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2002 June

March 17, 2005


Recently, NeASFAA had their spring conference in Kearney, NE. We asked a few members, "What did you enjoy most about the conference"?

Doug Watson, Midland Lutheran College:
"The conference was a first-class event. It was great to celebrate our history and exciting to look to NEASFAA's future. The friendships I have made and the professional growth I have experienced over the years make me very proud to be a member of NEASFAA."

Peggy Tvrdy, Southeast Community College - Lincoln:
"The 35th Anniversary Gala and Spring Conference were great. The PDC did a terrific job planning this past year's conferences. Looking foward to the fall conference!"

Dale Brown, Grace University:
"The conference was really nice. The information was great and everything was presented so well. This conference had wonderful activities, the best sessions, and it was nice to see everybody all dressed up. This was definitely the best conference I have been to."

Merlyn Williams, Southeast Community College- Milford:
"The entire conference was great and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I remember the 10th and the 25th anniversaries but this 35th anniversary conference really stands out!"

Mark Araujo, Nebraska Methodist College:
"The entire conference was done very nicely and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Besides the wonderful activities and sessions, it was fun to reflect back on the history of the NeASFAA organization. Getting dressed up to celebrate NeASFAA and successes along the way was definitely a nice touch."

Glo Hennig, Concordia University:
"The conference was great! We shouldn't wait for 35 years to celebrate again. The gala event provided the opportunity for everybody to go all out and celebrate. It was really nice to get to see everybody all dressed up."

Rita Franklin, Joseph's College of Beauty:
"To sum up the conference in one word - FUN! The entire conference was great and I really enjoyed all of the speakers."

Candid pics...



by Vicki Kucera

It's probably not a good idea to write my article for the newsletter while feeling such a heady sense of nostalgia, but the deadline is here, so I must.

It's always a little hard for me at the end of an academic year to say good-bye to our graduates (okay, most of them anyway). Many students stopped by my office yesterday to say good-bye before they left campus, and I couldn't help but think of how much they had changed in the past two to three years. Then I went home to my daughter who was trying on her cap and gown for her high school graduation. How much will she change by the time she graduates from college, I couldn't help thinking. Change is good, I keep telling myself.

Those of you fortunate enough to attend the 35th anniversary gala at the spring conference in Kearney got to hear many of our "seasoned" NeASFAA members talk about the old days. I loved being reminded of the old days. I loved being reminded that I had been with the organization for over 20 years. Our organization has evolved over the years from a handful of feisty financial aid professionals to a very cohesive and respected group of individuals. Change is good.

Now it's time to move forward. Reauthorization is the buzz word right now. Our very own task force under the direction of Tom Melecki is diligently collecting as much information as they can in order to put together a position paper that will hopefully influence Washington in making changes that can benefit our students. They will need your help and will continue to ask for it. Please give it. Remember, Reauthorizations can be scarey, but change can be good.

Being with everybody at the anniversary gala got me very excited about the coming year. I have never belonged to a group or organization that fuels me like this one does. I look forward to working with you this next year and hopefully for many years to come. Have a great summer!


Committee Corner


by Peggy Tvrdy

The NeASFAA Academy presented many awards to the outstanding stars of the organization this past year. If you were not able to attend the 35th Anniversary Gala here is a recap of the awards presented:

NeASFAA's own Terri Graham was recognized for her perseverance in obtaining her Bachelor's Degree from Hastings College. After years of hard work, Terri was able receive her diploma along side her son, who also graduated from Hastings College. Congratulations, Terri!

Ted Fellers won the Oscar for Best Performance in a comedy. This smashing hit movie, titled "Ted's Excellent Adventure" premiered at the Fall Institute. Ted was presented an Oscar (the Grouch) for his fine accomplishments.

Bob & Judi Walker were presented Oscars for their efforts in creating the critically acclaimed documentary of "NeASFAA…. 35 years in the Making." A special thanks to Bob and Judi for the time they devoted to creating a historical resource about NeASFAA.

