October State & Regional Association Updates

By Maria Carrasco, NASFAA Staff Reporter

In this monthly round-up in Today's News, we would like to highlight what’s going on in your state and regional associations. 

This month, we have the opportunity to hear from our colleagues from Mississippi, Missouri, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, the Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SWASFAA), and the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA). 

Heather Dearman, president of MASFAA (Mississippi), shares that MASFAA will have its fall training on November 2 at Holmes Community College’s Ridgeland campus. MASFAA’s Annual Conference will take place between April 24-26, 2024, in Gulfport, Mississippi. Additionally, she shares that MASFAA has a new logo. 

Tony Lubbers, president of MASFAP (Missouri), shares that the association’s Early Awareness Committee is planning in-person high school counselor workshops around Missouri this fall, with 14 confirmed locations. These are free workshops focused on pertinent financial aid topics. Tony says they encourage high school counselors and college access professionals to attend. 

Additionally, MASFAP’s Professional Development Committee is hosting sessions on the following subjects titled; The State of Student Aid and Higher Education in Missouri on October 4; Preparing for the New FAFSA on October 11; R2R: Return to Repayment on October 18; and Scholarship Providers Network on November 1. 

Tony also shares that MASFAP’s Conference Planning and Program Committee has put together an informative batch of sessions focusing on the new “Better FAFSA,” and is focusing on how financial aid administrators can become “Agents of Change.” The MASFAP Annual Conference is scheduled for November 6-8 at Lake of the Ozarks.

Mandy Slowinski, president of WASFAA (Wisconsin), shares that WASFAA testified before the Wisconsin State Legislature for financial aid modernization. WASFAA representatives Triena Bodart, Robert Bode, NASFAA National Chair Helen Faith, and Susan Teerink testified in September before committees in the Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly in favor of bills that would modernize the administration of state financial aid programs.

In early September, the Wisconsin Senate passed its version of the financial aid modernization bill by a unanimous vote, and supporters are hopeful that the Assembly bill will be voted on shortly, Mandy writes. The bills seek to update several Wisconsin statutes which no longer align with federal law since the passage of the FAFSA Simplification Act. 

“The proposed legislative changes allow for greater flexibility and transparency and will help ensure that all Wisconsin resident students are treated equitably. We appreciate the bipartisan support and investment the Wisconsin Legislature has shown for the Wisconsin Grant programs that have provided critical support for lower income Wisconsin students to enroll in higher education and persist to graduation,” said Susan Teerink.

WASFAA representatives worked collaboratively with staff from the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical Colleges, the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Wisconsin Tribal Colleges, and Wisconsin’s Higher Educational Aids Board to provide input to drafters of the legislation.  

Jennifer Byrd, president of TASFAA (Tennessee), shares that the association is partnering with the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) to offer its fall training series throughout October. Registration is required. A full list of dates and locations are available on TASFAA’s website.

Elyse Weller, president of ILASFAA (Illinois), shares that the association has changed to institutional membership effective with the 2023-24 year. Institutions and members will continue to have the same great access and service at a bundle cost, Elyse writes. 

Additionally, ILASFAA, joined by ISAC, hosted a virtual FAFSA simplification panel discussion on September 27. The ILASFAA Training & Professional Development Committee also hosted a workshop for financial aid directors on October 5 at Illinois State Alumni Center in Normal, Illinois. The workshop addressed key topics and questions pertaining to financial aid directors.

Matt Falduto, president of IASFAA (Iowa), shares that the association just completed the first of two conferences on October 4-6 in Cedar Falls. The theme was “May the FAFSA Be With You” and lightsabers may have been involved, Matt writes. Some of the topics covered at the conference included FAFSA simplification, verification, financial literacy, and loan repayment. The conference charity was the House of Hope Cedar Valley, which provides single-mother families and women who age out of foster care with individualized support and transitional housing to achieve secure families, independence, and permanent homes, Matt shares. 

Audra Main, president-elect of SWASFAA, shares that the association had a board of directors meeting in Dallas on September 21. Audra adds that the association had FAAC® training on the next day so board members could prepare for the FAAC exam. 

SWASFAA Board of Directors
SWASFAA Board of Directors

Michelle Hemmer, communications and outreach chair of SASFAA,
shares that the association is gearing up to continue its 2023-24 webinar series with “Deep Dive Into the New FAFSA” on October 17. Additionally, SASFAA’s Management Institute is full with 75 registered, seven presenters, and nine sponsors. “We are excited to have everyone join us in Charleston, South Carolina. in October! Happy fall, ya'll!” Michelle writes.

Check back next month to see what your colleagues are doing across the country, and check out your colleagues’ updates from previous months!


Publication Date: 10/10/2023

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