Happy Financial Aid Day

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.

I know it is a bit difficult to celebrate this year with all that is going on. Not being in the office, or being able to gather around each other, but we did want to take the time to let you know you are appreciated!!!

FAFSA TIME!!

October 1st already!!! Can you believe it?!

The 21-22 FAFSA is now available!!

I would love to know some of your tips for your students and parents!

Here are a couple of mine…

  1. Carve out some time for the FAFSA. DO NOT do it in a hurry.
  2. Have all FSA IDs, passwords, SSNs, Driver Licenses, or Alien Registration card, and tax records available before starting.
  3. Know your potential schools’ deadline dates.
  4. Use the help text on the FAFSA when filling it out.
  5. Once complete, be on the look out for follow up emails about corrections or completing verification.

I hope my tips help and I can’t wait to hear yours in the comment section below!!

Misconceptions & Misnomers of Volunteering – Pt 5

We are continuing to take a look at our wonderful KASFAA volunteers from across the committees. We are revealing their misconceptions and then what changed their minds.

Here are more of our incredible committee members …

2020 Volunteer I will - Baby Yoda | Make a Meme

Name: Kelli Lowe

School/Business: Credit World Services

Years volunteering: 2

Position(s) held/hold: co-chair, chair corporate support

Your misconceptions before volunteering: I was not aware there was a need. Also, reservations, as to if I would have time.

What made you do it anyway? I became aware of the need and decided I would just go for it.

Name: Diana VanDyke

School/Business: Butler Community College

Years volunteering: OMG I am not sure….10 or more years!

Position(s) held/hold: Chairs of several Committees, member of several Committees, Vice President and President Elect.

Your misconceptions before volunteering:  I did not think I had the knowledge, ability or experience to be an asset on a committee, let alone lead a committee or the organization!  I was also worried about the time commitment.

What made you do it anyway?  My boss pushed me to volunteer for a committee and it just escalated from there!  I have discovered that regardless of my prior experience or ability, KASFAA has such an amazing support system that you can succeed in whatever position you decide to go for.  And you can be as involved as you are able to be.  Even if it is only giving KASFAA a few hours a month.  It is just up to you!

We would love for you to participate in this series with us. Leave a comment below. Don’t forget to also include what changed your mind.

Along with this series we are including a call to volunteer. If something changes your mind or you find you relate to one of these stories feel free to head over to kasfaa.org/volunteer and complete our volunteer form. There are still plenty of spots open throughout our committees.

Misconceptions & Misnomers of Volunteering – Pt 4

We are continuing to take a look at our wonderful KASFAA volunteers from across the committees. We are revealing their misconceptions and then what changed their minds.

Lets meet 2 more of our fabulous committee members …

Leonardo Dicaprio Cheers Meme - Imgflip

Name: Kristi Blevins

School/Business: Highland Community College, Highland, Kansas

Years volunteering: 3 years

Position(s) held/hold: KASFAA-Membership committee; RMASFAA-Leadership Pipeline Committee, Association News Committee, Summer Institute Registration Co-Chair and Summer Institute Registration Chair

Your misconceptions before volunteering: I was afraid it would be too time consuming.  I also was afraid I wouldn’t know enough in order to be of any help to anyone.  I was also intimidated by the bonds that people in the leadership roles already seemed to have with each other, and that I would feel like an outsider.  That has definitely not been the case!  Everyone has been so welcoming and it has helped me to create bonds with new people!

What made you do it anyway? My boss! Ha!  He encourages us to participate and volunteer.  I’m glad he pushed me to do it.  I have met so many people along the way that I have relied on as peers in this industry.  But I have also leaned on those friendships I have created, too.

Meme Maker - I will see YOU at the volunteer meeting Meme Maker ...

Name: Cindy Kleinsorge

School/Business: Johnson County Community College

Years volunteering: Probably as long as I’ve worked at JCCC – almost 24 years

Position(s) held/hold: Committee chairs – Registration, Awards, Association news and publicity, Fiscal officers, Membership, Decorations, and probably others as well. I’ve always assisted on conference planning in one way or another on a sub-committee, not sure I’ve missed a conference to attend or assist.  I also held the offices Secretary and VP (plans program for conferences) of KASFAA, and was Secretary of RMASFAA. For RMASFAA I was on the site committee and helped both times when Kansas hosted RMAFSAA in charge of the skit committee and was chairman of Publicity Committee when Kansas hosted in Wichita a few years back. Association News and Publicity was committee of the year this past year. That was icing on the cake for all of us. The committee was awesome and we were all so proud and excited about the recognition!

Your misconceptions before volunteering:   It’s always been in my nature to volunteer and assist where needed. I’ve never said no when it comes to that. I think the big thing people might think is the time factor, but anyone can do anything they put their mind to…I feel people manage their time much better when they are busy, so you fit it in where you can and you do the best job you can. The rewards are wonderful – meeting new people, having a group of people that have your back and knowing your helping an organization grow to its fullest potential. We have always had great leaders in this organization so I do not foresee that changing anytime soon. Each committee chair has a handbook to assist, but your peers are also here to guide you and assist with questions.

