounts for early payments. I might talk about the new Direct Loan Consolidation process or the New REACH FSA number – 1-855-FSA-4-FAA. However, I am not going to talk about those items.
The most important thing for me to tell you in this bulletin is that it will be my last as a Training Officer. Effective Monday, I will be the new Compliance Manager in the Atlanta School Participation Division. It is with excitement and sadness that I say goodbye to my old role and hello to my new challenges and opportunities.
I have loved being a Training Officer for the last 5 years in the SE region, not because of the work, but because of each and every one of you. Getting to interact with and help schools on a daily basis energized me and gave me purpose. I am happy to say that I have achieved all of my goals with training and reached a level of success beyond my wildest dreams. It is time for me to move up and out has I continue to expand my horizons within FSA.
Now, in my new role as a Compliance Manager I will be working with all TIV schools in FL, GA, AL, MS, SC, and NC. So, for some schools I may not talk to you as much as when I was a Training Officer, but for others, I may be talking to you more than ever from a slightly different perspective. Of course, I am still a part of FSA and I am still that guy you have come to trust and respect. My passion for doing things right, helping families obtain an education, assisting schools properly administer our Title IV programs and my understanding of how difficult and rewarding financial aid can be, has not, and will not change.
Some of you may be concerned with the fact that there are now no training officers in Atlanta. I promise you that management is working hard to ensure proper coverage of the SE region continues until such time that formal Training Officers have been named for Atlanta. For those in TN, KY and AL, I will actually still be presenting at your spring conferences as I transition from one job to the next. As far as FL, MS and GA, Rick Renshaw and Greg Martin (fellow TOs) will be covering for me. In the meantime, if you have general TIV questions we encourage you to reach out to our Research and Customer Care Center at 1-800-433-7327. Of course if you have eligibility, program review, audit or financial statement questions, please contact your regional school participation team and for TIV technical questions feel free to contact your IISs on those teams as well.
And so with a heavy heart, but a spring in my step I say goodbye as your Training Officer and hello as your Compliance Manager. I promise to periodically send updates of the boys to SASFAA. I may have to rename my bulletin - Dave’s Compliance Corner.
Your neighborhood FED,
David Bartnicki
Federal Training Officer