Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recap of Opening Session Take-aways and Thank You

Dear Members & Friends,

Our conference theme, Uncovering Your Purpose, Power, and Passion, was certainly exemplified this week in Memphis, TN.  It was refreshing to hear from many attendees who said they enjoyed the Opening Session and that it set the mood for the entire conference.

Mr. John Croyle, our guest speaker and founder of the Big Oak Ranch, shared a great message with us on Sunday.  As we meet with students and families, we can possibly take more time, pull up a chair, and really listen to their stories.  The work that John and others do at the Ranch is something to which we as financial aid administrators can relate. We speak with students, often daily, who may have issues at home—abuse, hopelessness, neglect, or other trials great and small—that they bring with them to our offices and to our institutions.  We become more than just staff that provides financial assistance.  We become listeners. We remain calm—although, at times, that calmness may be difficult!  We offer guidance, and if we are unable to assist, we then direct them to others who can.  We provide the family that student may never have had.  Too, we may be simply the friend the student needs--the person who can show that student, "I care about you. I will help you."

Thank you, SASFAA, for the outpouring of generosity that we showed Big Oak Ranch with our fund raisers at the conference.  We raised over $2,600 to help Mr. Croyle and his family and staff to be able to continue doing their excellent work one child at a time. These funds will multiply in ways we may never see.  May we all continue to share our purpose, power, and passion in our daily work.

I hope those of you who were able to join us for our annual conference have made it safely home. If you are traveling today, I wish you safety along your journey.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Election Results

The results of the 2015 election were announced at the SASFAA Annual Conference in Memphis, TN this morning (02/25/2015). The following people were elected to the Board for the 2015-16 year:
  • President-Elect: Marian Dill - Lee University, TN
  • Vice President: Michael Morgan - Rhodes College, TN
  • Treasurer (2-year term): Jenelle Handcox - University of North Carolina Pembroke
I very much appreciate all of the candidates being willing to serve SASFAA. We had a great slate of officers this year. Thanks also to all of the Nominations and Elections Committee members (the Past President from each of the 9 state associations) and to Angie Black, Electronic Services Committee Chair.

All of the proposed bylaws changes were also approved.

Submitted by Zita BarreeNominations and Elections Committee Chair

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

SallieMae at SASFAA!

Join us on Tuesday, February 24 at 7:30 a.m. in the Landsdowne Room for an invaluable group session about Sallie Mae's free planning for college resources.

Discover all the new tools and plans available to help your students responsibly finance their education.  And we'll also introduce you to our new Sallie Mae® South Region Vice President, David Long.

Don’t forget to stop by and see us during the conference at Booth 33 in the exhibit area!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Join AcademicWorks at SASFAA

Join AcademicWorks at SASFAA in Memphis TN - February 22-25

Please visit AcademicWorks at the SASFAA Conference and learn how over 70 campuses in the SASFAA region have improved services to students and streamlined their scholarship management processes through software automation.

Business Partner Session
Join us Sunday, February 22nd at 2:00 PM in the Kentshire Room for our Business Partner Session. During this session, you will:
  • Get a sneak peek at several "game-changing" new features.
  • Discover how over 350 AcademicWorks clients have automated the scholarship management application, matching, reviewing and awarding processes.
  • Learn how importing student data from the campus information system radically improves the accuracy and efficiency of your process.
  • Explore best practices in scholarship management using technology.
Find us at the trade show!  
Stop in at the AcademicWorks Booth (#23) during the SASFAA trade show to visit with Bo Kerin, Regional Director of Sales, and discuss your current scholarship management process. Learn how leveraging scholarship dollars can improve enrollment numbers.

About AcademicWorks

AcademicWorks is the leading provider of scholarship management solutions. Over 350 colleges, universities and foundations have selected AcademicWorks to improve their scholarship management processes. AcademicWorks combines a unique blend of market experience, product innovation, outstanding customer service, and cloud-based software delivery to offer our customers benefits that are unmatched in the industry.

Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn

© Copyright 2015 AcademicWorks. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 16, 2015

SASFAA Conference 2015 - Reminders!

Good morning, SASFAA Conference Attendees!

We hope that you are looking forward to attending the 2015 SASFAA Annual Conference in Memphis, Tennessee next week!  In preparation for your trip, please find a few reminders below.

* Memphis, Tennessee is in the Central Standard Time Zone! All times listed are local time

* Visit the conference mini-site for the attendee checklist.

* Conference attire is business professional.  Wednesday will be school/organization Spirit Day! 

* Hotel information: published check-in time is: 4:00pm
    149 Union Ave
    Memphis, TN  38103
    (901) 529-4000

* Remember to bring a silent auction item and/or cash for the Big Oak Ranch charity.  

* Don't forget a door prize for Bingo on Monday night.