Mike Evert was given the "Phantom of the Board" award. Although Mike was a member of this year's Board of Directors, the only meeting his busy schedule would allow him to attend was the very last one!

The hottest newcomer of the year was the Lincoln EPC's Bob. When EPC staff members need a bathroom break and there are clients in the office, the staff indicates that he/she has "an appointment with Bob." The demand for Bob's time has increased so much, an appointment book for Bob was presented to the EPC.

Special Recognition of Appreciation was given to Dana College's Amy Lyons for her service in the Nebraska Army National Guard. Major Lyons is a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer. In 2001, she was deployed to Macedonia. While in Macedonia, Amy was stationed at Camp Able Sentry (CAS). CAS is the stage base to all US Forces entering and leaving Kosovo. While in Macedonia, Amy provided legal advice on tax, family law, debt management and immigration matters to the many soldiers at CAS. She also settled claims made against the US on matters such as property damage, etc. Lastly, she was directly responsible for advising commanders on administrative, operational, and international law as well as military justice issues. AMY, THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!

FES's Stacey Musil received this year's Feel the Excitement Award for her involvement in CASA. Stacey is an Officer of the Court and is appointed by a judge to act as an Advocate for children that are under the jurisdiction of the court system. She spends times with the children getting to know them and their concerns and then meets with caseworkers, attorneys, etc to make recommendations on what is in the children's best interest.

This year the Academy recognized 2 Rookies of the Year:

Angie Miller of UNMC served as Secretary of NeASFAA this past year and did a remarkable job. Thanks for your hard work Angie.

Michelle Reeson from Midland Lutheran college served as this past year's Chair of the Membership Committee. She was instrumental in creating the NeASFAA Picture Directory and a welcoming committee to first time conference attendees. Thanks for your contributions, Michelle.

This year's Bob Minturn Special Recognition Award goes to Creighton University's own Paula Kohles. Paula did a superb job the past two years, serving as President-Elect and President of NeASFAA. She has been instrumental in forming the Ad Hoc Reauthorization Committee to create an Association Reauthorization paper.

The Committee of the Year goes to the Professional Development Committee (PDC). The long hours of hard work and commitment to the organization were evident to all members of NeASFAA, especially this year. This year's Fall Institute, Support Staff Workshop, and Spring Conference were huge successes due to the PDC's efforts. Members of the committee were: Dahpne Hall, Jennifer Wurth, Kathy McConnell, Jenny Bauermeister, Ritchie Morrow, Jodi Vanden Berge, Vicki Kucera, Dean Obenauer, Shareen Cundall, and Jenni Burke. Thank you for your dedication to NeASFAA!

Daphne Hall received this year's Distinguished Service Award. Daphne has been actively involved in NeASFAA in many capacities. This year she served as the PDC Chair. Sometimes we forget all the time, energy, and details that are involved to ensure that our workshops and conferences go off "without a hitch." Thanks to Daphne's leadership the PDC committee produced outstanding Fall Institute, Support Staff workshop, 35th Anniversary celebration, and Spring Conference.

Due to the 35th Anniversary celebration, Lifetime Achievement Awards were given out to NeASFAA members that have contribute 20 or more years of service to the financial aid industry. A slide show and special gift of recognition were presented to the following NeASFAA members:

Mike Evert, Cheri Clark, Danni Warrick, Bob Walker, Vicki Kucera, Ian Roberts, Terri Graham, Linda Adams, Shirley Dohring, Lydia Nims, Merlyn Williams, Kyle Rose, Doug Watson, Ted Fellers, Larry Viterna, Dan Duff, Tom Melecki, Rod Langel, Clarie Fredstrom, Glo Hennig, Brenda Boyd, Janet Dodson, Dick Koontz, and Sheri Croghan. (A special note of thanks goes out to Tricia Dunn and Joyce Schaben of FES for their assistance in creating the slide show.)

