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2002 March

March 17, 2005


At this busy time of year we'd like to offer a humorous break, so we are highlighting a few of our embarrassing financial aid moments. Enjoy!

Shirley Huttenmaier (Southeast Community College-Beatrice):
"I remember misplacing a loan check (well, I didn't remember misplacing it) and having to call the lender and tell them we never received the check. Some time later it was found stuck to the bottom of the phone on my desk. Then I had to send the check back with an apology for asking for a duplicate. The bank that issued that check is not longer in the loan origination game and possibly no longer in business."

Deana Unger (University of Nebraska-Lincoln):
"About ten years ago, I was in a small Nebraska community attending an Educational Planning Program. It was a very windy day and as I was unloading my stuff from the trunk of my car, the wind blew my trunk shut. That wouldn't have been a big problem except for the fact that I had set my purse, with my car keys, in the trunk! Luckily, the guidance counselor was good friends with the guy that owned the local garage and I was rescued just in time to start my financial aid presentation."

Donna Johnson (U.S. Bank):
"I had a school visit scheduled for 9:00am. Well, I didn't realize that this particular school was in a different time zone, so I ended up being one hour late. I was so proud to think that I was on time, but needless to say, I was an hour late!!

Donna was brave enough to give us two embarrassing moments - here is the other: "The other embarrassing moment (and this is only because I was caught at a weak moment and agreed to do it) was wearing a cover-up that had a bikini-clad woman's body on it. I was the 'lady' that showed the contestants what was behind 'Door #1' or 'Door #2' or 'Door #3' during a 'Let's Make a Deal' entertainment activity at a financial aid state conference."

Jean Phillips (University of Nebraska at Omaha):
(Editor's note: this exchange took place in February.) "Last week, I was working our front counter helping a student with loan questions. He commented about how much there was to learn about them, and casually asked, "do your kids have loans?" For the record, I turn 36 this weekend. I gave him my two part response and still tried to be my usual helpful and polite self. I explained that I had just paid off my own loans a couple years back, and that my oldest child was 10. He apologized, and got out of there as quickly as he could! Luckily, I got carded the same week by someone who at least pretended to be genuinely surprised that I was 35!"


by Paula Kohles

I can hardly believe it's time to write President's article for the spring newsletter as it seems like yesterday I did the one for the winter newsletter! The spring semester has gotten off to a smooth start here on our campus and hope the same is true for all of you.

There have been lots of things happening lately and many more to come! Countdown to College was a success with lots of phone calls and e-mails. I would like to thank all of the NeASFAA members who volunteered the evening of the program to answer the phone calls and respond to the e-mails that were received. Special thanks to Jodi Vanden Berge and Ted Fellers for their outstanding job as panelists!

Many members have also been helping on Saturday's at the three EPC's. Thanks to all of you who have spent a morning helping families with the financial aid process.

Tom Melecki and his Reauthorization Committee have been busy e-mailing the association. Please give some thought to the questions they are asking and then take the time to respond to their e-mails. Everyone's input is needed to make sure the paper truly represents Nebraska's issues and concerns going into Reauthorization.

Several NeASFAA members recently spent a day going through NeASFAA's history and all of the documents that have been collected over the years. Judi Walker is putting together a scrapbook for the spring conference in recognition on our 35th anniversary.

Speaking of NeASFAA's 35th anniversary, the Professional Development Committee is putting together a fantastic conference agenda that will be highlighted by a formal dinner and awards banquet on Thursday, April 25th to celebrate our 35 years as an association. Daphne Hall, PDC Chair, has reminded the board many times this past year, that this will be a black tie event. So, ladies, let the shopping begin for your fancy clothes and sequin dresses and, gentlemen, suits will be fine!

It doesn't seem possible that I'm writing my last article as NeASFAA President. I would like to thank all of you for making this past year such a wonderful experience. I appreciate the opportunity to serve NeASFAA and all of the support I have received during my year as president. I'm confident Vicki Kucera's leadership and vision will lead NeASFAA in many great ways this next year!




NeASFAA presents….A Year at the Movies
Celebrating 35 Years

Dean Obenauer, PDC reporter

In the next few days you will be receiving your hand addressed, gold embossed invitation to attend the star studded NeASFAA Spring Conference in Kearney, April 24-26. This event will be nothing less than fabulous! In fact, Entertainment Tonight will be on hand to conduct exclusive interviews. The Professional Development Committee has busted to bring you not only a top notch professional experience with the latest topics, but a celebration to remember. NeASFAA has truly reached a milestone!

