MVP Francisco Valines

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Francisco ValinesMVP: Most Valuable Professional is an occasional series that features a brief Q&A with a different NASFAA member. Do you know a financial aid colleague with something interesting to say? Send the names of potential future MVPs and a short note about why you're nominating them to [email protected].

Francisco Valines
Director of Financial Aid
Florida International University

Meet Francisco Valines. Francisco has been a financial aid professional for 38 years, getting his start as a graduate student at the University of Florida in 1982. Since then, he's worked in the financial aid offices at large public universities such as Texas Tech University, Washington State University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Maryland, College Park. Francisco has served as the director of financial aid at Florida International University (FIU) for 14 years and counting, and said he is motivated by watching his students cross the stage at graduation each semester. 

Francisco has served on numerous NASFAA committees and task forces such as the Carnival of Learning Committee, Need Analysis Committee, and Access and Diversity Committee, and previously chaired the Technology Initiatives Committee. He also sat on NASFAA's Reauthorization Task Force and Online Technology Review Task Force, as well as co-authored articles for "The Student Aid Transcript," a former NASFAA publication. Francisco is also currently a Commission Director on the 2019-20 NASFAA Board of Directors, a member of the Compliance Management Track Task Force for NASFAA's upcoming 2020 Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo, and is about to begin work on the Succession Planning Task Force.

Francisco's StaffHow have you experienced innovation in your career in financial aid?

I've always been technology-inclined. At Washington State University, I developed a dBase, (one of the first database management systems) to establish a database and scoring system for presidential scholarships, before moving to a Mac-based software known as HyperCard. I also worked with the technology lead at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to develop a loan certification form, and created the first financial aid website at the University of Maryland, College Park. At FIU, we've gone from using lots of paper to developing in-house verification e-forms, and then to outsourcing verification and automating the process.

What is one thing you wish you would have known when you were early in your career?

Be patient.

What is the last movie you went to? What did you think?

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." It wrapped up the saga pretty well, and I was satisfied over all.

What is a goal you've set for yourself for the upcoming year?

My 2020 goal is to learn the Ruby programming language.

Francisco's FamilyWhat radio station do you listen to the most in the car?

I commute with my daughters, and we all work full-time at FIU, so it's 104.3 The Shark, an alternative rock station.

Who is your favorite historical figure?

Roberto Cofresi, who lived from 1791 to 1825. He's a Puerto Rican pirate from the early 19th century — and a distant relative.

If you could join any past or current music group, which would it be and why?

The Monkees — I always wanted to be Micky Dolenz.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Buy an island in the Caribbean and work/consult remotely.

Want to say hello to Francisco or reply to something he said? Please leave your remarks in the comments section below. You can also take a look back at our past MVPs to read any you missed the first time around.
Do you know a financial aid colleague with something interesting to say? Send the names of potential future MVPs and a short note about why you're nominating them to [email protected]


Publication Date: 1/13/2020

Tracy B | 1/14/2020 10:20:34 AM

You're a rock star Frank! Hearty congratulations!!

Peggy Loewy W | 1/13/2020 2:14:14 PM

Could not have happened to a better person! My heartfelt CONGRATS to a wonderful person! Good for you Frank!

Alicia K | 1/13/2020 1:52:49 PM

MVP!! Congratulations Francisco....long overdue!!!

Michael O | 1/13/2020 1:10:10 PM

Many don't know Frank used to be a D.J. (no-- he was too young to spin Monkees at that time)....I share an affinity for the Monkees--actually saw the remaining members with my son....not sure if he has forgiven me. (FYI--.Carol King wrote many of their best songs) ..congrats Frank.

Heather B | 1/13/2020 12:15:55 PM

Glad to call you a colleague and friend, Frank. You've given your life to help others pursue their dreams. That certainly gives you an MVP title!

Raul L | 1/13/2020 12:3:02 PM

Congratulations Francisco!! Well deserved!

Shannon C | 1/13/2020 12:2:54 PM

Congratulations!! Well deserved!

Steve W | 1/13/2020 11:49:59 AM

Congratulations! Thanks for helping me get my start in financial aid!

David S | 1/13/2020 11:43:35 AM

You rock, Frankie. Still get a chuckle out of the time when NASFAA was in San Diego, I'm taking a cab from the airport to the hotel, get one foot out of the cab, and there's Frank..."Dave, there's a whiskey bar up the street we have to go check out!" And of course we did. Congrats on this very well-deserved honor...your students and the profession are well-served thanks to you.

Daniel B | 1/13/2020 11:30:07 AM

Many congratulations on a well-deserved recognition. Florida is indeed lucky to have you as a senior leader, and I personally am lucky to count you as a colleague and a friend. Here's to many more years of watching students graduate...

Kim J | 1/13/2020 11:29:10 AM

Congrats and I appreciate you using your unique skill set to assist the financial aid office(s) at your institutions, and how this serves our families ...

G. Michael J | 1/13/2020 11:21:00 AM

Congratulations, Frank! This honor is indeed well deserved.

Robert F | 1/13/2020 11:5:44 AM

Congratulations! Well Deserved. You are the Obi Wan Francisco of Financial Aid! Thanks for all of the help you have given me through the years.

Jennifer H | 1/13/2020 10:45:25 AM

Frank has ALWAYS been a MVP!! Congratulations, my friend, you've earned this many times over!! :-)

Patricia S | 1/13/2020 10:44:58 AM

Congratulations on a well deserved recognition -

Francine N | 1/13/2020 10:2:39 AM

Congratulations!!! Even though I left FIU prior to your arrival, in all of our interactions, I have found you to be the consummate financial aid professional. Thank you for all you do for FIU and the financial aid community in general.

Jane H | 1/13/2020 9:38:52 AM

Congratulations Frank! You've earned it!

Daniel M | 1/13/2020 9:22:20 AM

Congrats Frank on a well-deserved recognition. Thanks for all that you've done for students and our profession!

Kelly M | 1/13/2020 8:39:49 AM

Great profile of Frank, a true NASFAA MVP!!

Paul G | 1/13/2020 8:39:24 AM

Francisco is a consummate financial aid professional and a great guy all around. He knows the business extremely well and is well-known, and well-respected by many aid professionals, including myself. He is very technological, but also a really fun guy to be around. If you don't know Francisco, you're missing out on a really special person. Hats off to you Francisco for becoming NASFAA's MVP!

Brenda B | 1/13/2020 8:22:17 AM

Congratulations Frank!!! Thanks for all you do for students, families, associations and our procession!

Lori V | 1/13/2020 8:16:51 AM

MVP! Congrats Francisco!

Brad B | 1/13/2020 8:13:13 AM

Congrats...well deserved!

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