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2014-2015 KASFAA Officers Elected!

Please join me in congratulating the individuals elected for 2014-2015!  Thanks to everyone who voted. 

President Elect:   Brenda Krehbiel, McPherson College

Vice President: Sara Vancil, University of Kansas

Secretary:  Elaine Henrie, Emporia State University

Treasurer:  Keith Fitzsimmons, University of Kansas Medical Center

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We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to the newest employee at the Kansas Board of Regents Office – Rachael Logan. Rachael is a graduate of Baker University and previously worked for the Rezolve Group, Inc. in Lawrence, KS as an education and development trainer. Rachael has replaced Kaye Stewart, so she will be the person you will want to get in touch with for any of the questions about the student financial assistance programs that you would have previously contacted Kaye about. Rachael can be reached either via email: rlogan@ksbor.org; or by phone: 785-296-3517.

To get acquainted we asked her the following questions:

1. Pepsi, Coke, or something else and why? Coke. My taste buds perceive it as less sweet and syrupy.
2. Football, basketball, or I don’t really get the point of either of these. Soccer, please. Go Sporting!
3. What three people would you invite to your next dinner party (barbeque) and what would you serve? Christopher Kimball (of America’s Test Kitchen), DJ Dan Whitford (of Cut Copy) and Amy Goodman (of DemocracyNow!). I’d serve a variety of amuse-bouches – gotta keep it light because we’re going to have a dance party after dinner.
4. What has surprised you most about your job – so far? It’s amazing how providing just a little guidance to students can make a difference in how they feel about their ability to succeed. Also, we’re still using a lot of paper.
5. What is something you learned last week (it can be about your job or anything else)? If you stand a foot away from a mirror, you see yourself not as you are, but as you were 2 billionths of a second ago because light travels a foot every billionth of a second. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the best.
6. Who was your favorite teacher and what made that person special? Teacher Wende Weber (high school) and Professors Pablo LaRosa, Gwyn Mellinger and Sandra Schumm of Baker University – all four were instrumental in cultivating my ability to consider my place in a world much larger than myself.
7. Do you ever get mistaken for someone else (famous or not) and who is it? My friend Emily and I get mixed up all the time. She’s practically a foot taller than me so I don’t really get it.
8. If someone were to write a book about you, what would the title be? A Plane to Anywhere and Other Solitary Calculations of the Wondering Mind

Please also tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Oklahoma and moved to Kansas to study Spanish and Mass Communication (emphasis in print journalism). I love traveling, discovering new music, cooking, dancing and cleaning. I dislike Oxford commas.

“Really enjoying all the detail on NSLDS aggregate calculations!”

“Really enjoying all the detail on NSLDS aggregate calculations!”

And that, my friends, was my very first tweet ever.  If that doesn’t spell “Financial Aid Nerd” I don’t know what does!

I had the privilege of attending the Federal Student Aid Training Conference during the first week of December in Las Vegas.  6,000 of my closest friends were there as well.  And as always, we had a great Kansas contingent!

For individuals who go to the FSA conference regularly, you know it can get a little monotonous at times.  So I was intrigued when a colleague (shout out to @jstnchsbrwn!) told me to check out Twitter during the conference to find out, in real-time, what was the most exciting information of the day.  In conference materials, FSA encouraged attendees to connect with them on Twitter @FSAconf.  Even more fun though was “joining the conversation” using the hashtag #FSATC2013.

For those new to Twitter as I was, conference attendees would publish their thoughts and observations in 140 characters or less and then add the #FSATC2013 hashtag.  Anyone with a phone, tablet or computer could then follow that conversation.  Let me tell you, Tweeters are a dedicated bunch!  It takes some practice to be in a session and trying to actively listen while also trying to capture information in short phrases to share with the rest of the FA community.

It was a lot of fun to be in a general session or open forum and to see what information others were honing in on.  It was nice to be in one breakout session and to be reading comments from those in other sessions to see what I might be missing or which presentation was best learned on my own with the PowerPoints.  A number of sessions got high marks on Twitter when the presenters used some energy, creativity and humor to get the audience going.

For FAAs who weren’t able to make it to the conference but who were following the conversation on Twitter back in their offices, they were able to ask clarifying questions in hopes of an answer from the original owner of the tweet in question.

