Meet the Standards of Excellence (SOE) Peer Review Team

What do financial aid administrators do in their spare time? Some enjoy reading, crafting, or physical pursuits. Some work with NASFAA to help their colleagues improve compliance, operations, and student service through the Standards of Excellence (SOE) review program

The SOE peer review team is made up of 31 practicing financial aid professionals, including nine team leaders and six assessment leaders. Our team leaders serve as coordinators of remote and in-person SOE reviews with a team of peer reviewers, and assessment leaders work independently on our remote Consumer Information Assessment reviews. Some of the most seasoned team members have participated in over 60 SOE peer reviews at schools all over the country, dating back to 2000. In fact, seven peer reviewers have been on the SOE team for over 15 years! 

"The experiences I have had, and shared, through the NASFAA SOE peer review process are truly impossible to quantify or qualify," said Vickie Crupper, a veteran peer reviewer. "Peer reviewers have an opportunity with each visit to encourage others to continue in this profession, to advocate for their students by ensuring they are meeting aid administration regulation, and to consider ways to improve both aid administration and customer service in our quickly changing technology world." 

NASFAA Credentials and Involvement 

The SOE team stays on top of current regulations and financial aid knowledge, with a combined 163 NASFAA Professional Credentials earned among the team. As of January 2021, four SOE peer reviewers — Sarah Everitt, Ashley Munro, Tim Opgenorth, and Myrna Perkins — have earned all 17 NASFAA credentials. 

"I thoroughly enjoy helping other financial aid officers learn regulations and assist with streamlining processes," Munro explained. "[The credentials help me] have the knowledge I need to answer questions and provide guidance to the school." Munro is one of seven SOE reviewers who have also earned the FAAC® designation

Many SOE team members also have a lengthy history of involvement at their state and regional associations — several have even served as association presidents. SOE reviewers have also participated in many roles at NASFAA, such as committee members, chairs, and other volunteer and elected roles. Seven SOE reviewers are also independent consultants for Blue Icon Advisors, NASFAA Consulting, and six reviewers have served on NASFAA's Board of Directors. 

Speciality Areas of Expertise 

Beyond the "regular" financial aid duties, several SOE reviewers have speciality areas of expertise, too. Myrna Perkins has worked specifically with accreditation for over 12 years. 

"Accreditation and federal aid align very well, as there are elements that intersect. Understanding the regulations and requirements of both entities allows for a more holistic approach in maintaining that good standing," Perkins said. "Having this comprehensive knowledge has guided me when working with schools during SOE reviews." 

Another important area of aid administration is the use of technology and systems, which is where Morgan Ramsey Daniel brings special expertise to the SOE team. Her interest in financial aid systems began with the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART Grant) programs. She was able to utilize baseline Banner functionality to streamline and automate those programs, and from there found multiple other opportunities to make Banner work better for the financial aid office to simplify and automate daily processes. In her current role at the University of Oregon, she also serves as the primary destination point administrator and Gramm Leach Bliley Act program manager. 

"My familiarity with cybersecurity compliance, as well as with streamlining systems, have been huge assets to me as an SOE reviewer," Ramsey Daniel said. "There are often small, but immediate changes schools can make to increase their compliance. I bring a process improvement focus to every review and am happy to provide suggestions to help financial aid administrators do more with limited resources to improve both the staff and student experience." 

Finally, the SOE peer reviewers are just that — your peers. They deal with the same challenges you face on a daily basis and use their expertise to help you improve compliance, operations, and student service. You can read more about the SOE team, or if you are interested in having an SOE review at your school, complete our no-obligation information request form to learn more about NASFAA's SOE program. 

 

NASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program offers objective, confidential, peer reviews that assess your institution's delivery of student financial aid. The Full SOE Review evaluates all aspects of Title IV program administration. Customized reviews are designed to highlight strengths, identify compliance exceptions, and recommend improvements. 

Blue Icon Advisors, NASFAA Consulting, provides high-quality consulting, coaching, training, and interim staffing services to schools across the country. When you work with Blue Icon Advisors, you gain access to top professionals in financial aid and enrollment management.  For every project, we match you with a consultant to evaluate your needs and deliver an action plan to meet your short- and long-term goals.

Publication Date: 3/31/2021

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