Case Study: Loras College

September 2020 to April 2021


To provide training for an up-and-coming financial aid director on management and financial aid delivery topics.


Loras College contacted Blue Icon Advisors seeking options to support the leadership growth for Zachary Gries to support his promotion to director of financial aid in January 2021.


Blue Icon provided Loras College with a two-pronged approach. First, the interim director attended New Director Group Coaching. Following the completion of this six-week program, Blue Icon provided an executive coach to conduct regular coaching sessions on high priority areas that were identified both in advance and during the engagement, including:

  • Compliance
  • Data reporting
  • Leading financial aid staff
  • Operational calendars
  • CARES Act/HEERF funding
  • Effective relationships with institutional leaders and key partners, such as student accounts

During the six-month engagement, the executive coach also conducted training and facilitated discussions regarding both tactical and strategic financial aid delivery topics using several references, including NASFAA's Self-Study Guides, on the following topics:

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Relations with the Bursar's Office
  • Cash management
  • CARES Act funding
  • Cost of attendance
  • Student eligibility
  • Scholarship funding stewardship
  • Role of professional development
  • Consumer information guidelines
  • Professional judgment
  • Reconciliation


"Going into the group coaching class, I didn't feel as savvy as others, but the information provided was very helpful, especially operational calendars," commented Gries. "When I had a meeting with our admissions office to answer some questions, I was able to draw upon my group coaching experience to be effective in the meeting." Gries continued, "The executive coaching afterwards provided me with the optimism I needed to be successful and gave me the confidence to accept the 'greyness' that financial aid directors deal with every day. I can't think of the number of times an institutional challenge came up and between my consultant and AskRegs, I felt better about the decision and it's 'rightness.'"


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Publication Date: 7/19/2021

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