March 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 Texas, Georgia, Oregon, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, and Minnesota. 

Denise Welch, president of TASFAA (Texas), shares that the association has kicked off their regional trainings scheduled across the state. The first one was held in Frisco, Texas, at Collin College with about 40 in attendance. Upcoming training sessions will be held in Houston, San Antonio, Brownsville, Lubbock, and Fort Worth. Denise adds that planning for TASFAA’s Fall Conference is in full force. The conference’s theme is “Come Together” and will be hosted in Houston this fall.

Kristie Teasley, president of GASFAA (Georgia), shares that the association will hold its winter board meeting in March. Also, in continuing with GASFAA’s Virtual Training Series, the association will host a webinar on March 6, Delving into Withdrawal Regulations. GASFAA’s Winter Workshop will be held March 11-12 at the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega Campus, and will cover a wide range of topics, including NASFAA’s verification credential, setting up federal work study in Banner, loan processing, reconciliation, and more. 

Carlos Villarroel, past president of OASFAA (Oregon), shares that in February Karen Ash, of Linn-Benton Community College, started her OASFAA presidential term, and Debbie O'Dea, of Pacific University, started her president-elect term for 2024-25. 

Heather Dearman, president of MASFAA (Mississippi), shares that the association is hosting three training opportunities this spring. These trainings include a state aid webinar on March 6, which was free and Financial Aid 101, which will be held March 26-28 at Holmes Community College in Ridgeland, Mississippi. The MASFAA Annual Conference will be held April 24-26 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gulfport, Mississippi. Heather adds that the theme for our upcoming events is "We're All in this Boat Together.”

Mandy Slowinski, president of WASFAA (Wisconsin), shares that WASFAA members supported College Goal Wisconsin with nearly 50 different FAFSA completion events in the state. Additionally, WASFAA's Spring 2024 Conference will be hosted April 10-12 at the Hilton Appleton Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, Wisconsin. Ten scholarships will be provided to new WASFAA members, who will receive free registration to attend the spring conference. During the conference there will also be a pre-conference NASFAA credential session on campus based programs, along with a second NASFAA credential session on return of Title IV funds (R2T4).  

This year WASFAA, in hopes of engaging more students across the state, offered a $500 scholarship for students to enter and win by designing the 2024 conference logo, “We Open the Doors to Opportunity.” The scholarship winner was Cheyenne Spade from Blackhawk Technical College. 

PRASFAA Spring Training

Carmen Rivera Laboy, EASFAA representative for PRASFAA (Puerto Rico),
shares that on February 23 the association celebrated its Traditional Spring Training at Puerto Rico University, Bayamón Campus. She adds that there were 175 attendees at the training. The topics presented were on financial value transparency and gainful employment, financial responsibility, administrative capability, FAFSA simplification, and Pell Grant payments. 

Amanda Cantú, president of MAFAA (Minnesota), shares that MAFAA’s outreach committee has done a great job of connecting financial aid professionals with high school guidance counselors to have a successful FAFSA night. With FAFSA changes and errors, having a presence at these events has helped reassure our families, Amanda writes.

MAFAA’s professional development committee has organized four session events this year and will be offering two NASFAA credentials in the upcoming months. One will be held at MAFAA’s Spring Conference. Registration for MAFAA’s Spring Conference is now open and will be held at Madden’s on Gull Lake from May 8-10. MAFAA’s conference planning committee is working diligently to finalize sessions and the agenda. 

“I’m excited to connect with and learn from my colleagues,” Amanda writes. “The challenges of FAFSA Simplification implementation are sure to create some dialogue during and between sessions.” 

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: 3/11/2024

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