This concludes the 2001-2002 Chapter of the Awards Committee. Committee members included Tammy Stevenson, Chair, Peggy Tvrdy, Vice-Chair, Wade Peterson, Lisa Gdowski, and Joan Jurek. Tammy's leadership and hard work, made this year's 35th Anniversary one to remember. We hope the rest of you enjoyed the awards as much as we did!

Please keep your eyes and ears alert with Summer Institute coming up. Be sure to pass along any award-worthy information about your fellow colleagues and their endeavors.

by Jennifer Wurth

"2 thumbs up". . . "5 stars". . . "Fabulous"

It is unanimous! NeASFAA's Spring Conference April 24-26 in Kearney was a huge success. A total of 101 attendees enjoyed a few days of training, networking and entertainment.

Kicking off the conference on Wednesday was the Reauthorization Committee's open forum. It was an opportunity for members to discuss the issues facing us with Reauthorization. After a long afternoon of discussions, a trip to The Great Platte River Road Archway completed the day's activities. A special thanks to the Jodi Vanden Burge and her crew for cooking up the food items at the Archway.

After sector meetings Wednesday morning, Dr Mark Petersen spoke to the whole group about "Preparing People for Change". I think we could all agree that change is probably the one topic consistent with our organizations. As we moved into lunch, we were treated to a slide show of our Board members "Before They Were Stars". Dwayne Solonen spoke to the group during lunch about "Employees Leave Managers, not Companies". Afterwards, Dr Petersen and Mr. Solonen each led a session that continued discussions from their previous sessions. The afternoon finished with sessions about VA Benefits, NSLP Program Reviews, Enrollment Management, Investing, and E-Signatures.

   The highlight of the conference had to be Thursday night's 35th Anniversary Gala. Thanks to Franny Madsen's decorating skills, the atmosphere was in true Academy Awards style. It was a great opportunity for dressing up and socializing with colleagues. A slide show and historical table provided pictorial memories for members to share. Members who have been in financial aid for at least 25 years were honored. Many of these members came on stage to share memories of their time in financial aid. It was a time of much laughter and tears. The Awards Committee then presented the 2001/2002 awards. The evening ended with music from Thalken, Tesdall and Thalken. Pictures from the evening can be seen and purchased from The Picture Man at www.picturemanonline.com.

Joan Zanders started our final day with a discussion about "Everyday Ethics in the Financial Aid Association". Next Tom Osbourne spoke to the group and answered questions from members. The Philanthropy Committee then presented checks and supplies to this year's recipients. The morning ended with the Business Meeting and the passing of the gavel from Paula Kohles to Vicki Kucera, our new President for 2002-2003.

The Professional Development Committee was able to put together 3 great opportunities this year thanks to the leadership of our chair, Daphne Hall. We congratulate her on winning the Distinguished Service award and helping us to achieve Committee of the Year. Other members of this year committee were Kathy McConnell, Richie Morrow, Jenny Bauermeister, Jodi Vanden Burge, Vicki Kucera, Dean Obenauer, Shareen Cundall, and Jenni Burke.

by Paula Kohles

The Association Governance Committee is planning to address several issues this next year. First, we plan to make sure the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws are in agreement for the election of officers. In recent years there has been some discrepancies between the two and we plan to make sure everything is in order. After that, we plan to write the committee descriptions for the Awards Committee, Corporate Development Committee and the Special Projects Committee.

After compiling the historical information for the Spring Conference, Judi Walker made several recommendations about the things we need to be keeping and who's responsible for organizing the information. This will be another project for us to incorporate in the Policies and Procedures Manual. There are several other things in the P & P that also need to be updated. As the Board approves changes to the P & P, we make sure the changes are updated on the web site.

If anyone has any issues they would like to have the Association Governance Committee address during the coming year, please e-mail me at pkohles@creighton.edu.

I would like to thank everyone for making my year as NeASFAA President so successful. Committee chairs, co-chairs and members did an outstanding job carrying out the mission of NeASFAA. As a result of their hard work, NeASFAA has many exciting things to show for the past year. It was truly a pleasure to serve as president and I will always look back on the year with many great memories. Thanks again for your dedication to our association!



