Make Your Voice Heard to Affect Change By Will Shaffner

As new legislators have taken their oaths of office, they have affirmed their commitment to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of their position. Although financial aid officers may not have to take an oath, many of us in the industry feel a responsibility to help further simplify and improve financial aid for students and their families.

A fellow Missourian and legend in financial aid did just that. Allan Purdy pioneered financial aid policies and advocated on behalf of students during his time spent as the University of Missouri’s first director of scholarships and financial aid. He was the founding president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, helped to create MASFAA, Sallie Mae, USA Funds, as well as MOHELA. Mr. Purdy’s leadership in the financial aid industry is unparalleled. He believed in using one’s voice and knowledge to help students and families obtain higher education.

You can also use your voice and knowledge to do the same. Regardless of your title, your day-to-day interactions and advising to families about how to fund their student’s education, and your first-hand knowledge of financial aid rules and regulations can make you an invaluable resource to Missouri legislators.

It is incumbent upon each of us in the financial aid industry to inform our elected officials and advocate for progress to help the students and families we serve. We are directly affected by regulations and rules that are implemented by legislators. If these regulations make it more difficult and challenging for students to attain higher education, we need to help make it better for those students and families. It is also important to advocate for enhancements in financial aid for the institutions we represent and the state where we live and work. The way to make improvements and to continue to move our industry forward is to advocate.

Hear how Kayla Klein, Financial Aid Advisor at the University of Missouri, felt about her experience at MASFAP Hill Day:

Hill day changed my outlook on how impactful we can be when advocating for students. In meeting with the Representatives and listening to the questions that they had for us you can see that the information that we have to share and the stories of how financial aid impacts are students is the information that they need. It gives them a reference of how the decisions that they are making are impacting student’s futures. Hill day gave me the power and the voice to advocate for my students and realize the difference even I can make. 

Make your voice heard at MASFAP’s Hill Day on Tuesday, February 14. Sign up today at under Training.

Will Shaffner is MASFAP’s Legislative Chair.

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