NASFAA members are constantly going above and beyond to help their students succeed in higher education. The following stories feature initiatives that our members have pursued over the last year that exceed the traditional scope of responsibilities of a financial aid office. If your university or financial aid office has taken on a project or unique efforts to help students, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to be featured in our Member Spotlight series.
Des Moines Area Community College Works to Build Trust and Engagement With Spanish-Speaking Students and Families
December 10, 2019 — Financial aid can be an extremely complex process for many students and families. As higher education access expands and more low-income students, first-generation students, students of color, and students whose first language is not English make up larger portions of the college-going population, some institutions are finding it challenging to meet the unique needs of all students and their families.
American University’s Food Pantry Battles Student Food Insecurity Daily, Year-Round
November 8, 2019 — Around the nation food insecurity among college students is drawing increased concern as tuition prices rise, the wealth gap increases, and more low-income and first-generation students enroll in higher education. In response to high levels of food insecurity, there is a growing trend of colleges and universities around the country opening on-campus food pantries.
Colorado Mountain College’s Income Share Agreement Program Offers Interest-Free Option for DACA Students
October 7, 2019 — As college costs rise, some institutions are expanding lending options to include income share agreements (ISAs). Colorado Mountain College launched its new financial aid initiative called Fund Sueños (the Dream Fund) on Sept. 20, 2018.
St. Petersburg College Aims to Prove That Financial Aid Works
September 24, 2019 — Chelsea Echols saved up to pay for one year of college by working a minimum wage job at Macy's after graduating from high school in 2014. But money was tight at home — her mother was suffering from multiple illnesses, including pancreatic cancer, and her only chance at earning a college degree depended on whether she would be awarded enough financial aid.
Tallahassee Community College Finds Low-Cost Way to Train Financial Aid Administrators
July 25, 2019 — When Bill Spiers, the financial aid director at Tallahassee Community College (TCC), heard that Florida was facing a ban on tuition increases, he knew that funds to support the travel and training for his staff would be the first to go. That’s why he decided to run a free, weekly professional development course out of his own aid office — using materials from classes he had taken through NASFAA U.
KASFAA Committee Looking to Make Post-FAFSA Filing Training Available Statewide After Successful Pilot
April 16, 2019 — The Outreach Training Committee of the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (KASFAA) is looking to expand a "Train the Trainers" workshop it has been putting on across the state of Kansas every fall for decades.
University of Utah Hosts Open House to Curb “Verification Melt”
March 21, 2019 — While in recent years policymakers have made strides in simplifying the process by which students apply for financial aid, many still face obstacles in obtaining that aid due to the complicated nature of financial aid verification. That’s why the financial aid office at the University of Utah decided to reach out to those students to help walk them through the process by hosting a series of verification open houses.
Liberty University Opens Scholarship to Help Middle-Income Students
February 26, 2019 — When Liberty University discovered last summer that middle-income students were not enrolling at the school due to affordability issues, officials agreed they needed to offer these students some other way to access higher education.
University of Pittsburgh Creates “Forward”-Thinking Financial Aid Program
February 6, 2019 — Students in Pennsylvania accumulated an average of $36,193 in loan debt per borrower in 2017, which was the highest amount recorded across all 50 states. One university, however, is looking to make a dent in that burden for its students — beginning with 150 seniors graduating this spring.
Publication Date: 12/2/2019