Whatever Happened To… ep.1

From: Keith Fitzsimmons

There’s No Place Like Home…….

KASFAA!!!!!!  Oh, how I’ve missed you!  My last year in KASFAA was 2010.  Boy does time fly!  After 9 years (4 as a student worker and 5 on staff) at FHSU I left for the Big City in February 2010 and headed to work for the company formerly known as Perceptive Software.  Many of you know them because of their main software product ImageNow.

Kansas City has treated me well and somehow I’m already at 9 years here!  My work in Software sales didn’t last long and 13 months later I was hired on as the Director of Financial Aid at Avila University.  For those of you unfamiliar, Avila is a small private Catholic institution and it is literally just on the other side of the state line in Kansas City.  Kansas was less than half a mile away but that meant even though I was back in Financial Aid I was half a mile away from my KASFAA and RMASFAA friends!  No worries though, I picked up right where I left off and for the past 8 years have been heavily involved in MASFAP and MASFAA!  Believe it or not these Midwest folks are almost just as charming, friendly and fun as you Rocky Mountain folks are!

It’s been a wild ride personally for me this last year. At the 2017 FSA Conference in Orlando my boyfriend at the time surprised me with a ring and on October 27, 2018 I married my knight in shining armor!  We sold our house in Kansas City MO and jumped the state line back to KS and now are living happily ever after in Overland Park KS!  Times are a changing……….new husband, new house and I have one more NEW thing to announce too!  NEW JOB!!!!! (not a new baby for all you anxious friends of mine!)

As of February 11th I will be the new Relationship Manager Account Executive for Citizens Bank working with the student lending side of the house!  And I’LL BE BACK IN KANSAS!!!! I was so excited to learn that Kansas would be one of the states I’d be covering.  I’m a western KS girl born and raised and so many of you I’ve been able to keep in touch with over the years via social media, conferences, or even a happy hour now and then!  I’m excited for this transition and cannot wait to reconnect as well as meet many others that I haven’t crossed paths with yet!

Here’s to an exciting 2019!  I’m hoping each and every one of you is off to a great start this year and I can’t wait for the hugs and smiles each of us will share this year!



Crystal M. DeLong (Bruntz)

P.S. I don’t have my new work email address yet but my personal email is cbruntz03@gmail.com.


Summer Institute Scholarship Info.

Are you interested in attending RMASFAA’s Summer Institute?


Summer Institute will be held June 2-7, 2019 at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. There are options for everyone! Brand new financial aid administrators, those who are more intermediate and those who are aspiring or new Directors will all find a track to sign up for! The training for the week is based on the NASFAA U curriculum.

KASFAA will pick at least four members to win a full registration scholarship (includes lodging and meals.) Your school must cover transportation costs.

To apply for one of these scholarships, please fill out the online application.

Applications are due February 1.

Let me know if you have questions!

Sara Vancil

KASFAA President

Winter Board Meeting ’18 Update

By: Sara Vancil

Hello KASFAA friends!

The Board of Directors just had our winter board meeting.  I wanted to provide some key updates to the entire membership about the work of KASFAA since our last Board meeting.  Our various committees have been working diligently to fulfill their missions as well as the goals laid out for them in our three-year Strategic Long Range Plan.


  • Our drive-in trainings this fall at five different sites using two NASAFAA U credentials were a success, with nearly 90 registrants. The Board voted to create a permanent Professional Development committee, which will host trainings for our members separate from our annual conference.  We would like to continue with NASFAA U credential opportunities and expand into other topics as well, including possibly bringing back a workshop for support staff.


  • The Membership Committee is working to get all our members renewed and paid before spring conference registration opens up. They have also been working on a plan to be even more robust in our welcome of new members at the upcoming conference.  If you are new to KASFAA, be sure to attend the conference in Lawrence and be recognized!


  • The Outreach Training Committee had 314 attendees at the Counselor Training Workshops in late September, which was an 18% increase over last year. All the materials from the training are on our website for counselors to access so feel free to pass this on as a resource!  The committee will be moving its attention next to brainstorming other ways that KASFAA can connect with and train our partners across the state.  One idea is possible training on next steps after FAFSA like reading award letters and helping students and parents with reviewing costs and accepting aid.



  • ATAC, our website provider, is in the midst of an overhaul of our website thanks to the hard work of our Electronic Resources Committee. The homepage will feature a much streamlined menu structure, rotating pictures of all of our member institutions, and easy access to the latest news and events.


  • The Finance Committee drafted a new investment and reserve policy which the Board reviewed. We expect to approve the new policy in April after additional work to find an appropriate short-term investment vehicle for some of our funds, such as a money market account.  KASFAA’s balance sheet and budget is available for your review.


  • The Board decided to engage the Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, KS to host our April 2021 conference. We were last in Manhattan in 2016 and enjoyed our stay so we’re going back!  Upcoming conferences include April 3-5, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lawrence (submit a session proposal now!) and April 1-3, 2020 at the Atrium Conference Center in Hutchinson.


  • The Board approved the addition of a new KASFAA Rising Star award to our list of awards given each year. This award will recognize members with fewer than five years of experience in KASFAA who show promise for future contributions.  It will honor those who demonstrate passion, professionalism, and dedication to our profession.  Nominate someone today!


  • The Archive committee is finalizing the plan to electronically archive all of the materials we stored in hard copy for many years. Along with that, we have a box full of photos.  We’re going to ask for everyone’s help at spring conference to identify places and faces in these photos.  We’ll also have some photos to give away if you’re interested!


  • Don’t forget to apply for a scholarship to attend RMASFAA’s Summer Institute! Deadline to apply is February 1.  SI will be June 2-7 in Colorado Springs.


As you can see by this update, KASFAA is in good shape!  We have nearly 80 individuals who serve on the board and committees.  THANK YOU to everyone for putting their time, talents and energy into this association.  Thank you giving me the opportunity serve all of you this year as KASFAA President.  I’ll be attending the RMASFAA winter board meeting in March as the Kansas State Delegate and will report back!  Happy Holidays and good luck with spring startup!

Sara Vancil

JCCC Annual Cookie Delivery

By: Debbie Brewer

JCCC financial aid department had their annual cookie delivery on December 5th. We all bake or bring cookies and candies and we prepare goodie trays for 24 departments across campus that we work with directly throughout the year. It is our way of saying thank you for all they do for us and to express our gratitude. We have 5-6 employees deliver the cookie trays and sing Christmas carols as they deliver. It is a great team building activity and we look forward to spreading holiday cheer each year.


Holiday Prep

From: Cindy Kleinsorge

As the holidays approach, and our work lives get busier preparing for the spring semester at our schools, the upcoming holiday season is fast approaching.  Here’s a few tips to help us prepare and make it a more enjoyable time. If you want to read more click on the link at the bottom for the full article.

What can we do now to prepare?

  1. Plan ahead. …
  2. Develop a budget for the holidays. …
  3. Shop ahead. …
  4. Start decluttering. …
  5. Cook/bake ahead. …
  6. Make reservations for holiday travel. …
  7. Plan some fun events for yourself and your family. …
  8. Get a jump on your holiday cards or letter.
  9. Make it meaningful.
  10. Make personal time and self-care a priority, even during the holiday season.


Have a safe, happy, healthy holiday season!!