What made you do it anyway?   I love interacting with people and making a great organization even better. KASFAA has such a great reputation within our region and nationally that there’s no reason not to volunteer. It’s so worth it and you’ll not regret it.

We would love for you to participate in this series with us. If you did not receive an email from us about your misconceptions, feel free to leave a comment. Don’t forget to also include what changed your mind.

Along with this series we are including a call to volunteer. If something changes your mind or you find you relate to one of these stories feel free to head over to kasfaa.org/volunteer and complete our volunteer form. There are still plenty of spots open throughout our committees.

Misconceptions & Misnomers of Volunteering – Pt 3

30 Best Volunteer Management Memes images in 2020 | Volunteer ...

In this series over the next few weeks, we will continue to take a look at our wonderful KASFAA volunteers from across the committees. We are revealing their misconceptions and then what changed their minds.

Lets meet 2 more of our wonderful committee members …

Name: Crystal DeLong

I know I’m a lender now so entirely different world but I wanted to answer with my FA Director hat on!!

School/Business: Citizens One Private Student Loans. Previously a workstudy student and then counselor at FHSU for 9 years, then Director of Financial Aid at Avila University in MO for 9 years.

Years volunteering: I have volunteered in either my state or regional associations for 15 years straight!!

Your misconceptions before volunteering/What made you do it anyway?: I was young and met some of “the right” people (aka Robb Cummings, Myra Pfannenstiel) at my first KASFAA so I was volunteering fast!  BUT I was nervous because I was a new professional at 22 years old and it seemed like the people involved were a tight family.

Soooooo jump in and become part of the family is my advice.  Having the KASFAA connections is how I survived my first few years as a Director.  I can’t tell you how many times I called Craig Karlin at FHSU and Brenda Hicks at Southwestern to help me figure out a policy or a process that I hadn’t been exposed to as a counselor.

Meme Creator - Funny BORN READY TO VOLUNTEER Meme Generator at ...

Name: Linda Oldham Burns

School/Business: KS Board of Regents

Years volunteering: 14

Position(s) held/hold: Finance Chair, Outreach Training, re-imagining College Goal Sunday, Archives, Membership

What made you do it anyway?  This is a way to give back to the people and industry that you work.  Once you get started on one committee, you get so much more back in way of relationships and a reward for the work that you accomplish that you want to keep going!!

We would love for you to participate in this series with us. If you did not receive an email from us about your misconceptions, feel free to leave a comment. Don’t forget to also include what changed your mind.

Along with this series we are including a call to volunteer. If something changes your mind or you find you relate to one of these stories feel free to head over to kasfaa.org/volunteer and complete our volunteer form. There are still plenty of spots open throughout our committees.

Misconceptions & Misnomers of Volunteering – Pt 2

In this series over the next few weeks, we will take a look at our wonderful KASFAA volunteers from across the committees. We will reveal their misconceptions and then what changed their minds.

There’s no better place to start than with our president …

Name: Darcy Johnson

School/Business: ESU

Years volunteering: 8 or 9

Position(s) held/hold: Member on Awards, Co-Chair of Awards, Chair of Awards, Member on Conference Planning, Member on Outreach Training (two years in a row), Vice-President, President-Elect, President (and we can add 3 upcoming years to my years volunteering because I’ll have Past President, and then two years on Association Governance after that)

There was a year or two break between chairing Awards (no longer a separate committee) and volunteering on Conference Planning. A couple of those years I might have served on more than one committee…it all sorts of runs together. I stopped volunteering because I got a little burnt out and just needed to step away. That is one of the reasons that the board decided a few years back to limit people to one committee at a time. I decided to step back in to volunteering because I missed being involved with my KASFAA friends. The last few years, I volunteered because people asked me to run for office, and, I’ll be honest, it felt good to have someone say, “here’s why you would make a good president” when I doubted if I was ready to run for that role (I still opted to run for VP that year instead).

We would love for you to participate in this series with us. If you did not receive an email from us about your misconceptions, feel free to leave a comment. Don’t forget to also include what changed your mind.

Along with this series we are including a call to volunteer. If something changes your mind or you find you relate to one of these stories feel free to head over to kasfaa.org/volunteer and complete our volunteer form. There are still plenty of spots open throughout our committees.

Misconceptions & Misnomers of Volunteering – Pt 1

There are a ton of reasons why people do not volunteer. The most common have to do with not having enough time or not knowing exactly what the job will entail. Another one is that they just simply haven’t been asked to.

In this series over the next few weeks, we will take a look at our wonderful KASFAA volunteers from across the committees. We will reveal their misconceptions and then what changed their minds.

We would love for you to participate in this series with us. If you did not receive an email from us about your misconceptions, feel free to leave a comment. Don’t forget to also include what changed your mind.

Along with this series we are including a call to volunteer. If something changes your mind or you find you relate to one of these stories feel free to head over to kasfaa.org/volunteer and complete our volunteer form. There are still plenty of spots open throughout our committees.

