MVP: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistant Director for Student Financial Planning
Stetson University College of Law
Meet Jennifer Cobb. Jennifer is the associate director for Student Financial Planning at Stetson University College of Law, a private university in DeLand, Florida. She has held the role at Stetson for more than ten years, the latest stop in her more than 40 year career. Jennifer got her professional start in financial aid immediately after graduating from college, noting she had to begin somewhere because her student loans were becoming due. But before she even got her first full-time job out of college, she was a work-study student in her school's financial aid office. "I always knew that I wanted to do something that would help people, so working in financial aid has been a good fit for me," she said. Jennifer credits her knowledge of student aid to her time served in the profession, working for state, private, and for-profit schools.
Jennifer has volunteered at NASFAA's national conference several times and previously held the position of graduate and professional chair for the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (FASFAA) when she was the director of financial aid at the University of South Florida. She was also on the first executive board of the Florida Association of Veterans Specialists.
What is one thing you love about working at Stetson University?
I love working at Stetson University College of Law because I know that I am making a difference in students' lives by helping them attain their dreams. I know that there is a ripple effect and these students will go on to make a difference in many other people's lives as they strive to serve clients maneuvering through our legal system.
What is one thing you wish you could change about the financial aid system?
Reduce loan debt and eliminate origination fees. I have seen a huge increase in the ratio of loan aid to grant aid since I first started in financial aid.
What message would you like to send your colleagues in financial aid during these uncertain times?
I would encourage colleagues to have patience and take care of themselves during these uncertain times. This situation will pass and we are all very strong — we will get through this.
What motivates you to work hard?
Education has made a big difference in my life. I am the only one in my immediate family to have a college education and it has improved my life. I believe education is very important for everyone, whether it is formal or informal.
If you are working at home, what does your workspace look like?
I am working from home and I am set up on my dining room table next to my sliding glass doors, looking out on my flower gardens.
Name one thing on your bucket list.
I want to go to Yellowstone National Park.
If you could learn any skill, what would it be?
To master gardening!
My favorite thing about my job is:
Meeting with the students and helping them solve an issue.
Want to say hello to Jennifer or reply to something she 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@example.com.
Publication Date: 7/2/2020