Boot Camp 2017- Are you ready for the wilderness?


Don’t just survive, thrive in the financial aid wilderness!

When: November 6th-8th
Where: Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine, TX

Boot Camp will be an exciting adventure this year as we learn the basics of financial aid. New hires will not only feel equipped to survive the vast amount information but will also learn how to thrive in the face of federal regulation changes. The three day training will provide a foundation in financial aid as well as the added components of professional development, the chance to network across our great region, and the opportunity to NASFAA credential in 10 financial aid topics! We have dedicated trainers ready to make this the best training yet.

I hope you will join us for this wonderful experience. More information including the agenda, hotel, and registration will be provided soon. An email will be sent out to the listserv once registration is live.

Should you have any questions regarding Boot Camp, please contact me at or 210-458-7295.


Sarah Webb
SWASFAA Boot Camp Chair 2017
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Building Knowledge to Serve Students

Hello, friends!

I hope the beginning of October is treating you well. Has anyone’s office slowed down yet? I would assume not with PPY and the FAFSA opening on October 1st, but this opportunity allows us to help students take the steps in attaining their college dreams for an extended period of time. I love serving students and parents. Knowing you make a difference in the lives of others is such a wonderful gift we are given in our profession.

In order to be able to fully and efficiently serve students, it is crucial to have the knowledgebase in your field of expertise. If you need to build or refresh your financial aid knowledge, we have just the place for you! Boot Camp will allow you to build your financial aid knowledge one brick at a time. Boot Camp will be a jam-packed two and a half days, but you will walk away with invaluable information, connections from all over our region, and the opportunity to test for NASFAA Credentials (11 topics to be exact). Trust me, you do not want to miss out!

Our Boot Camp trainers have 57 years of combined financial aid experienced and are ready to help you build/refresh your knowledge or prepare you for the NASFAA credentials! In case you have not had the opportunity to read about us and our (AWESOME) fun facts, now is the time take a gander: You can also view our agenda:

Boot Camp will cost $275 which includes 4 meals provided and the ability to credential in 11 NASFAA topics. Hotel reservations must be made by this Friday, October 7th in order to get the $139 room rate. Late registration will begin on October 29th and the price will be $325.

**The SWASFAA Board recently made a policy change and we will now allow non-SWASFAA members to attend Boot Camp. Non-SWASFAA member price will be $375. If you are interested in attending Boot Camp as a non-SWASFAA member, please contact Mendy Schmerer directly via email,, so you can be registered manually.**

If you have any questions about Boot Camp, please do not hesitate to contact Mendy Schmerer or myself. We hope to see you in a little over a month in OKC!


Sarah Webb
SWASFAA Boot Camp Co-Chair 2016

Mid-Level Workshop Provides 2 Credential Opportunities

Hello SWASFAA friends

There is a coolness in the air, along with the smell pumpkin spice everything, and sweaty athletes in our offices, I think that means it is officially Fall. What else comes with fall? That’s right, the best association conference in the country!

SWASFAA 2016 is just around the corner and I can’t wait to spend the better part of a week in beautiful Oklahoma City with all of my SWASFAA friends. I know the conference is coming together nicely, and the boot-camp trainers are working hard to impart their knowledge on our new folks, but what about the more seasoned financial aid folks? Well, that’s where the mid-level workshop comes in! We have a busy Wednesday morning planned this year with TWO NASFAA credential opportunities scheduled!

Shannon Crossland, our newly elected SWASFAA President-Elect will be presenting Consumer Information, and I will be presenting Cash Management this year. That is $200.00 worth of credentials for only $75.00!

Remember registration closes October 28th for the training, registration, hotel, and more information is available at the conference mini site,

I look forward to seeing you soon in Oklahoma City!

Brent Small


Boot Camp and geocaching

My first visit to Oklahoma was in May when the Boot Camp and Conference Committees had our site visit at the beautiful Skirvin Hilton Hotel. Since I wasn’t that far and the price seemed better, I opted to drive.  My trip through the eastern portion of Oklahoma was a lovely one.  As some of you may have read on my BC biography, I love to geocache.  Since it was so pretty, I decided to stop off at a hiking trail at Lake Eufaula State Park to grab my “cache” (and my OK badge for caching in the state!).  I do wish though I’d understood that you really need to plan your pit stops on that particular drive…all other drivers be warned J  I also really liked the downtown area of OKC.  We all enjoyed the walk to the bar and grill where we had dinner.

While visiting the state or checking out beautiful downtown Oklahoma City may not be your first choice as to why you want to attend SWASFAA Boot Camp, let me see if I can give you some other reasons to attend whether you are new to Financial Aid or an “old pro”.

SWASFAA Boot Camp will be offering an intensive training for 2 ½ days that covers the basics of Financial Aid from how to apply to how to return it. You will also have the opportunity to test in 11 NASFAA Topics.  If you want to talk about a huge bang for your buck, this is it!   Each NASFAA Study Guide and test would cost approximately $299 apiece.  That would be a total of $3289.   If you look at the total cost to attend SWASFAA BC, usually the entire trip would cost much less than that!  Even if you didn’t want to test, the NASFAA Self Study Guides you’ll receive are a very in-depth learning tool any Financial Aid Professional can use.  I’ve learned something with each study guide and test, and I’ve been in Financial Aid for 9 years.  Plus you will get the added bonus of best practices from different schools, networking with other schools, and examples from the presenters.

I hope that you will take this opportunity and that I’ll see you there. I can’t brag enough on the other ladies on this committee that will be presenting.  They are each an expert in their field and just a heck of a lot of fun!  So sign up now for SWASFAA Boot Camp, and enjoy the company, cost savings, and sites.

Jennifer Williams

Boot Camp Comittee

Boot Camp Fills Financial Need

Hello SWASFAA, my name is Jan and I think I might need help.  Don’t tell anybody, but I’m a repeat Boot Camper.  I like the help I get from seasoned financial aid professionals.  What is it about Boot Camp that makes it so irresistible?

Maybe it’s the focused learning environment or the amount of info that’s covered in a short period of time or… could it be something else?

I know – maybe it’s the great themes they come up with each year. Survivor was the theme the first year I went. I was so new to financial aid, I had no idea how prophetic that would turn out to be! Boot camp definitely provided the glue that helped me fit all those pieces of regulations and policies together. While I may not have Outwitted or even Outplayed, maybe I can say I’ve at least Outlasted.

Is this Your First Rodeo was my next experience. I got a real kick out of that one. Let’s just say it was far beyond any “firsts” for me. But that particular year, it did kind of feel like there was a new sheriff in town and maybe I wasn’t too seasoned to at least hear about the new rules. Wow, what a surprise -there were some areas where my prior knowledge had slipped a little bit. How did that happen?

This year’s theme seems really great, Building Financial Aid Knowledge One Brick at a Time. Whether you need those bricks to begin building your knowledge, or like me, you could benefit from some foundation stabilizing; boot camp is the place for you November 7th 8th and 9th at the historic Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City.

Sign up to find out what SWASFAA Boot Camp can do for you!