Exciting News – Changes to Verification Requirements By Kathy Elsea

I was excited to hear that we have some relief for students and families this morning regarding verification requirements as a result of the recent suspension of the DRT. Have you read the exciting new Dear Colleague Letter out today about Changes to 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Verification Requirements:  https://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1704.html? I am grateful for all who have been advocating for relief in the verification process through the DRT suspension. This should help students as well as financial aid administrators as this new guidance will lighten loads in some ways. However, it could cause confusion for others.  I would love to hear what your offices are talking about today in light of the changes. Please comment to this blog!

Kathy Elsa is a MASFAP Delegate-at-Large

Going After Bigger Goals By Jamie Davis

 The last time I blogged, I was getting ready to compete in the Show Me State powerlifting competition. The week before I was slated to compete, I pulled a forearm muscle. When I was training, I didn’t really know what I was doing and just going off of what I would read from the internet. I learned one very valuable lesson….not to lift a week before the competition, as in nothing. This seems completely backwards to me, but as I usually learn the hard way, it’s a great way to pull a muscle or injure yourself during the competition if you don’t take a break. So, all last fall, I worked on healing my muscles and seeking out a weight lifting team that I could work with.

For the past several months I have been going to the gym and pushed myself to work out harder and lift heavier than I ever have before. Three days a week I am in a boot camp class at 5 am where we flip tires, sprint up hills and have done too many mountain climbers and burpees to count, among other various feats.  I know now that when push comes to shove, sure I can do 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, 100 push-ups and even 100 assisted pull-ups in 45 minutes. The other two to three days is when I lift with my new team.

Being able to train with my new team and new coach has really helped me in gaining self-confidence. Our coach constantly tells us to use our minds in weightlifting and he is totally right. These days I am deadlifting more than I weigh and that is a complete mind game. Before I lift that weight, I will stand at the bar with my eyes closed and picture myself completing the rep. I have learned that my body can only handle so much physical training so when I am not on the platform, I take mental reps. My team and I have formed a close bond these last few months training for our competition this July. This team is very passionate about these lifts and I am lucky to have met them. They have been some of the most supportive people who encourage each other to go after bigger goals. 

My weight lifting team is much like my Financial Aid team Jamie D FA Team. I have made a lot of friends in this career and I am so thankful for the support and encouragement we all can provide to each other. I love that not only do I have a support group in place for my personal goals, I also have an awesome support group to make sure I am working towards and growing my professional goals.

Jamie Davis is MASFAP’s Vice President and Program Chair

Making Connections at the MOACAC Conference By Alex Miller

Kayla Klein and Alex Miller

A few weeks ago, Kayla Klein and I had the opportunity to head to the lake to present to high school counselors and admission representatives about Special Populations and spreading the word about the ins and outs of the MASFAP Money Challenge- High School Edition.  We had a great day presenting and networking with the MOACAC attendees at Tan-Tar-A Lake Resort.

In our first presentation titled Advising Special Populations, we had a good mix of both high school counselors and admissions reps from throughout the state of Missouri. I feel strongly that this is an important topic for high school counselors to be aware of and familiar with as they advise students. These special populations usually have to jump through hoops to obtain a high school diploma. When these students must share their story again and again, it can be difficult on them. Since these students already trust their high school counselors who know their stories and family,  these students feel so much more comfortable with the high school counselor rather than their brand new financial aid counselor that they have never met in person before. For me to be able to have the opportunity to connect with the counselors and help them advise their students regarding this topic was priceless. It was such a great feeling to be able to speak freely with this group and collaborate on helping students succeed – just awesome!

The Early Awareness Committee is committed to bringing awareness, teaching and helping students throughout our state. We do this through reaching out to high school counselors and assisting with high school nights/events when possible. I encourage all who are interested to contact me to see what EAC can do for you! You may already have ideas and programs you do with high school students and counselors… How can we collaborate together to make our resources stretch even further? Please email me at Alexandria.miller@williamwoods.edu – we would love for you to  join our committee!

 Also be watching for dates to be announced for the MASFAP High School Counselor Workshops!! We want to make these great and really publicize these events to grow our reach!

 Alex Miller is MASFAP’s Early Awareness Chair

MASFAP Throwback Thursday!

Today is Thursday, which means it’s MASFAP’s Throwback Thursday! With the 50th Anniversary of MASFAP this year, we are Celebrating Our Past all year. Check out this picture taken at MASFAP’s 25th Anniversary celebration. Can you name some of the amazing MASFAP people in this photo? Make a comment to this blog and name as many people as you can… the person who is able to name the most people in the picture wins a prize…

Celebrating Our Past, Inspiring Our Future

Today is the day in 1967 when it all began –  50 years ago – MASFAP!  Our members have experienced 50 years of advocating for students, collaborating with colleagues and lobbying state and federal agencies on behalf of our students. Oh, and let’s not forget all of the learning, stretching and growing professionally and personally together!

On April 3, 1967, about 75 financial aid administrators and fiscal business officers of the junior colleges, colleges and universities in the state of Missouri met in an informal session at Columbia to discuss the many facets of the student financial aid programs.  This meeting was so successful that those assembled strongly favored the formation of a steering committee to plan future programs and investigate the possibility of a state organization.

Paul H. Canole, Assistant to the President of the St. Louis Junior College District, was chosen chairperson.  Others who served on the first steering committee were Sue Brizius, Director of Student Financial Aid at Lindenwood College; J.C. Bartee, Director of Student Financial Aid at Southwest Missouri State College; Dr. William G. Brooks, Director of Student Financial Aid at Lincoln University; and George C. Brooks, Assistant Director of Student Financial Aid for the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Today, 50 years later, April 3, 2017, we are kicking off our nearly yearlong celebration of MASFAP Celebrating our Past and Inspiring our Future!  This is our story and we want each and every member of MASFAP to attend our annual conference November 6-8, where we will honor and celebrate 50 years of MASFAP!!!!! We are extending invitations to our Current Membership, Past Presidents, Lifetime Members, Missouri Award Recipients and Alumni of our great organization.

We have created a special Facebook invitation event that we would like you to pass along to anyone who would be interested in attending the upcoming 50th MASFAP Conference! Once you receive and accept the invitation, you can invite others to the event. Let’s see how many people we can add by the end of the month.

50 years ago it all began…… can’t wait to see what we will accomplish in the next 50 years!

Submitted by MASFAP 50th Anniversary Committee