TN: What do you think is the biggest issue facing the federal aid programs right now?
LV: I think the biggest issue facing the federal aid programs is that change has been too slow to happen in regards to improving the overall process of applying for, awarding, and receiving financial aid. The lack of more federal systems communicating that could help simplify the process for students (similar to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool) and additional burdens placed in front of students all scream for simplification.
TN: What are your top three goals for your tenure as National Chair of NASFAA?
TN: Who has been the biggest professional influence for you over the years, and why?
LV: While there are certainly several, I must give credit to my 14 other four-year public aid directors from Michigan, both past and present. They have been the most open and supportive group of colleagues one could ask for. We reach out to one another and share feedback, sometimes several times a week. I think I can also refer to each of them as a friend.
TN: What is the best professional advice you have been given?
LV: To listen. Sounds simple, but not everyone can do it.
TN: If I were not working in financial aid, I would...
LV: Not be content.
TN: What is your favorite quote or song lyric?
LV: "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey – after all, we have to "hold onto that feelin'," right?
TN: What's the one thing you won't skip—or shorten—in the morning?
LV: My time spent over a nice warm cup of coffee. It's my little bit of "me" time.
TN: What gadget or app saves you the most time?
LV: I hate to admit it—my phone.
TN: My most motivating financial aid experience was…
LV: Wow, there are far too many to list. From learning and growing from my work in supporting college students from foster care, each trip to Capitol Hill in DC and our state capital here in Michigan, and from a variety of student success stories, each experience has been beyond motivational. It is remarkable when you stop and think about how much we really garner from our students and how we as aid professionals can also learn from their experiences, as well as our own experiences inside and outside of the office. I don’t think I could ever put my finger on just one.
TN: What NASFAA service/product is most helpful to you?
LV: While Today's News is number one, I would say AskRegs is a mighty handy tool.
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Publication Date: 8/3/2018