Historical Winners - Gold Star Award
The Gold Star Award recognizes innovative ideas in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency. Up to three ideas are recognized each year. Below are some of the previously awarded projects.
Gold Star Award Winners 2011-2012
Award: “Seven Easy Steps to the FAFSA: A Student's Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and IRS Data Retrieval Tool Tutorial,” submitted by the University of California, Santa Barbara
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at the University of California, Santa Barbara developed an online FAFSA tutorial titled “Seven Easy Steps to the FAFSA, A Student’s Guide to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.”
The tool was developed to simplify the FAFSA application process for the students that have access to this tutorial and to reduce the overall workload at the university’s financial aid office, thus saving the institution valuable time and resources.
Award: “NCASFAA’s Veterans’ Task Force and Veteran Re-entry and PTSD Awareness,” submitted by the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
The North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NCASFAA) was one of the first financial aid organizations to focus on the role of aid administrators with our returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The association created the NCASFAA Veteran’s Task Force to keep the members aware of any re-entry issues veterans might face entering the higher education environment.
Award: “Associations Collaborating for Advocacy on the Hill” submitted jointly by ASFAA, DE-DC-MD ASFAA, and SASFAA
The goal of the initiative was to establish relationships with Legislative Aides from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Sub-Committee on Education & Labor; to conduct advocacy efforts highlighted in our “Briefing Document” on several key topics affecting Title IV Financial Aid, and to provide professional development to our participants.
Honorable Mention: “Michigan Legislative Training and Capitol Visits” submitted by the Michigan Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
The goals of the project were to first and foremost, educate members of the Michigan Legislature about the financial aid process and the extent of all the types of aid students in the state receive as well as to educate financial aid administrators about the legislative process and how to effectively advocate for financial aid support for students.
Gold Star Award Winner 2010-2011
Award: “Clickers” Submitted By Vernon College
The main goal of the project was to transform instruction delivery method for financial aid presentations. Periodically throughout the presentation participants were asked multiple choice or true/false questions answering via their clicker. The presenter received immediate feedback regarding the participants understanding of the material instead of assuming that the participants understood the information presented. The immediate feedback afforded the presenter the opportunity to provide additional information or explain the material again as needed. The participant with the highest score was then given a $25 gift certificate. Comparing the results, the project was a success as the clicker participants scored higher in comparison to the control group on all questions - and in one case, 46% higher. The feedback from counselors and attendees was very positive. Among the comments received were: "Excellent training!! Great use of technology and interactive presentation approach! Kept people engaged and on track. Good idea." As a result of the success of this project, the financial aid staff is trained on the use of the student response systems which are used in all financial aid presentations.