News from the KASFAA World

Hello fellow KASFAAns! I hope that you’re doing well!

Please indulge me a few minutes to share some KASFAA happenings with you.

The new KASFAA board took effect at the end of the transitional board meeting on April 16th. The 2020-2021 KASFAA board is:

Darcy Johnson – President
Diana VanDyke – President-Elect
Kristi Blevins – Vice President
Tammy Higgins – Treasurer
Angie Zeorlin – Treasurer-Elect
Melinda Harrington – Secretary
Crystal DeLong – Associate Member Representative
Tony Tanking – Past President
Rachel Touchatt – Archive
Bonnie Sandefer – Association News
Kelli Lowe-Heying – Corporate Support
Thad Davidson – Electronic Resources
Debbie Brewer – Finance
Denise Varrientos – Fiscal Officers
Mark Bandre – Government Relations
Trish Runion – Membership
Whitney Asher – Outreach Training
Robyn Brungardt – Professional Development

We had a board retreat back in March (possibly the only time we’re going to see each other F2F in 2020) and went over a lot of the housekeeping items. This allowed us to jump right in to work at the June board meeting, which was held via Zoom. At this meeting we approved the budget that had been proposed by the executive board and discussed nine action items. We also looked at the 2018-2021 Strategic Long-Range plan and discussed what goals/tasks each committee had as part of the SLRP (aka “slurp”).

In her role as President-Elect, Diana identified co-chairs and filled committee members spots from the volunteer forms we received. Several individual committee meetings have been held and, in my discussion with the chairs, they are excited with the ideas and energy of their committee members. I’m also very excited to the new ideas that come from some [necessary 2020] adaptation of previous offerings or work of these committees. Thank goodness financial aid professionals are known for their adaptability!

The board also has some extra duties this year, as we are tasked with developing the 2021-2024 Strategic Long-Range Plan. We have a planning meeting scheduled at the end of July, and input from the membership will be requested soon.

I’m very thankful that you all chose me to lead our wonderful organization this year, and I’m truly blessed with an outstanding board that’s going to make the task pretty simple!

If you know me at all, you know that I can’t sign off without sharing an Abby picture. I can’t decide if she’s finally adapted to me being at home all the time, is ready for me to go back to work, or just wishes that I would do my work in the recliner so she can sleep on me all day. I’m not sure she’s decided either…

Would You Be Our, Could You Be Our, Won’t You Be Our Volunteer?

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Not sure which committee to volunteer for? 

Archive – are you sentimental, or do you like to throw things away/stay organized? This is the committee for you!

Association News & Publicity– are you a creative type? Do you like to get to know others or blog, or social media? You’ve found where you belong!

Conference Planning – calling all party planners!

Corporate Support – do you have a passion for fundraising? Step right up! This committee chooses the philanthropy project each year and organizes the fundraiser for the Spring Conference.

Finance – Do you like numbers? Want to make sure KASFAA is fiscally sound? We’ve got your number and it’s this committee!

Fiscal Officers – do you like to collaborate with others? Join this committee to brainstorm or provide training on fiscal/financial aid topics!

Membership – Data nerds and friendly types wanted! Members of this committee have the opportunity to keep the membership database clean and up to date, and/or welcome new members to KASFAA.

Outreach Training – Do you love teaching and sharing your passion for financial aid? Have ideas for innovative delivery of content to our partners outside of KASFAA? This committee wants YOU!

Professional Development – Do you have a passion for sharing information with your peers regarding your favorite financial aid topics? Content developers, instructional designers, and trainers…this is your committee!

Not sure if you have time to volunteer? Most committees require an average commitment of 1 hour per month. Click on a committee name above to contact the Committee Chair if you have questions about committee member responsibilities. 

Complete the form to notify KASFAA of your desire to serve on one of these committees! 

On behalf of KASFAA, a heartfelt thank you to all who have volunteered already and those who are filling out the form now. Every single one of you make KASFAA go ’round.

Darcy Johnson
2020-2021 KASFAA President

COVID-19 Scams Are Here – Be Aware and Share

Ari Lazarus is a Consumer Education Specialist for the Federal Trade Commission. He has written a very topical piece on COVID-19 scams that are targeting our students.

Scammers prey on times when we are all stressed and concerned about our income and expenses. It is important to not fall victim to situations that could cause more harm.

Ari gives us two important steps to consider before clicking on any links that you may receive in an email:

Check it out. If you have concerns about an email, contact the sender directly. Look up their phone number or website yourself. Don’t click on a link. That way, you’ll know you’re not about to call a scammer or follow a link that will download malware.

Take a closer look. While some phishing emails look completely legit, bad grammar and spelling can be a tip-off to phishing. Another clue that the email is not really from your school: they use the wrong department name. In one example we’ve seen, the scammers called themselves the Financial Dept instead of the Financial Aid Department.

Check out his article here.

Thank you, Crystal DeLong, for sharing this information.

Be aware and stay safe.