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.
Meet Angela Johnson, executive director of enrollment and financial aid at Cuyahoga Community College. Angela got her start in financial aid in 1990 as a student employee at The Ohio State University. She later became a financial aid counselor at Ohio State and, prior to joining Cuyahoga Community College in 2000, worked at Bryant and Stratton College as a financial aid manager. Angela is a first year representative-at-large on NASFAA's Board of Directors and served as the chair of NASFAA's Task Force Examining One Grant/One Loan which concluded its work in March 2016. She is also past president of the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and has served on the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators board as state representative for Ohio.
What’s on your desk right now?
Perkins loan liquidation and close out plans.
If you could learn any skill, what would it be?
I would sing and play piano in a stage performance.
One thing working in financial aid has taught me:
Negotiating skills - Always negotiating a balance between supporting success and institutional compliance for the best interest of the college and students in a complex organization.
If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
1. Standardize the financial aid and admission complexities for all new college students.
2. Eliminate student loan debt burden in higher education funding, period.
3. Make college affordable for all students.
One thing I would like to change about the current financial aid system is:
Require federal verification to be completed by the U.S. Department of Education, rather than schools.
What is a goal you've set for yourself for the upcoming year?
Reduce our institution's cohort default rate by another three percent, as we have for the past two years.
If you won $1 million, what would you spend it on?
Scholarship opportunities for low-income, first generation college students, as I reflect on my years in college.
Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
Live, love, and Laugh - Abundantly!
What NASFAA service/product is most helpful to you?
NASFAA's Today's News is my daily pleasure with an early morning cup of coffee.
My most motivating financial aid experience was:
As president of the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Association, I implemented a diversity committee to help colleagues first understand, then serve the evolving population of students and professionals on our campuses.
Biggest financial aid change I’ve seen in my career:
The biggest is yet to come with PPY. The Early FAFSA movement is sure to be a monumental change for families making life-changing financial decisions about college going.
My favorite thing about my job is:
Interpreting regulations and institutional compliance to meet student needs with a keen focus on access, success, and completion.
Something I wish I knew my first year working in financial aid: Patience for complex regulations
How my friends describe me: Outgoing
How my colleagues would describe me: Analytical
My idea of a perfect day: Sunshine and beach weather.
Want to say hello to Angela 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: 5/18/2016