Movin On...
Jennifer Wurth - has resigned as Director of Financial Aid at Clarkson College. Her last day was May 17th. We wish her luck in her future endeavors.

Pam Shelton - New Director of Student Financial Services at Clarkson College (previously worked in Financial Aid office at Dana and UNO, currently at Dana in the Admission's office).

Home Sweet Home
Maria Zellmer - Financial Aid Counselor at Grace University, Omaha and her husband Isaac have just bought their first house. They have been married just under two years. The house, built in 1888, is just a block from First Baptist Church, Omaha, where Maria also serves as Music Minister.

Wedding Bells
Kandi Lehmann (counselor) Bellevue University just got married on 5/18/02.

Engagements are in the air at Vatterott College, Sarah Orange and Kim Perry have both recently gotten engaged.

Stork Bytes
Jamie Hugelman, Vatterott College is expecting a baby.

Ted and Candy Fellers became grandparents again on March 18th. Grace Kathryn Usher weighted in at 6 lbs. 14 ozs. and 21 inches long. Cutest little thing you've ever seen according to grandpa!

Treve Florom Outreach Manager for EducationQuest Foundation based out of North Platte.

Ryan Stamm - College Planning Specialist for the EducationQuest Foundation - Omaha location.

Christine Denicola - Vice President of Scholarships and Grants for the EducationQuest Foundation.

Linda Trotty of Bellevue University has been promoted to Assistant Director of Financial Aid.

Angela Miller at UNMC has been promoted to Assistant Director. She took over Tammy Reece's job when Tammy left. Angie is a great asset to the office and she will do the financial aid industry a great service by being the professional that she is. Congratulations Angie.



Helping Students With Repayment -An Insight To Lower Default Rates
by Mark Krings

Peru State College developed initiatives and tools that dropped their student loan default rate by more than 10 percent over the past four years. Financial Aid Director, Diana Lind, shares the secret of Peru State's success.

  • Inform students about other funding options besides loans. Peru State provides students with information about grants, work study, and scholarships to give them a broader understanding of how to pay for college. Lind recommends the Educational Planning Center website at www.ne-epc.com for scholarship searches and also offers scholarship workshops on campus.
  • Help students think before they borrow. Peru State implemented a "Loan Amount Request" form that requires students to assess their level of financial need, rather than automatically receive the maximum loan. The form also includes a chart of loan limits to help students determine their loan amount. Lind also limits information about alternative loans to help keep student loan debt down and the chances of repayment up.
  • Compare future salaries and student loan repayment. If students are awarded a loan, they also receive a chart depicting the average annual salary of their future occupation and manageable loan debt and monthly student loan payment. "Many students have unrealistic expectations about future salaries. The chart puts into perspective how much of their monthly income will be spent repaying their student loan," Lind said.
  • Invite speakers to help students understand debt management. Lind invites experts from the community to talk to students about default prevention, credit card and loan management, and financial fitness.
  • Use entrance and exit counseling to provide complete repayment information. Peru State uses Mapping Your Future at www.mapping-your-future.org for online entrance counseling and a videotape for students who visit the office. NSLP's Principles of Loan Repayment brochure is a standard part of their entrance and exit counseling practice and can be downloaded at http://www.nslp.org/pdf/plrbrochure.pdf. At exit counseling, students receive a list of all their loan debt and anticipated monthly payment amounts.
  • Help delinquent students regain their good standing. Lind sends students a letter advising them of their delinquent status. She includes loan repayment information provided by their servicer, along with the servicer's phone number to streamline the question and answer process, and a brochure explaining deferment, forbearance, and repayment options.
  • Review the draft cohort default rates to help students get out of default. Upon receiving draft cohort default rates, Lind identifies which students are in default and sends them a letter and a brochure explaining options for getting out of default by repaying or consolidating their loan. The brochure also reminds students of the consequences of default.

These strategies helped Peru State lower the school's cohort default rate. "Our draft rate of 3.5% is the lowest it has been since 1987, and NSLP has been a great partner in our default prevention program," said Lind.

