A Time to Focus on Financial Aid
A Time to Focus on Financial AidDean Bentley, Executive Director Financial Aid Engagement & Services, The College Board
October is a busy time for financial aid professionals and students alike. As autumn leaves usher in a new season, high school seniors begin completing aid applications for 2019-20 and dreaming of the possibilities their college experience will bring. Aid administrators also begin preparations for making student dreams come true by honing their skills and collaborating in a variety of professional development opportunities offered by the College Board.
The was held October 9th and 10th in Baltimore and hosted 115 members from 65 different colleges and universities. The Roundtable is an event where aid practitioners from institutions gather for in-depth conversation about the underlying principles of and its role in assessing family financial strength. This year’s program focused on Today’s Modern Family; a theme that inspired compelling discussions about various family compositions, student and parent communications and special circumstances that many students face along their pathway to and through college.
The followed closely on the heels of the Roundtable. During the week of October 15th, approximately 60 administrators—from new to experienced—gathered in Providence, Rhode Island to learn more from faculty members and guest speakers. A range of topics from financial aid basics to more advanced discussions, such as, financial aid packaging strategies, ethics and stewardship, kept attendees engaged and motivated. The Institute is a great example of how senior experts coach and mentor junior professionals toward success.
also provide CSS Profile users an opportunity to meet face-to-face with College Board staff to gain better insight into annual service enhancements and to test their skills on various need analysis foundations. Workshops are offered across the nation in 6 regions and will draw more than 400 attendees before the season ends this month. Workshops are also offered by webinar under a comprehensive set of convenient online training opportunities.
included diverse financial aid voices and 19 sessions designed to stimulate meaningful conversations on access, affordability and promising practices across K-12 and Higher ed. With over 1,800 Forum attendees, it can be overwhelming for a new financial aid member to navigate across so many good options. Networking with the rising stars in financial aid is one example of how Forum enables succession planning in the aid industry.
Meet the energetic panel from the New Financial Aid Directors Speak Out session: Carly Eichhorst, St. Olaf College; Scott Wallace-Juedes, Yale University; Melet Leafgreen, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Christina Pikla, Trinity University, who shared authentic, practical and inspirational stories of their journey to becoming leaders and voices of clarity for the aid community. Words of wisdom from this session include:
- Carley’s Quotes – When you are unsure of your next career step either within financial aid or out, simply follow the thread that leads you to your best self. If you listen as deeply as you want to be heard and remain curious you will find your path to success.
- Melet’s Musings – Build your “translation library” for colleagues outside of your area by finding common ground and expressing empathy. Keeping students as the centerpiece of your discussions is far more relatable than the technical aspects of your job and remember if you succeed your institution has a much better chance at success.
- Christina’s Contemplations – Embrace the fear of the unknown. Step into spaces where you are called upon to be a leader and remember growth happens in times of discomfort. Remain authentic when you are challenged and know that you build trust by solving programs and delivering high quality work.
Regardless of the season, the College Board offers a variety of ways for financial aid professionals to engage, connect, and learn. Sign-up for a and stay tuned to your in-box to take advantage of these events and more.