* The final conference program and session presentations will be posted this week.   Be sure to download the presentations you plan to attend. There will not be any printed conference handouts, but there will be a pocket agenda in your registration packet.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Memphis on Sunday!  If I can help you in any way, please contact me

Safe travels!

Chris Tolson Mapes

2015 SASFAA Conference Chair

Friday, February 13, 2015

Get Connected!

Being disconnected is no fun.  GET CONNECTED!!!

Join your SASFAA friends and colleagues on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/SASFAA - Be sure and 'like' the page!  4.5 billion likes are generated on Facebook each day! Make yours one of them!

Have you subscribed to SASFAA Nine News, our online newsletter?  Go to http://sasfaa.blogspot.com/, and you'll see the box at right where you can enter your e-mail address to receive new material as published.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Chair, Communications and Outreach

NASFAA's News - The Financial Aid Whisperer

As shared today by Michael J. Bennett, associate vice president of financial assistance services at St. Petersburg College, in NASFAA's News, take a few moments to enjoy this inspiring article.
In part, Mr. Bennett, Past NASFAA National Chair, notes, "We live and work in very challenging and stressful times, in a wonderful profession. We need to be vigilant, to tend to ourselves, our staff, our students, [and] each other. Look for the opportunities to lend a hand, be a mentor and re-ignite the gifts of a colleague … be a financial aid whisperer."
As many of us close our work week, I especially noticed where Mr. Bennett said, "I have been mentored by many and stand on many shoulders." To those of you who are new to the profession, look for those shoulders upon which you can stand. Many of us are here for your support.  To those of us who have been in the profession for longer, be that mentor, and have strong shoulders upon which newbies can depend. Our profession is only as strong as we are.
Have a great weekend and a happy Valentine's day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

ISIR Can Help in Outreach to Students Who Over-Borrow

Submitted by: Shannon Cross, USA Funds account executive

For 2015-2016, there’s a new comment code on the ISIR, or Institutional Student Information Record, that can help you in your default prevention efforts.

But what, you ask, does a comment code on the ISIR have to do with helping borrowers prevent default? The answer is that this new code can simplify the way you gather information about total debt for your students who are over-borrowing.

Consider this: A 2013 U.S. Department of Education survey showed that 47 percent of all borrowers surveyed took out more loans than they anticipated for college. The 47 percent who borrowed more than they expected also said that, if given the opportunity to do it again, they’d find out exactly how much they were borrowing.

So, while those borrowers in the Department’s survey didn’t necessarily exceed their annual or aggregate loan limits, the survey results do show that providing information about total loan debt could make a big difference in students’ debt management.

The new ISIR code can help with your outreach to those students who have over-borrowed to the point that they’ve exceeded their loan limits.

Starting in 2015-2016, the ISIR will show whether a borrower has a reaffirmation agreement in place for exceeding the loan limit. If you’re not familiar with reaffirmation agreements, they’re the student loan servicer documentation that students who have over-borrowed must provide before receiving additional aid. That documentation shows that the borrower made satisfactory arrangements to resolve that over-borrowing and again is eligible for federal aid for school.

The new code can simplify your assistance to students who are over-borrowing if, like most financial aid management systems, your system pulls reports based on ISIR codes. With the new reaffirmation agreement ISIR code as a reference, in just a few mouse clicks, you’ll be able to pull up an individual borrower’s total amount borrowed, anticipated monthly loan payment amount, and repayment options available to that borrower.

Of course, having that ISIR code to signify that a reaffirmation agreement is in place also will save you the time and effort of collecting and retaining that necessary documentation yourself. And any time that you save in your office means more time for working with students to help them make wise borrowing and repayment decisions.

Whether you’re enhancing your loan counseling offerings or providing additional information to borrowers as you package aid, any feature that allows you to more easily keep students abreast of their total loan debt — especially those who have over-borrowed — can benefit your default prevention efforts.

And if you need assistance with default prevention planning or borrower outreach, contact USA Funds®.

We Remember and Offer Support

Dear SASFAA Members & Friends:

Again, we must take time to remember individuals who have lost their lives on campuses in our region:  the three students who lost their lives yesterday near the UNC campus in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

May the entire community find comfort during this time.  May we as financial aid professionals continue to support the staff, students, and faculty at UNC.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Your Opinion Matters!

Come one, Come all!

On Monday February 23, 2015 at the Annual Conference there will be a SASFAA Listening session to gather information from you, the Members, to assist the Long Range Planning Committee in writing the SASFAA 5 year Long Range Plan. 

We are looking for general information as to:
*         what direction you would like SASFAA to go in the future
*         how you think we are doing as an organization
*         what programming you would like to see SASFAA provide
*         what are we doing right and where can we improve

The Session, entitled “SASFAA Listening Session” will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Monday in the Galaxie Room. The Long Range Planning Committee thanks you in advance for your suggestions and we are looking forward to seeing you on Monday!

