“Financial Aid All Stars, Hit It Out of the Park”

“Financial Aid All Stars, Hit It Out of the Park”, such an appropriate theme for the TASFAA  2016 Conference, held in Frisco.  Conveniently located by the Dr. Pepper Ballpark. Though the season was over for the Frisco RoughRiders, the park was lite up Wednesday night.   Awesome view from my hotel room.

Flipping through the conference agenda, it was difficult to decide which sessions to attend.  One of my favorites was a student panel.  Listening to students talk about what is important to them about the financial aid process.  Not a surprise, communication, and methods of communicating, being the topic of discussion.

During Thursday’s lunch, as I was chatting with Lisa Blazer, NASFAA Chair, it became obvious that SWASFAA is a great hands with Denise Welch as incoming President and Shannon Crossland incoming President-Elect.  TASFAA sure represents at the regional and national level.

I don’t think I walked past a TASFAA member without hearing “thank you for attending our conference.”  Talk about making one feel welcomed, wow!

Thank you, TASFAA, for inviting me to an awesome conference!  Had a great time and learned so much.  Every conference presents a learning opportunity.

Looking forward to “sharing” my experiences from the AASFAA and LASFAA conferences.  What a great organization we are all part of!!

 

 

 

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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: http://swasfaa.org/docs/conferences/site/bootcamp.html. You can also view our agenda: http://swasfaa.org/docs/conferences/2016/2016SWASFAA_BootCampAgenda.pdf

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, mendy-schmerer@ouhsc.edu, 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!

Best,

Sarah Webb
SWASFAA Boot Camp Co-Chair 2016
Sarah.Webb@utsa.edu

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, http://swasfaa.org/docs/conferences/site/index.html

I look forward to seeing you soon in Oklahoma City!

Brent Small

 

Fall and Travel Season

Fall in Albuquerque means cooler evenings, changing colors, and best of all the Balloon Fiesta.  Next week, as I drive to work, the sky will be full of hundreds of balloons, I hope.  Got my fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate.   This year for me, fall also means travel to Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana for state conferences.  Looking forward to making new friendships and reacquainting with old friends.

After state travel, it’s off to beautiful Oklahoma City for SWASFAA’s annual conference, November 9 – 11, at the historic Skirvin Hotel.

Boot Camp committee members, Jan Terry-Sanchez and Jennifer Williams recently blogged about the awesome benefits Boot Camp offers.    I’ve been fortunate enough to have participated in NASFAA Credential training which Mendy Schmerer and Jennifer Williams taught.  SWASFAA is so fortunate to have such engaging, knowledgable trainers.The opportunity to test for 11 NASFAA credentials is such a financial savings, as Jennifer stated in her blog.

New at this year’s conference is a “Town Hall” general session.   NASFAA and FSA representatives will be available to answer members’ questions.  The Annual Conference Committee has designed sessions which are relevant to today’s ever changing financial aid environment.  Do the three letters “PPY” ring a bell?

Local Arrangements Committee recently gave us a peek at the  fun activities they are planning. Be sure to dust of your 60’s, 70’s or 80’s outfit for Thursday evening’s event with “Super Freak”.  Gee, the 80’s is now considered vintage (old), how in the world did that happen!

Just a reminder, hotel reservations need to be made by October 7.  You can find more out about the conference and registration at http://www.swasfaa.org/docs/conferences/site/index.html .

Keep on the look out for future blog postings about the annual conference.  See you soon Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana members!

The gorgeous hotel Skirvin.