For more information about delinquency and default prevention tools and strategies that schools can use to educate borrowers, contact Connie Kent, NSLP Debt Management Director, at 800-735-8778, ext. 6651, or e-mail conniek@nslp.org. You can order brochures and forms online in the Order NSLP Forms section of our website at www.nslp.org/forms.asp.




Financial Aid Peer Review Program Takes Off, Again
submitted by NASFAA

Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2002) - The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is pleased to introduce SOE Modular Reviews, an extension of NASFAA's Standards of Excellence (SOE) Review Program.

SOE is an objective, confidential peer review program that assesses an institution's delivery of financial aid. Now in its third successful year, SOE has been embraced by institutions across the country. To date, 26 institutions have undergone a full SOE review.

SOE Modular Reviews were created in direct response to the large number of institutions that face tight budgets and cannot afford a full SOE review yet are committed to the effective and accurate administration of the student aid programs. SOE Modular Reviews allow institutions to choose which area of the aid office to review, based on their needs and budget.

There are seven new SOE Modular Reviews to choose from, including:

  • Financial Aid Application Process
  • Communications
  • Human Resources & Facilities
  • Technology
  • Strategic Planning & Oversight
  • Title IV Compliance
  • Customer Service

To participate in an SOE review, please complete the application form located on the SOE web site at www.NASFAA.org/SOE.asp. For questions or more information, contact Vernetta Fairly, program director, at 202-785-0453 x 141 or fairleyv@nasfaa.org.



The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 10,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities and career schools across the country. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis and professional development for financial aid administrators. Each year, members help more than 8 million students receive funding for postsecondary education.

Early Awareness Programs Help Students Reach College
submitted by NASFAA

The National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and The Education Resources Institute (TERI) announce new Web site to assist early awareness program administrators -

Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2002) - The best time to have a positive impact on children is when they are young. That's why the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and The Education Resources Institute (TERI) have launched a new Web site to assist counselors, community leaders, and financial aid and admissions professionals with an interest in helping youth and their parents understand the benefits of going to college. "The ABCs of Early Awareness: A Resource Guide and Toolkit for Helping Students Achieve a Higher Education" is available to the public at http://www.nasfaa.org/ABCs.asp.

Early awareness programs can impact and change the lives of students who may not otherwise consider college an option. When college is not part of young students' mindsets, they arrive at their junior or senior year of high school only to find that they have not met college admissions requirements, or they feel unable to afford an education beyond high school. They don't know that financial assistance is available.

Fortunately, there has been an awakening to these issues in recent years, and an increasing number of schools and organizations have initiated activities to promote early awareness. "The ABC's of Early Awareness, "located on the NASFAA Web site, provides step-by-step instructions to help program organizers:

  • Identify the right program for the target age group,
  • Plan activities,
  • Address budget constraints,
  • Implement the program, and
  • Evaluate the program's success.

The site also includes information and links to:

  • NASFAA's "Financial Aid Night" Web page, a complete slide presentation and script for presenting financial aid programs and application procedures;
  • TERI's College Access Resources, including the Higher Education Access Resources (HEAR) database with more than 175 programs that promote college attendance among first-generation and low-income students;
  • A guide to planning a "Carnival of Learning" event, a motivational activity for students in the elementary grades; and
  • An extensive bibliography of Web- and print-based early awareness resources.

NASFAA and TERI have collaborated on a number of early awareness activities since the late 1980s. "The ABCs" was created by financial aid and admissions professionals, primary and secondary school administrators, and representatives from community-based organizations.



The Education Resources Institute (TERI) is a Boston, Massachusetts based non-profit organization. Founded in 1985, it is a provider of education information and finance services. TERI has assisted hundreds of thousands of students and families achieve their education goals. Education loans guaranteed by TERI are available for undergraduate, graduate and part-time students. For additional information please visit TERI on the web at TERI.org or call (800) 255-TERI (8374).

