Director of Financial Aid
Having accrued over a decade of experience in the world of financial aid, Alex DeLonis first got his start in the profession as a Federal Work-Study student. Now a director of financial aid at Wabash College, Alex was first introduced to the world of financial aid at William Rainey Harper College — where he completed his associate and undergraduate degrees — as a student employee within the aid office.
"Three weeks before I came to campus, I received a call and was offered the job with no resume or interview. I thought it was too good to be true," Alex said. "I initially began my educational journey as a criminal justice major, but fell in love with financial aid and higher education the longer I worked as a student employee. After two years, I landed a job as a full-time financial aid advisor while at the same time finishing my undergraduate studies. Years later, I still find myself as happy as ever working in financial aid at a fantastic institution."
Alex is also a first-generation college student and views his volunteer work within the financial aid sector — by facilitating impactful conversations and events geared toward improving service to under-represented populations, and helping those student groups overcome obstacles — as having a powerful impact on students from similar backgrounds.
Learn more about Alex in the brief Q&A below.
Who is your favorite historical figure, and why?
I know this doesn't directly answer the question, but I wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my mother. She's a historical figure in my book. She is the hardest working person I have ever met, and she inspires me to be a better father, husband, and overall human being every day. She has shown me that you can do great things with the right attitude no matter what barriers are in your way.
How have you seen diversity in higher education change since you began your career?
I think what jumps out to me has been the number of colleges and universities who have created a position for a chief diversity officer on their campuses in recent years. And many have gone one step further to create an entire office to support diversity and inclusion. I think it's easy to take for granted, but you really didn't see this 20 to 30 years ago. I have actually worked at two institutions that have either hired their first ever chief diversity officer or created a brand new office of diversity. This shows me that institutions are continuing to evolve in this constantly changing environment in order to support student success.
What are some of your life goals?
I'm not going to pretend that I have it all figured out at this point! Who really does? I just hope to be the best man that I can be and become someone my daughter can look up to. I am also blessed to be in a position where I have the opportunity to change lives every day, and advocate for people who don't have a voice. Ultimately, I would like to see quality postsecondary education accessible and affordable for all. As a first-generation college student from a single-parent home, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go to college without the student aid programs that I fight for today.
What do you do when you're not working?
Most of my time outside of work is spent with my family and friends. I have a 1-year-old daughter who keeps me very busy. We are a family that loves to play games — any kind of game, really — but if I had to name a family favorite, it would be Settlers of Catan. I have also recently run two half marathons, and spend any remaining time doing projects around the house that are most likely long past due.
Publication Date: 2/10/2021