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MASFAP Annual Conference Nov 11-13, 2019 By Kim Cary

Hill Day 2019 is today!

Great group of MASFAP members representing MASFAP in Jefferson City today. Over ten meetings with legislators set for the day and endless potential to make positive, lasting connections with our state leaders. #Fight4FinAid #MOLeg

Announcing Upcoming PD Events! By Jamie Davis

Please mark your calendars with the dates and topics for the upcoming MASFAP PD events:

February 20th– morning topic is Satisfactory Academic Progress- April Mason, University of Missouri and afternoon topic Need Analysis-Keely Haynes, University of Missouri
March 5th– Direct Loan Program-Kayla Klein, University of Missouri
March 20th-NASFAA Credentials
April 3rd-NASFAA Credentials
June 4th-Town Hall
July 10th-Director’s Roundtable
Registration will be open soon on!

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Action photo from MASFAP meeting

The MASFAP Board is meeting today and tomorrow! Add a comment for us if you have something MASFAP-related on your mind… or just to say hi! Looking forward to another great year of MASFAP!

MASFAP Hill Day – February 19, 2019

Announcing DATES for MASFAP’s 2018 High School Counselor Workshops

Please help spread the word to your High School Counselor contacts!

What does August mean to us? By Charles Mayfield

How does one go about preparing and organizing thoughts on what the month of August means for our industry? I feel like I ask myself that question in some way, shape or form in late spring or early summer each year. A self-reminder that we’re not in this alone for some reason comforts me. Knowing there are so many others making the same grinding trudge through late summer and early fall can be somewhat reassuring… in an odd kind of way.

As always, this year brings a few new twists and turns that we must account for and adjust to on the fly. We’ve come to see these changes as normal, and I forget how quickly we adapt to the many changes and then, just as quickly, move on to whatever’s next. In the last 8 or so months, a couple of big items seemed to be bubbling up such as the doubling of verification selections and the first full year of 150% Pell. By now, those items might be in the rearview for you and now we’re on to addressing other items. Our ability as an industry to learn, unlearn, and relearn can be uncannily amazing. These experiences this year are but a few examples… and there are so many we can think of from past years, and we can only guess to what is ahead for us! Kudos to each of you who see this as your “normal”, for all you do and how you do it!!

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Taking Washington by Storm By Kayla Klein

When I applied to be a part of the MASFAP Leadership Development program I knew that a trip to Washington was part of the program. However, I did not realize how much this trip would change my passion for financial aid advocacy. The “Fab Five” (as Amy calls us) planned the trip for months. We did research on the legislators, we learned from each other, we met to discuss how the trip would go, and then it was here.

On Sunday, June 10, we boarded a plane, and we were off for a whirlwind 3 days. As the plane took off, the excitement set in… and so did the nerves. The first day, Sunday, was packed full with sightseeing (such as taking in the amazement of Arlington National Cemetery) and planning for the next day. Then, Monday was the day that we would put all of our hard work into action!

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MASFAP Board Meeting in progress…

Your MASFAP Board is hard at work today discussing conference and membership fees as well as other important business. 


Sneak Peek at MASFAP Board Slate Of Candidates

It’s MASFAP Election Time! The Nominations and Elections Committee is excited to announce an excellent slate of candidates who have agreed to run for an office! The slate of candidates along with candidacy statements will be sent out soon to the MASFAP listserv, and voting will start on Monday, May 14. Here is a sneak peek of the candidates running for each position:


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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!


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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

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Hill Day is Tomorrow, March 28! By Keri Gilbert


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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.

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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.

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Don’t Blink By Sarah Bright

As a parent, the phrase “Don’t blink” is strongly advised. The beginning of parenthood can be a shock to the system… doctor visits, endless feedings and many diapers are just a few rituals that make time feel as if it comes to a standstill… and that’s just during year one. “Will it ever end?” is a question you would ask yourself if you could find a moment among the chaos.

