MASFAP LDP is in action today

MASFAP’s Learning and Development Program (LDP) group is at the MDHE offices today to learn about the state and federal legislative process, as well as the role of the MDHE and the MASFAP Legislative Committee. Updates and training from Leroy Wade, Assistant Commissioner, Financial Assistance, Outreach, and Proprietary Certification at the MDHE; and  MASFAP’s Legislative Co-Chairs Keri Gilbert and Will Shaffner. MASFAP President Kerry Hallahan and Past-President and LDP Leader Amy Hager are also supporting the group. Great day of learning and collaboration!

MASFAP’s March 2018 Hill Day

Yesterday, March 28, MASFAP members went to Jefferson City to increase awareness with legislators about important state financial aid programs and bills. Thanks so much to MASFAP’s Legislative Co-Chairs and Committee for putting together talking points /MASFAP Briefs on HB 2408, HB 1273, HB 1368, HB 1723, HB 1275 and HB 1744. Check out those briefs here: MASFAP Brief – March 2018

MASFAP in Jefferson City on March 28, 2018

Thank you to all of the MASFAP Members who attended – and please be on the lookout for more opportunities and events to participate in from the Legislative Committee!

Hill Day is Tomorrow, March 28! By Keri Gilbert

Currently we have 20 MASFAP members planning to attend tomorrow’s Hill Day in Jefferson City, and we have meetings set with 12 legislators. It will be a full day as MASFAP members attending Hill Day should arrive to the Capitol by 9 a.m. First, we will watch the House or Senate, and then we have meetings scheduled from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. The House Higher Education Committee will be meeting at noon, and we are meeting with one of their members as well as three members of the Senate appropriations committee. It will be a productive day! If you are interested in attending tomorrow’s Hill Day, please email Keri Gilbert at

Keri Gilbert is MASFAP’s Legislative Co-Chair

Say yes By Kayla Klein

Have you ever been asked to present a financial aid session or a training? Picture this…  You sat through a class and learned all the information… you may have been in your current job for just a few months or even a few years. You took in all the information and got nervous as the test deadline approached. And then the day finally came and you did it, you passed the test! Next thing you know, you receive an email asking if you will teach others on this topic, helping them through the credential process. You take a deep breath, and do it. You respond yes. Now what?!

 This is where I was a few short weeks ago, and I felt a sense of honor being asked to and then teaching a credential.

 I sat at my desk and wondered… Where do I even begin? What if I forget something? Then I thought, it certainly can’t be any worse than taking the actual test. So I dove into producing a 241 slide presentation on Direct Loans to make sure that I had every possible note and answer. I took my note binder everywhere with me… It made the flight to Dallas so I could prep while I was not working and it also even traveled to Kansas City so I could study in between making floral arrangements for my cousins wedding. I was prepping like crazy, like I had to retake that test.  I had to knock this out of the ball park.. or at least give it a strong left field swing. Plus, depending on how Missouri does with credentialing, it’s possible we can retake the top spot from Georgia for the state with the most credentials, which would be exciting too.

 The day came, and it was time for me to do it. I was ready. It was time to share all that I learned and all that I studied. I had the floor from 10 am in the morning until 3 pm in the afternoon. It turned out it was Pi day, so I opened the session with having attendees share a Kahoot of their favorite pie along with asking  some interesting direct loan questions.  I spent the day with peers, navigating them through the process and the tons of information I had collected and studied. My goal was to get them ready to take the Direct Loans Test. The time went way faster than I imagined, and the next thing I knew we were done, the room cleared, and it was over! I walked away feeling good about those 241 slides… and it wasn’t so bad. I realized that my prep work gave me confidence… and “I swung for the fences” that day when I presented.

 So here’s my advice to my colleagues: I encourage you to say yes when asked to present a credential, or at a conference or a training. Helping each other makes us all better! And I now have this internal  badge of honor for teaching a credential, what a great feeling.


Kayla Klein is MASFAP’s Early Awareness Committee Chair


Finding Balance By Dawn Hines

I work full-time at State Fair Community College, work a part-time job as a CMT at a nursing home, am taking 12 credit hours this semester, have two teenage girls at home, and help take care of my brother’s three young children. Oh, and two weeks ago I moved into a new home. As we all do, I feel like I should be a professional juggler! Here’s some tips for nontraditional students – which  have helped me tremendously when it comes to juggling/balancing work, family and school.

 1.       Start with classes that you are comfortable with to get yourself acclimated to the college setting before undertaking more challenging classes. Now that I have become acclimated to the college setting again, I take a mixture of classes that I am comfortable with and classes that are more challenging so that I am not left taking all of the challenging classes at one time.

2.       Know the requirements for your degree program and set realistic goals. Knowing how many credit hours you must complete for your degree program will help you determine your graduation date and how many classes you will need to take each semester to complete your degree by that date. Mapping out each semester will help you set realistic goals and budget your time efficiently.

3.       Make time for networking and take advantage of college support services. Networking provides an outlet for stress relief and can create connections that can be beneficial immediately as well as in the future. Just knowing that there are other students out there who experience the same struggles and connecting with them will offer solutions and relive stress.

4.        Use a calendar and/or planner. Knowing your deadlines, due dates and scheduling time for studying, for family and for yourself is vital to success. Not being in the classroom setting can make it more difficult to stay focused. Scheduling time for studying and schoolwork will help you stay focused and not put it off. Having your family’s support is vital. Set boundaries and let them know when you will be studying and doing homework but also set time aside to spend with them as well. You can even get them involved in your studying such as quizzing you.

5.       Self-care is also important. Balancing work, school and family requires a lot of energy. Getting enough sleep, eating right and staying physically, mentally and emotionally fit are vital in keeping your from becoming burnt out which can result in bad grades and trouble at work and home. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

 Dawn Hines is MASFAP’s 2018 Professional Development Co-Chair