Gold Star Award

NASFAA's Gold Star Award recognizes innovative ideas in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency. This award is open to individuals working at NASFAA member institutions; member institutions; regional associations; and state associations. The Gold Star Award honors up to three ideas each year.

2024 Gold Star Award Winners

MASFAPMissouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel (MASFAP) – FAFSA Week of Action

  • Project Objective: The MASFAP Week of Action was initiated to increase awareness of the need to file the FAFSA and to provide support remotely to students and families as they try to complete the FAFSA and to serve as a supplement to the in-person FAFSA Frenzy events taking place across the state. 
  • Executive Summary: The FAFSA Week of Action was a collaborative initiative led by members of the Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel (MASFAP) to provide crucial support and assistance to students and families navigating the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process. This week-long effort, held in early January over four evenings from 5:30-8:00 each night, aimed to make the FAFSA completion process more accessible and manageable for everyone involved. 

CCRICommunity College of Rhode Island - CCRI Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Initiatives

  • Project Objective: The Community College of Rhode Island’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Initiatives is to provide comprehensive support services to help students overcome financial, academic, and personal barriers to success exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through advising, counseling, training, outreach and the addition of student success coaches, the initiatives aim to increase the number of financial aid appeals processed, reduce SAP-related aid suspensions, improve student retention rates, and promote academic achievement. The goal is to position CCRI as an innovative leader in supporting student success by implementing best practices in collaborating across departments, leveraging technology, and prioritizing strategic SAP interventions. 
  • Executive Summary: In response to increasing numbers of students losing their federal financial aid eligibility, CCRI launched new Satisfactory Academic Progress Initiatives in June 2022 centered on providing holistic support services to students. Key components include establishing dedicated SAP positions, moving the appeal process online, conducting comprehensive staff training, creating student workshops, and notably, collaborating across departments to hire and train 13 new student success coaches. These efforts have already yielded positive results, with an 82% increase in financial aid appeals processed, $3.9 million in aid reinstated, and improvements in retention and academic performance. CCRI remains committed to building on this early success by further expanding resources, optimizing processes, and prioritizing SAP Initiatives as a critical strategic focus area for the institution. With continued dedication and innovation, CCRI aims to be a leader in supporting student achievement and completion.  

Past Gold Star Award Winners

Publication Date: 6/19/2024

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