There were 2,314 tweets during the conference!  If you want to see what you’ve been missing, there are a few things you can do!  First, you can always get on Twitter and review tweets by searching for #FSATC2013 to see any current tweets about the conference.  Second, if you really want to dig in and see it all, Great Lakes compiled the best tweets by session for each day of the conference on Storify.  Check out Day 1 at http://storify.com/MyGreatLakesFAP/federal-student-aid-training-conference-2013-day-1.  You can link to other days using the box on the right hand side to see other transcripts.

Finally, if all of this appeals to you, you can check out #FAchat!  This is a moderated chat on Twitter for Financial Aid Professionals on the second Tuesday of every month from 12-1pm CST.  Each month FAAs tackle a different topic and chat about it!  You can check out transcripts of archived chats at http://thefachat.blogspot.com/.

In closing, Federal Student Aid has done a lot to embrace social media in the past few years!  They regularly post on Facebook, Twitter, Storify, YouTube and Infographics.  I encourage everyone to check out Session #39 from the conference to find out how you can borrow some of the content they have developed for these different platforms to use in your own social media campaigns.  The PowerPoint and session recording can be found at http://fsaconferences.ed.gov/

Happy Tweeting!

Sara Vancil
University of Kansas

 

Help Students Navigate the 150% Loan Limit Rule with these Five Key Take-Aways

Help Students Navigate the 150% Loan Limit Rule with these Five Key Take-Aways

Submitted by Diane Borchardt, Senior Marketing Associate
Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.

Policy changes such as the 150% limit rule regarding federal Direct Subsidized loans can be confusing for students, and can cause additional counseling inquires and work for your financial aid office. Here are some key take-aways and resources to help you in assisting students.

As of July 1st, 2013, any first-time borrower, (which is defined as someone who has no outstanding balance on a FFELP or Direct loan when receiving a Direct loan on or after July 1, 2013), will only be able to obtain federal Direct Subsidized loans for a maximum of 150% of the published program length in which they are enrolled. Additionally, the subsidized loans that had been borrowed up to the 150% point will lose further government subsidy and interest will begin to become the student’s responsibility if they do not graduate by the 150% point (and continue to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program). From that point forward, these subsidized loans will become unsubsidized loans.

Here are five key take-aways to keep in mind when counseling students:

  1. Students may receive Direct Subsidized loans for no more than 150% of the length of the current academic program. For example, a student enrolled in a two-year program will have three years’ worth of subsidized loan eligibility and a student enrolled in a four-year program will have six years’ worth of subsidized loan eligibility.
  2. Once a student reaches the 150% mark in a particular program, their future subsidized loan eligibility in that program will end. They may, however, be eligible for unsubsidized loans.
  3. A student who reaches the 150% limitation will have their interest subsidy end for all outstanding subsidized loans if the student does not graduate and continues to be enrolled in the same or a shorter undergraduate program. Repayment does not begin, but like unsubsidized loans, the student (rather than the government) would become responsible for interest that accrues from this point forward.
  4. Unlike other measures in determining continued aid eligibility, this provision is not affected by the total dollar amount borrowed. Any and all periods of subsidized loan borrowing will count against the 150% time limit.
  5. This policy is in addition to, and not in place of, the lifetime aggregate loan limits that are currently in place.

You’ll also want to encourage your students to contact their loan servicer with any questions.

 

Diane Borchardt is a Senior Marketing Associate with Great Lakes, serving schools in Kansas, Minnesota, Arkansas, and Utah. You can reach Diane at (888) 502-5905, or by email at dborchardt@glhec.org.

Pamela Annette Mayfield

KASFAA member Pamela Mayfield of Johnson County Community College passed away on November 29th, 2013.  Pamela worked in Administrative Computing as Financial Aid’s IT liasion.  Pamela was also a 10-year KASFAA Service Award recipient.  She was widely known throughout KASFAA and will be dearly missed.