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 10,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities and career schools across the country. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis and professional development for financial aid administrators. Each year, members help more than 8 million students receive funding for postsecondary education.

National Default Prevention Day (NDPD) - August 1, 2002
by Katherine Coates

The U.S. Department of Education and the student loan community have teamed up to deliver an informative day of default prevention ideas and best practices. This second annual event will be held in 12 locations across the U.S and in Puerto Rico, with sessions beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding at 4:00 p.m.

The theme for NDPD 2002 is "Default Prevention - You are the Key!" New this year will be an individualized report for each school attendee. The report will contain a synopsis of the school's Cohort Default Rate, and a chart showing where the school could be by reducing the number of borrowers in default by specified percentages. Data about institutions that are comparable in size, type, and location will allow schools to see how they compare with similar institutions.

NDPD will feature presentations by representatives of regional schools, guarantors, and ED's Federal Student Aid. A "tool kit" designed to help schools reduce their rates will be included in participant materials. Registration will be open through July 1, 2002. Sign up at: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/sfau/index.html

Due to security considerations, neither on-site registration or last minute substitutions will be permitted.

R-7's session will be held at the:
USDA building
6501 Beacon
Kansas City, MO

If you have any questions, contact: Katherine Coates 816-880-4080 katherine.coates@ed.gov or Knovelrhea Rogers 816-880-4069 knovelrhea.rogers@ed.gov.



Named after our 'Feel the Excitement' Award, this column is designed to highlight NeASFAA members participation in public/community service outside of the financial aid community. Intended to be a cross between 'Getting to Know You' and 'Movers and Shakers', we hope this article will provide information to assist all of us in making nominations for the 'Feel the Excitement' Award.

If you know of a NeASFAA colleague active in public/community service beyond the financial aid community, please notify Wendy Cobb at cobb@clarksoncollege.edu.


Doug Watson, Midland Lutheran College is very active in church, having served on numerous boards and committees. He currently sings in the chancel choir and is on the worship and music team for our contemporary services. Also, he teaches 3rd Grade Youth Club and Senior High Sunday School, and has served as a sponsor for one of our Senior High Mission trips to work with handicapped people in St. Louis, MO.

Other areas of involvement is in Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, and serving on the Friends of the Library Board, which provides various levels of support for Fremont library programs. In addition, he's on the Executive Board of the Low Income Ministries of Dodge County, which provides food, clothing, and financial support to families in Dodge County.

Thank you Doug for your hard work both in the financial aid profession and serving your community.



Key steps can help students curb credit-card debt
by Larry Viterna
USA Funds Services Regional Director

At college campuses across the nation, many students are grappling with out-of-control credit-card debt that leaves them scrambling to pay their bills each month. Life Skills, a new training program that aims to prevent education-loan defaults, identifies six key steps to take in taming credit-card debt:

  1. Make an effort to pay off the entire balance each month.
  2. Stop using your credit cards. When your balance spills over into the next month, you should put away your cards.
  3. If you don't have the cash, don't buy it. It doesn't make sense to charge a sale item with your credit card, only to have to pay it back at 21-percent interest!
  4. Be aware of instant credit that some department stores are offering when you open an instant credit-card account. Don't be tempted. Just say no.
  5. Some credit-card companies offer "teaser" interest rates. The rates are very low initially, but within a matter of a few months, you pay high interest rates on any unpaid balance. Be wary of such "deals." Always read your credit-card statement carefully.
  6. When all else fails, cancel your credit cards.

More information about curbing credit-card debt - as well as information about financial aid, completing school on time, succeeding in school and after graduation, and repaying education loans - is available through Life Skills. USA Funds® developed Life Skills to equip postsecondary institutions to teach their students effective time- and money-management skills.

For more credit-card tips to share with your students, and to learn more about Life Skills, contact your USA Funds debt-management consultant, Carol Buchli, toll-free at 866-497-USAF (866-497-8723), ext. 7877, or by e-mail at cbuchli@usafunds.org.



Quarterly Quote

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)