KASFAA – Who Are We Really?

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Good morning all,

KASFAA runs like a well oiled machine with many moving parts (most of the time Image result for winky face.) Often we receive emails, blog updates, and highlights from KASFAA as a whole and don’t really consider the many intricate pieces that must fall into place to make this all happen. Over the next 6 months the Association News & Publicity committee will highlight each committee and their members. We will share the fun and the hard work that goes into each of them. 

KASFAA is the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. It consists of 12 committees and each committee has a Chair, Co-Chair, and committee members. Each position holds their own special place, with their own special tasks. I can’t wait to learn more about each one!!

The committees are:

Archive

Association Governance

Association News & Publicity

Conference Planning

Corporate Support

Electronic Resources

Finance

Fiscal Officers

Government Relations

Membership

Outreach Training

Professional Development

What did you do on Financial Aid Professionals Day?

Andy Fogel’s office at Washburn is celebrating big…

To celebrate all the hard work the Washburn financial aid staff has done and to welcome some new amazing employees… we have decided to extend Financial Aid Professional Day to Financial Aid Professional Week.

 We are celebrating with food days all week

 Muffin Monday…Taco Tuesday…Waffle Cone Wednesday…Team Breakfast Thursday…AND…Finger Food Friday

Johnson County Community College celebrated Financial Aid Professionals Day in conjunction with Bosses Day!  In the morning our Division provided Bagels for our Bosses and our office followed up with a Mexican/Taco bar. Fun was had by all, with yummy leftovers for today!! Our amazing staff deserves a round of applause!! We Rock!

 

How will you celebrate?

FAD

On October 24, 2011 Timothy Bishop, former representative for New York’s District 1, stood up in front of congress in the House of Representatives and gave thanks to all financial aid professionals.

         “Mr Speaker, I rise today to recognize the objectives of Financial Aid Day (FAD).                      FAD reserves the third Wednesday in October to honor the role financial aid                            professionals across the United States play in helping students realize their dream                  of attaining a college education.”

Today we give thanks to all of you for the amazing job you do as a financial aid professional.

Imagine all of those lives you’ve touched, all the families you’ve helped, and all those dreams you made come true.

Feel free to leave inspiring stories, highlight a coworker, or give a special thanks to a mentor in the comments.

 

 

Rmasfaa.files.wordpress.com. (2019). [online] Available at: https://rmasfaa.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/recognizing-finanacial-aid-day.pdf [Accessed 7 Oct. 2019].

Just when you think the water’s safe…

By Keith Fitzsimmons

Cub Reporter

So it’s 7:30am on this Monday morning and I’m just about ready to walk out the door to the office. Yes, it’s true, the KU Med Center STILL can’t get along without me (he says sheepishly). Actually we’re throwing the switch on a new system this morning and even after 30+ years, it’s still exciting.

I get a text from Kelli Lowe of Credit World Services. Thinking it was about Bruce’s funeral or maybe the family wanting me to say something at the services, I almost let it go to save and would check it out at the office. Yet something told me to just call Kelli.  After a brief greeting, Kelli told me that our long time friend and colleague Todd Chappel had lost his ongoing  battle with lung cancer and had died at home last night. Yes, I had to pause for a bit too. Those of us long time KASFAA Fiscal Folks have known Todd for years and enjoyed his goofy sense of humor, his wedding and the new babies. We also  suffered with him over personal things such as moving away from the family business to  the loss of his mom (Shirley Chappel).

Todd was quite the go getter and chip off Shirley’s block. From his compassion and work habits to his horrible driving, this young 50ish guy will be sorely missed.  Funeral details will be passed on for both Todd and Bruce as they arrive.

Please keep Bruce and Todd’s families in your thoughts and prayers. Also Kelli from Credit World. She has been through so much yet continues on like the trooper she is.

So don’t test the waters when it comes to your family. Hugs and kisses to loved ones should be an everyday event.