PAMELA ANNETTE MAYFIELD

1954 – 2013 | Pamela Annette Mayfield, 59, passed away Friday, November 29, 2013, at her home in Kansas City, MO. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at the Speaks Suburban Chapel, 18020 E. 39th St., Independence, MO 64055. A graveside service and burial will be at 3:00 p.m., Tuesday in the G.A.R. Cemetery in Miami, OK. Donations may be made in her name to the Great Plains SPCA, 21001 MO 78 Highway, Independence, MO 64057. She was born May 27, 1954, along with her twin brother Paul Alan, to Richard (Dick) and Refa (Hopkins) Mayfield. Pam grew up in the Miami and Fairland, OK, area, graduating from Fairland High School in 1972 where she excelled in basketball. Pam attended Rogers State College, Claremore, OK, on a basketball scholarship. Following a career in business in the Norman, OK, and Northeast Oklahoma region, she moved to the greater Kansas City area in 1985, working for General Nutrition Centers as a district manager and then attending Park College. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Park College in 1988, graduating as the honor graduate and speaker for the ceremony. Pam taught elementary school for one year before moving to Johnson County Community College in the Student Financial Aid Department. She continued to work there until her death. She was a member of KASFAA and then moved to the Administrative Computing Services office as Financial Aid’s IT person.

 

Pam’s father taught her to play spoons at a young age and enjoyed this skill throughout her life. She kept a set close by at all times to surprise and entertain strangers as well as family and friends in addition to relieving stress. She was an excellent cook and loved to share her expertise and the results with family and friends. She was a self- taught artist with a specialty of pencil drawings of trees representing those she loved. Pam was also an avid animal lover, owning several pets during her lifetime. She was a member of the Community of Christ. Pam was preceded in death by her father, Richard, (Dick) Mayfield, Sr., her twin brother Paul Alan, older brother Roger Evan, great-niece Kendall Pierce Mayfield, and step- father Malcolm Sawyers. Pam is survived by her mother, Refa Sawyers, Independence, MO, brother Richard (Diane) Mayfield of Tennessee, IL, and sister Delaina Sawyers of Kailua, HI, nieces and nephews, Tucker (Tasha) Mayfield and family of Frisco, TX, Janna (Marques Alex) Mayfield and family of Lewisville, TX, Troy Mayfield of Kansas City, MO, Brian (Stephanie) Mayfield and family of Columbia, MO, Jessica Newton of Fairland, OK, Jamie Mayfield and family of Columbia, MO, Tycelin Mayfield-Clay, Austin, TX, and Jennifer Mayfield and family, Miami, OK sister-in-law Linda Morrison of Poteau, OK and her beloved dogs Toby and Coco and cats Buddy and Dash.

 

4 Ways to Lower Your Cohort Default Rate

4 Ways to Lower Your Cohort Default Rate

Information provided by Stephanie Mackeprang, Public Relations

The headlines are everywhere: “Cohort Default Rates Rise for Sixth Year.” Although it comes as no surprise to administrators and industry experts, the rising default rate adds another burden to already taxed financial aid offices.
Now that the rates are out and published, what can schools do now to curb future rates? No matter if your school’s rate is rising or maintaining, these four tactics will make a positive impact on your future default rate.
Track Your Rate Year Round
Upload your School Portfolio report to the Cohort Activity Report system, a free service provided by Inceptia, to receive current data on open cohort default years and monitor borrowers in repayment and default. This report will also show the impact one default borrower has on your rate and the number of borrowers needing rescue to impact your rate by one percent.
Conduct Analytics
Gathering data on student population trends can help schools understand the default characteristics of students. Trend analysis identifies borrowers in jeopardy so schools can focus on meeting the financial education needs of the students that need it the most.
Promote Financial Education
Financial education is the best way to impact future default rates. The more students know about budgeting, borrowing and credit cards the less likely they will default on their loans. Whether your school hires an outside vendor or uses internal staff, be sure your students are being taught by a certified personal financial manager (CPFM) and have access to online resources.
Contact Student Borrowers
One-on-one counseling will help delinquent borrowers get back on track. Through grace counseling or default prevention outreach, a direct connection can make a huge impact on students’ lives. Before you reach out to borrowers, you will need a contact strategy—letters, emails, phone calls or a combination of all three. Once the contact method has been determined, you will want to ensure you are complying with the Fair Debt Practices Collection Act (FDPCA) for your own protection. Read Contacting Student Borrowers for more tips.
Although not much can be done about the FY 2010 3-year and FY 2011 2-year cohort default rates now, there are steps you can take today that will impact future rates. Be sure to take advantage of Inceptia’s free Cohort Activity Report.