The conference will open with a welcome by NeASFAA and RMASFAA presidents followed immediately by the hot topic of reauthorization. Members of NeASFAA's ad hoc committee on reauthorization issues will pick your brains so that we can all have input into the reauthorization process. After enlightening discussion, get ready to take the trolly to the most famous arch in the world! Thursday is packed full of general and interest sessions followed by a formal dinner and awards banquet. More exciting sessions are scheduled on Friday to conclude at noon. This event is truly one you won't want to miss!

by Tammy Stevenson

The Awards Committee is putting the final touches on the upcoming awards for the spring conference in Kearney. The nomination deadline may have passed, but it's never too late to nominate someone for a special "fun" award. If you know someone who needs some special recognition, please let one of the committee members know.


Joan Jurek     joanj@ne-epc.com
Wade Peterson     wade.peterson@wellsfargoefs.com
Lisa Gdowski     lgdowski@cccneb.edu
Peggy Tvrdy     ptvrdy@sccm.cc.ne.us
Tammy Stevenson     tammys@fef.org

I'd like to take this time to thank the committee for their hard work and creative ideas this year. Join us in Kearney April 24-26 for an Awards Show you don't want to miss!


Stork Bytes "The Next Generation"
Having populated the earth in the 20th century, certain members of the NeASFAA organization have moved on and declared the 21st century to be the "Grand" century. Waiting by the phones in 2002 for that all important news are grandparents-to-be: Ted Fellers (2nd), and Joan Hill (1st).

"I am back in the office and want to thank the many NeASFAA members who sent me cards, both electronic and U.S. mail. It certainly helped brighten the day."
Janet Dodson

Brad Brown of the Omaha Educational Planning Center has been promoted from Financial Aid Specialist to Outreach Manager.

Amy Lyons, Dana College, has been promoted to Major since her return from Macedonia, and has accepted a promotion as Command Judge Advocate in the newly formed Area Support Group in the Nebraska National Guard. (It's like pulling teeth to get Amy to tell about herself.) Way to go, Amy!

Coming and Going
The Lincoln EPC has recently hired Sara Smith, a Lincoln East graduate as their new Financial Aid Specialist. Sara went to Coe College and then worked as an Admission Rep for Dana College for about 2 years. Sara wonders if there is a jinx on her job.

Eveline Zwick, retired Concordia, returned to the Concordia University campus for a short period of time (six to eight weeks) this spring semester to help out a very harried office. The school is switching to SCT Banner and Glo needed to devote time to that project. Associate members were really invaluable to Glo also because they went to Seward to lend a hand in the financial aid office.

Lydia J. Nims has rejoined the staff at Joseph's College of Beauty, just in time to help Rita with the masses of paperwork!

Why does anyone want to leave financial aid in Nebraska just to move to the picturesque mountains of Colorado? Dara Kort, College of Saint Mary, said it all here. "I'm going to be leaving the end of March to head out west to Colorado. After being with the college since April of 1997, I have decided that I am ready to move on to the next adventure in my life. Adventure is truly the word to describe the experience! Some of you may know that I spent a couple of summers in Glacier National Park, Montana and have probably heard my stories from there. Well, I've always known that the mountains were my home (even though I grew up on a farm in central Nebraska) and so I'm heading back to the mountains. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to be going or what I'm going to be doing - it's all part of the adventure."

Tammy Reece, University of Nebraska Medical Center, will be leaving the financial aid office on March 19th. Tammy's husband has taken a job in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thank you, Tammy, for your contributions to NeASFAA. We wish you and your family well!

Higher Education
Kris Weigelt, Dana College, has received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bellevue University during their January commencement ceremony. Kris completed her studies in August 2002, majoring in Human Resource Management.

Marjorie Johnson, Financial Aid Technician at CCC - Columbus, recently celebrated her 10th anniversary with the college.









Use the Personal Touch to Prevent Defaults
by Connie Kent
Debt Management Director

At last fall's NSLP workshop, schools gathered to share their default prevention strategies and develop ways to help students reduce loan delinquency and default.

Vicki Kucera, Central Community College in Hastings, Nebraska uses a personal approach to reach students as soon as they become delinquent. She hand writes students' addresses on a 3x5 envelope and includes a greeting card that gives them phone numbers for UNIPAC and the financial aid office to call and discuss their delinquent loan. The size of the envelope is unique because it looks like an invitation and has no return address. "Who would think a financial aid office would be that clever? Getting students to open the mail is half the battle, and it's working because of the numerous calls we receive immediately," Vicki says.

Vicki produces her own greeting cards from a software program she purchased. This process begins each quarter she receives a delinquency list. If she sees her students on the list, they get a nice invitation from her to come and talk about their loan.

Central Community College in both Hastings and Grand Island have been using this idea for over a year-and-a-half and have been pleased with the results.

