April 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, Nebraska, Tennessee, California, Puerto Rico, the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA), the Southern Association of Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA), and the Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SWASFAA). 

Denise Welch, president of TASFAA (Texas), shares that the association's board will meet April 10-11 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. Denise writes that the board has a full agenda and expects a great meeting. 

Traci Boeve, president of NeASFAA (Nebraska), shares that Nebraska's annual spring conference was held in Norfolk, Nebraska, on March 21-22 with over 20 different institutions in attendance. Topics discussed in the conference included form sharing, a Federal Work-Study (FWS) and community service round table, self-care, and more.

During the conference the association announced the results from its election. The 2024-25 new NeASFAA board members include Hylee Horner from Central Community College as president-elect, Beth Sisk from College of St. Mary as treasurer, Janet Solberg from Creighton University as the private sector representative, and Sara Edwards from Citizens Bank as the associate sector representative.

NeASFAA's keynote and motivational speaker Maggie Thorne.
NeASFAA's keynote and motivational speaker Maggie Thorne.  


Jennifer Byrd, president of TASFAA (Tennessee), shares that the annual TASFAA conference was held on March 24 with 291 members in attendance. During the conference – with a theme of TASFAA Ninja Warrior –  34 members registered for TASFAA's new aid officer workshop and 19 registered for its management workshop. 


TASFAA's annual conference.
TASFAA's annual conference.


Rashinda Hutchinson, president of CASFAA (California), shares that the association held its annual tax training workshops in February and saw more in-person participation than ever before. The association has also been hard at work with partners across the state as California saw an increase in FAFSA submissions during the month of February. 

Additionally, on March 15, CASFAA visited the California State Capitol for its annual "Day at the Capitol" event. Attendees met with representatives to discuss a FAFSA/CADAA extension date, and other bills related to assisting students in receiving better financial aid. "We are proud that our voices were heard, and we now have a new statewide FAFSA extension deadline of May 2, 2024," Rashinda writes.

CASFAA's Day at the Capitol
CASFAA's Day at the Capitol.

Carmen Rivera Laboy, EASFAA representative for PRASFAA (Puerto Rico), shares that Chris Santos, senior advisor at the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Education, on April 1 held a discussion in Puerto Rico with PRASFAA President Steven Candelaria and PRASFAA Past President Belen Gonzalez. The meeting was held in the governor's office and included Puerto Rico's Secretary of Education. The group discussed various trending topics that are affecting colleges and universities in Puerto Rico, Carmen writes.  

Members of PRASFAA meet with Chris Santos, senior advisor at the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Members of PRASFAA meet with Chris Santos, senior advisor at the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Education.


Amanda Fijal, president of MASFAA, shares that registration is open for MASFAA's Summer Institute and Leadership Symposium on June 3-7 in Columbus, Ohio. With a theme of "Putting the Pieces Together," the week-long event will provide financial aid training for newer financial aid administrators and allow more experienced aid administrators to enhance their leadership skills.

MASFAA's Summer Institute and Leadership Symposium.
MASFAA's Summer Institute and Leadership Symposium.


Amanda Cornelius, president of WASFAA, shares that WASFAA held its annual transition meeting in Las Vegas in mid-March, where it welcomed the 2024-25 Executive Council members and newly-elected officers. That includes President-Elect Bronwyn Garrison from UC San Diego, Vice President JW Lazzari from Western Nevada College, Secretary Gecko McDowell from College of Western Idaho, Treasurer-Elect Zoe Rae from Western Washington University, and IDEEA Representative-at-Large Carlos Villarroel from Portland Community College. 

Amanda also shares that WASFAA will soon open a vote to membership to change its calendar to July 1 to June 30. If approved, this would align WASFAA's fiscal, volunteer, and membership calendars, and would alleviate processing and programmatic confusion caused by the current structure. 

Lastly, Amanda writes that the association is looking forward to welcoming NASFAA colleagues and visiting SWASFAA president to the annual WASFAA conference in Portland, Oregon, on April 8-10. 

Michelle Hemmer, communications and outreach chair for SASFAA, shares that SASFAA hosted its annual conference in Orlando, Florida, on February 25-28. 

The conference had special speakers including Melanie Story and Dave Bartnicki from the Department of Education who helped navigate a timeline and expectations for ISIR delivery. NASFAA's Justin Draeger and Dana Kelly were among the "star studded line-up," Michelle writes, with updates from NASFAA that "without a doubt (as always) helped financial aid administrators understand the state of where we are and the direction we are headed."

The conference also had trainers from within the region who spoke on verification, gainful employment and financial value transparency, Pell Grant calculations, and more. 

"We also provided wonderful networking opportunities in conjunction with Tim Maggio, NASFAA's Community Manager. Tim coordinated with our business partners to host dinner groups as well as groups to Disney theme parks. Networking and creating a sense of belonging to over 170 first time attendees!"

Audra Main, president of SWASFAA, shares that the association continues to offer FAAC® workshops to assist members with obtaining their certifications. That includes one workshop from February that was held in Dallas, and an additional session that was held at NMASFAA's (New Mexico) spring conference in April. 

"We will be starting leading our newer financial aid administrators with a TIPsy Tuesday, we are trying to make sure we have something for everyone," Audra 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: 4/8/2024

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