Jillian Palan & “Her Wizarding Week at Summer Institute”

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My primary reason to attend SI was to gain more knowledge about financial aid for job advancement. I did more than just that, I made friends and networks that I can rely on in the future. I was in the neophyte track for beginners with Peg Mason (Assistant Director, Colorado School of Mines) and Sarah Standley (Student Services Coordinator, University of Nebraska – Lincoln). Our class was Slytherin Green, hiisssssss (snake sound)! If you did not know, a snake is the symbol for the Slytherin House.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from SI. I was told many times it would be a long week full of information overload. They were right about that! I gained a better understanding and knowledge of financial aid from all aspects. We covered everything from Cost of Attendance, SAP, Consumer Information, Verification, Packaging and Notification of Awards, PJ’s to finding EFC by hand among other topics. There were many times when some things I was unclear of before just clicked. There were also times, when I added to my list of questions for how we handled some situations or what our policy states. For example, “Who is in charge of Gainful Employment?” Bless that person!

One of the best experiences I think, was just being able to discuss with classmates on their schools’ policies/procedures, about how they do certain things. A very close second to that was our Slytherin Green team winning the Minute to Win it challenge against the other classes! Before the competition, I came up with a chant for our class to do. If you have ever seen the movie Dodgeball, it was like that; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1UO6X0KRjc . It went, two slaps on the knees then snake like hands with the hisssss sound. We were told it was terrifying. Also, I’m pretty sure I won my class award for Most Likely to Lead a Diverse Group because of this chant we did all week long!

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                                             The best part of this training opportunity is the atmosphere for learning. All the instructors and people involved are upbeat and help to keep the boring stuff still fun. 😉 The theme was perfectly done with relation to financial aid and very entertaining. From the costume contest at the end of the training to the wands we received. I now have a degree of Master of Financial Aid Wizardry! Thank you KASFAA for this opportunity!

Enjoying time with co-workers Ashley Jost and Cat Carpio on their free afternoon…and hiking 1,000 steps up Manitou Incline – $2,744 steps to the top.

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Jillian works in the Financial Aid office at JCCC as our Administrative Assistant but it sounds like she’s ready for more challenges….


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