For more default prevention strategies for your students, contact Connie Kent, NSLP's Debt Management Director, at 800-735-8778, ext. 6651; e-mail conniek@nslp.org; or watch NSLP's Newsbriefs online at www.nslp.org/newsbref.htm. You can sign up for Newsbriefs at www.nslp.org/connect.htm.



Countdown to College Airs January 23
by Tammy Stevenson

Nebraska students and parents received answers to their college planning questions during "Countdown to College," a one-hour television special on Wednesday, January 23 on the Nebraska ETV Network. Students and parents phoned in questions during the live program. Experts in the areas of admissions, financial aid and student orientation answered questions about how to plan and pay for college and how to make a successful transition from high school to higher education.

The 2002 "Countdown to College" panel included Ted Fellers, Director of Financial Aid at the Mid-Plains Community College Area in McCook; Linc Morris, Director of Recruitment at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; Jodi Vanden Berge, Director of the Educational Planning Center in Kearney; and Crystal Jefferson, a student at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln.

Behind the scenes, fifteen NeASFAA volunteers answered over nearly 60 calls and e-mails so that all questions were answered immediately. Students and parents also had the opportunity to attend "viewing nights" at 18 sites across the state hosted by high school guidance counselors and financial aid directors.

NeASFAA volunteers included Caroline Routh, Vicki Kucera, Daphne Hall, Deana Unger, Jan Going, Lydia Thompson, Heidi Rasmussen, and Tom Melecki. Special thanks to Cindy Cammack, UNL Associate Director of Admissions for answering the admissions questions.

"Countdown to College" is a collaborative project of NET and the Foundation for Educational Funding (FEF), an educational charity whose mission is to improve access to higher education in Nebraska.



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 Deana Unger at dunger@unl.edu.


Tammi Preston (Educational Planning Center-Lincoln) has been very actively involved in the formation of SouthPointe Christian Church? Tammi joined the Organizing Action Team in May of 2001 as their secretary. The Organizing Action Team is responsible for finding a pastor and then acting as the church's board until congregation members can slip into leadership roles. Tammi and her mother are so excited with this that they have both become charter members of the new church. At the present time, there are approximately 20 people that meet for Sunday evening Bible study, but the goal is to have a special worship service on Easter Sunday and then to start a weekly worship service in the fall.

Caroline Routh (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) has been a member of P.E.O. since 1974? She has served as President twice and has been Treasurer for six years. She says the greatest reward of being involved with this organization is the emphasis on education for women and they spend a great deal of time and energy with fundraisers for their projects. A few of their projects include supporting a two year women's college in Nevada, Missouri; the International Peace Scholarship for women to come to the United States to study; and an Education Loan Program for women who have had their education interrupted or need to re-train.



USA Funds outlines options for student-loan-repayment relief
by Larry Viterna
USA Funds Services Regional Director

USA Funds® offers deferment and forbearance information to assist recent graduates and others who are repaying education loans during the current difficult economic conditions.

Federal Stafford-loan borrowers who are unemployed, facing certain economic hardships or returning to school for additional studies may qualify for a deferment. Borrowers who meet the qualifications and submit the required documentation are entitled to defer principal payments, in the case of unemployment or economic hardship, for up to a maximum three years during the term of their loans. There is no maximum time limit for an in-school deferment.

Borrowers who don't meet the standards for deferment, but who still need payment relief, may request forbearance. Forbearance permits a borrower to reduce or postpone payments or extend the time for making payments, usually at the discretion of the lender. Forbearance requests typically are granted for a period of up to 12 months.

Student-loan borrowers should be aware of the following issues regarding deferment and forbearance:

  • Borrowers must make their scheduled payments until their requests for deferment or forbearance are approved.
  • Unless borrowers have subsidized loans and qualify for a deferment, interest will continue to accrue on their loans during the period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, their outstanding loan balance will be greater when they resume repayment of their loans.
  • Maximum periods of unemployment or economic-hardship deferment are limited for each Federal Stafford-loan borrower, regardless of the number of loans a borrower is repaying. For example, a borrower who uses 12 months of unemployment deferment typically would qualify for only 24 additional months of unemployment deferment eligibility during the remaining terms of all of the borrower's outstanding loans.

Student-loan borrowers who believe that they qualify for deferment or forbearance should contact their lenders or loan servicers. Borrowers may identify their lenders or loan servicers by using the free LoanLocator service of the National Student Clearinghouse, at www.loanlocator.org.

USA Funds provides copies of deferment and forbearance forms on its Web site at www.usafunds.org/forms/deferment_forbearance.html.

Quarterly Quote

"If a man does his best, what else is there?"
General George S. Patton (1885-1945)