Keith

It Was One of Those Days

By Keith Fitzsimmons

KASFAA Cub Reporter

Ever had one of “those” days?  Flat tire on the way to work. Coffee in your lap. Muddy dog paw on your pants.  Whatever it is, each one seems devastating at the time. But after a quick recovery, or a change of clothes, we are pretty much back on track. Some may take a little longer, but for the most part that old saw, “This too shall pass”, usually prevails.

Usually.

On Thursday morning, usually did not.

Lisa (Arnold) and I arrived a few minutes early for the annual K-State Fiscal Office Training Workshop. This 10+ year annual event has been a wonderful supplement to the Fiscal Officer track at our KASFAA Annual Conference (btw April in Topeka in 2020).

As Lisa and I approached the beautiful new campus building for the meeting, several of the attendees were waiting outside. A little strange as there is always food at these events, so most folks gather around the goodies.

As we got to the door, Jim Badders from KSU told us that he had some news. Then the bombshell that Bruce Lopez our host and conference sponsor from Credit World Services had died in his hotel room.

As shock, sadness, disbelief, anger, confusion… swirled around my little pea brain, I was, for one of the few times in my life, speechless.

The next few seconds seemed like an hour, but then it hit us, what were we going to do with 30 people from all over Kansas?  Since the room was already booked, we decided to gather in the room and share prayers, stories, hugs, tears and anything else on folks minds.

We shared story, after story as to how Bruce did this or reached out with that. One person said, “He met me once and then it always seemed like he had known me for years”. There were many other personal testimonies about their connection to Bruce.  May Schumacher from FHSU shared her time with Bruce in high school. Two others had worked with him prior to his start at Credit World. These memories were as fresh as the Manhattan air.

After about two hours of the sharing time, it was easy to see that the group was beginning to come back to focus, so we easily transitioned from how Bruce helped us all in the collections part of job to the first presenter on state set-off.

It was a blessing to me to be a part of the group  grieving process and see how each person began to embrace the thought that Bruce never wanted any of the fuss to be about him, he wanted to be the one to fuss over us.

So we went to the task at hand, had lunch, and then wrapped up with a final time to share about things in our office that went on for another two hours.

While we failed at covering all of the scheduled half dozen topics at the workshop, we bonded in a way that none of us will ever forget.  One of the attendees that did not know Bruce as she had been on the job for only a few months, told me that she felt just a close to him as any of us long-termers.

Turned out to be a pretty good workshop; for one of those days.

Controversy in Financial Aid: Legal Guardianship Issues

It is no secret today that college keeps becoming more and more expensive to attend. Students and their families have to search harder every year for ways to pay for their degree without going into debt. Unfortunately, though, for some families, this can also mean circumnavigating the system.

Recently, there has been a lot of controversy regarding legal guardianship in Chicago and how it affects financial aid. An investigation has unearthed cases where wealthy families have been legally transferring guardianship to other families, allowing the student to claim legal guardianship on the FAFSA. This, in turn, leads to that particular student becoming Pell-eligible and showing a high level of financial need, as it is only counting the student’s income information on the FAFSA at that point. However, it has been discovered that many of these students are still being fully supported by their parents but are also reaping the financial aid benefits of not legally being under their care.

It is not known at this point to what degree this is happening across the country, but Google results for ‘how to transfer guardianship’ have escalated since the news stories have come out regarding these issues.

Is it legal? Technically, yes – legal guardianship is a court proceeding and students in this situation would be answering the FAFSA question properly in regard to whether they are under legal guardianship.

But is it ethical? Many student affairs administrators and financial aid professionals argue that while in legality, this is technically correct, but because these students are still being financially supported by their parents despite the legal paperwork, they are perhaps taking away aid from students who do not have the same type of support, especially when it comes to very limited-funded state and institutional financial aid programs.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/07/30/college-financial-aid-custody-transfer-guardianship-loophole-admissions-scandal/1868220001/

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-legal-guardianship-college-financial-aid-20190730-3wojx5xr5jendferi76tcehzma-story.html