Sandra J Neel
Executive Director of Financial Aid
University of Louisville

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

SASFAA Treasurer Information

SASFAA Treasurer Information
Submitted by Zita Barree, Nominations & Elections Committee Chair

The polls for SASFAA’s 2015 election will open two days from now on February 12!  To help you prepare, I am high-lighting each office for which you will be asked to vote by sharing with you what the SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes as the duties of these positions.  The President-Elect office information was shared with you over a week ago but unless you are subscribed to receive notifications of SASFAA Nine News updates, you might not have seen it.  Here is the link in case you did not:  http://sasfaa.blogspot.com/2015/01/sasfaa-president-elect-information.html    

Information about the office of Vice President was sent out as a Nine News article via the SASFAA listserv yesterday.  

The third office you will be asked to select a candidate for is the office of Treasurer.  This is a two year term. 

The candidates for the office of Treasurer are:

Jenelle Handcox (4 year public, University of North Carolina - Pembroke)
Paul Mittelhammer (Resource Partner, Inceptia – Georgia)

You can learn more about these candidates by reviewing their candidate statements 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:

5.5 Treasurer

The treasurer is elected for a two-year term and oversees and manages the Association’s financial matters. Additional responsibilities include:

    a. establishes and maintains financial accounts while receiving and disbursing monies of the Association;
    b. maintains adequate and appropriate records of receipts and expenditures;
    c. pays the bills of the Association within thirty (30) days;
    d. pays reimbursements to the members within fourteen (14) days; receives all payments to the Association including meeting registrations, membership     dues, and sponsorship/Sponsor or payments;
    e. submits financial reports to the Board at each meeting and the annual business meeting;
    f. prepares annual year-end financial statements as of June 30;
    g. arranges in coordination with the budget and finance chair for an annual independent financial review of the financial records;
    h. files IRS form 990 for the fiscal year by the prescribed deadline, currently November 15 and all financial reports in a proper and timely
    i. sets up master accounts and obtains credit for the Association as appropriate;
    j. performs other duties as requested by the president; and
    k. serves as ex-officio member to the Annual Conference Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, and all other committees associated with     professional development training.


Monday, February 9, 2015

SASFAA Vice President Information

SASFAA Vice President Information
Submitted by Zita Barree, Nominations & Elections Committee Chair

The polls for SASFAA’s 2015 election will open later this week on February 12!  To help you prepare, I am high-lighting each office for which you will be asked to vote by sharing with you what the SASFAA Policy & Procedure Manual describes as the duties of these positions.  The President-Elect office information was shared with you over a week ago.    
The second office you will be asked to select a candidate for is the office of Vice President.  This is a one year term.
The candidate for the office of Vice President is:
  • Michael Morgan (4 year private, Rhodes College – Tennessee)

You can learn more about this candidate by reviewing his 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.

Friday, February 6, 2015

USC Columbia - Thinking of You

Dear SASFAA Members & Friends:

Please remember the family of  Professor Raja A. Fayad who was the victim of an apparent murder-suicide on the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia, SC.

According to news reports, Professor Fayad was a kind man who always raised the spirits of those around him.  According to The State Newspaper, fellow colleague, Larry Durstine, said that Mr. Fayad “...was one of the nicest guys [he had] ever known.”

The university president, Harris Pastides, said it the best in reference to the tragedy: “The thoughts and prayers of our entire community are with the families of the deceased tonight.  We know the grieving period will be long”.

May we as an association take time to remember Professor Fayad and his family as well as all at the University.


Check out Business Partner Sessions at our Conference! Show our appreciation!

2015 SASFAA Annual Conference

SASFAA Colleagues,

The 2015 SASFAA Annual Conference is almost upon us and it promises to be an exciting and informative one with great sessions, speakers, and, of course, our wonderful Sponsors!

As Sponsorship Chair, I would like to invite each of you to visit our very generous Sponsors as they share the Grand Ballroom with us this year. Go by, and see what they are all about.

We have some new Sponsors:  Vocado, iGrad, U-fi, Postlethwaite & Netterville, and Education Partners. They are looking forward to seeing, firsthand, how welcoming SASFAA can be.  Hear the latest and greatest happenings in the sponsor area. Grab a pen, or just go by to say "Hello" and "Thank You" for supporting SASFAA’s training efforts.

This year, we offered the Sponsors an opportunity to conduct a Business Partner Session. I am sure they would love to see you attend one of their sessions

We will also have signup sheets at each booth for the dining opportunities on Monday and Tuesday evenings in wonderful Memphis. So go by their area, look at the menus, and signup! There are so many options! Why eat alone when you can enjoy a nice evening with some SASFAA friends? 

Thank you, again, to all of our Sponsors. Without their continued support, SASFAA would not be able to offer such quality programs!

See you in Memphis!!!!

Sponsorship Chair

Uncovering our Purpose, Power, and Passion