However, things change. Quickly. You don’t know how or when, but soon that baby can stand and kick things (usually things they’re not supposed to) and say things (sometimes words they’re not supposed to say). Then they start school, play sports, go on dates, and eventually fly the nest. “That went fast,” you think to yourself, partially sad but mostly in awe. You rolled with each change, the small ones and the enormous changes. Moreover, you think back nostalgically, “How did I handle all that?” Through no choice of yours, that child evolved and you had to change to meet those needs whether you were ready or not. Accepting the inevitability of change is tough, especially after investing so much into it.

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A Soap Box Rant By Keri Gilbert

      I love a good soap box rant. Of course, what I really mean is that I love to go on a good soap box rant. Want to know what the most recent topic my coworkers, husband, Mom, and cat have had to listen to? Verification selection rates. Ohhhhh don’t get me started! I remember when the selection rates started getting out of hand. I saw a few tweets, heard a few grumbles, and then when we all figured out what was going on, some mobilization. NASFAA’s Rapid Response Network went out with a call for data, data, data to present as evidence of increased rates. The issue was fixed, and rates were supposed to go down. But did that really happen? Depends on who you ask.

At Mizzou, we saw a verification selection rate of 63% between November 20th and December 15th. Sixty-three percent! That’s only 37 percentage points less than 100%. Isn’t that just crazy?! Once the algorithm was corrected, our rate dropped to 18% between December 18th and January 12th. Which is wonderful! But, it seems we are in the minority with seeing a drop that large, or even a drop at all. With verification rates around 30%, plus these weird spikes, administrative burden increases. Many of us are already told to do more with less, and just to add verification to the pile. David Sheridan, the Director of Financial Aid at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs in New York summed it up nicely in an e-mail correspondence from February when he said “[I] compared the alleged 30% verification requirement to the IRS, which is responsible for a lot more money than the Department of Ed is. The IRS audits approximately 1% of all tax filers, and the estimated loss to the US Treasury from tax fraud is over $200 billion – not million, billion – dollars a year. But heaven forbid someone fill out a FAFSA and leave out the $1,117 from boxes 12a through 12d, codes D, E, F, G, H or S from their W2. Gotta get to the bottom of that. So Financial Aid staff need to spend time sweating those details while students can’t figure out how much to borrow or how to repay their loans…and then we get criticized for that…which we don’t have time to help them with because we’re busy verifying”*. I think David likes a good soap box rant, too!

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MASFAP’s Who’s Making a Difference Scholarship By Alex Miller and Kayla Klein

Last year the Early Awareness Committee (EAC) was ecstatic to be able to offer a scholarship to a Missouri graduating Senior in May 2018. The MASFAP Who’s Making a Difference Scholarship submission requirements were to submit an entry form, write an essay (300 word maximum) describing a person in the student’s life who was inspiring them to fulfill their post-secondary education dreams, and submit a selfie of the two together. The scholarship can be used in the fall of 2018 at any Missouri institution for tuition, institutional fees, room, board, or books.

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Volunteering for a MASFAP Committee By Kerry Hallahan

All my life I have loved to volunteer! As a young child in elementary school, it began with agreeing to help my teacher. Then in high school when I could drive, my best friend and I volunteered for ‘Meals on Wheels.’ Later in my college days, I volunteered to be a side walker for Therapeutic Horsemanship. As I became a mother, I volunteered as a room parent, a Girl Scout Leader/Cookie mom and an Advancement Coordinator for Boy Scouts. Heck! I was even a PSR teacher for second graders. My family has volunteered together at the Emmaus Homes. As a professional, when I think about volunteering the first thing that comes to mind is MASFAP. I have volunteered to serve on committees and to serve on the Executive Board for MASFAP. I even volunteered to run as MASFAP President… and here I am! Although my involvement and extent of volunteerism has progressed over the years, all of these have many things in common. They all have made me feel more fulfilled, enabled me to meet new people, helped me grow as a person and grow my network of colleagues to call on for thoughts and opinions – I have learned so much from others through volunteering!

Volunteering to be on a committee for MASFAP is like any other activities you have volunteered for in your life, and I know you will not regret it! You will collaborate with like-minded people, feel like you belong (which makes you feel good), probably learn something new and definitely expand your financial aid circle of friends! Of course all of this happens through giving, because when you give of your time and talent, there is nothing greater! Together we accomplish so much.

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Happy Holidays MASFAP!