PD event today - State Update

Thanks to Leroy Wade and Kelli Reed from MDHEWD as well as the PD Committee for the State Update today. Good info that financial aid administrators need. Around 80 registered and attended!

Hello from the 2020 MASFAP Board!

Hello MASFAP - the MASFAP Board is meeting today in Columbia. MASFAP is still looking for committee volunteers - follow these instructions:

1)      Log into your MASFAP profile

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MASFAP Members Head to Reno for FSA

Check out these familiar, smiling faces on a flight headed to the FSA Conference in Reno.

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Great Group of Leaders Representing MASFAP in D.C.

MASFAP’s 2019 Leadership Development Program (LDP) participants have been learning about advocacy and went to Washington, D.C. October 20-22, to meet with congressional leaders, NASFAA and the Department of Education. The 2019 LDP members are Kimberly Meeker (North Central Missouri College), Stephanie Broyles (Rolla Technical Center), Ashley Nickell (Logan Chiropractic) and Julie Loftin (Drury University). Also joining the advocacy trip and serving as mentors were Samantha Matchefts, Dena Norris, Tony Lubbers, Keely Haynes, Will Shaffner and Amy Hager.

MASFAP presenting to high school counselors on financial aid advising!

MASFAP is hosting nine high school counselor workshops on financial aid advising across Missouri. This week MASFAP hosted workshops in Kirksville at Truman State University and Cape Girardeau at Southeast Missouri State University. THANKS so much to all of the awesome volunteers in helping present and make these workshops successful.

Next week, MASFAP will host workshops in Joplin at Missouri Southern State university, West Plains at Missouri State University-West Plains and St. Joseph at Missouri Western State University. Again thank you MASFAP for volunteering!

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Pam Fowler's Retirement Party


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MASFAP representing at MDHE's Journey to College Day

Take a look at this awesome MASFAP crew representing at MDHE's Journey to College Day this week.


Great Turnout for SLAP

Yesterday, the St. Louis Aid Professional Group, commonly and endearingly know as SLAP, met for the first time in quite some time. It was a great turnout and there was a lot of good discussion. Samantha Matchefts, UMSL, MASFAP President, shared updates in regards to MASFAP and Melissa Findley, Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation spoke about a new state initiative called MOCAN. There was discussion and ideas shared about many topics. The group overwhelmingly wanted to continue SLAP, and decided on quarterly meetings and rotating the location. Greg Hutchinson, SLU, and Kathy Dixon, MOHELA, agreed to help coordinate the next meeting.

May is National Military Appreciation Month By Lorrie Baird

May is National Military Appreciation Month.  I am a military mom and I have a son who is serving in the Air Force and is currently deployed overseas.  I want to remind everyone to remember current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who died in the pursuit of freedom.  The military has played a very important role in the development of our country.  The U.S. Army was created in 1775 to protect the freedom of the first 13 colonies.  Since then our military has grown into a leading fighting force which serves to defend our vast population and to protect our national interests.

One of the benefits of being in the military is the GI Bill which helps servicemembers, veterans, and their families to achieve their education goals through a variety of GI Bill programs.  The purpose of the GI Bill is to reward members of the Armed Forces for their service and to give them a means to readjust to civilian life after serving.

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Announcing the 2019 MASFAP High School Counselor Workshops By Kayla Klein

The Early Awareness committee has worked with schools across the state to set the dates for the fall 2019 high school counselor workshops. We will be hosting nine, free workshops across the state of Missouri for high school counselors to attend. The purpose is for MASFAP members to build relationships with the high school counselors, as well as to present information and updates regarding the FAFSA, the award letter process, verification, and other pertinent financial aid topics. This year we will be collaborating with MDHE to also provide information on their services that counselors can utilize to assist students.  Our first workshop will be held in St. Louis on Friday, September 13 and MASFAP partners with St. Louis Graduates and EducationPlus to put on this particular workshop.  All nine workshops will be held between September 13 and October 11. See the below Save the Date card with the locations and dates!

Please help the Early Awareness Committee to get the word out about these events by forwarding the dates to your contacts at the high schools in your area.  Additionally, Kayla Klein will be emailing the counselors who attended the workshops last year. Again, thank you for your support of MASFAP and these workshops – partnerships with the high schools is so important to the success of students!

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My Helpful Travel Tips By Kayla Klein

Over the past several weeks, I have traveled to meet new Tigers that are soon headed our way. This got me thinking about all the packing I do for work travel, and also for all the spring break and summer fun. Being on the road whether it be by car, plane, or bus I have discovered some helpful tips to make the process easier.

  1. Make a list. I make a list of all the items that I need to pack right down to the snacks that I want to pack. You can make your list in your planner, excel sheet, on your phone, anywhere that you can use a quick reference. It is also a way to make sure that you do not forget anything that you might need.
  2. Packing cubes!!! Okay, so I have been told about packing cubes for a couple of years now, and I was like… how can a bunch of squares possibly make my packing better? I can now say they are amazing! I bought some packing cubes for my last round of travel to Dallas and Chicago at Marshalls, figured I would give them a try. My suitcase stayed organized, I was able to roll all my clothes (and they stayed rolled), and I was able to fit way more in my suitcase. Packing dress clothes and keeping them nice is always a struggle, but with the packing cubes it was no problem at all. Amazon has some great options for packing cubes; however, you can get them all over.
  3. A coat that does not take up a lot of space is a must for me. Going from one weather extreme to another is hard to pack for and packing a coat in your suitcase can take up too much of the room. I found the perfect coat that can be rolled up, fits in its own bag to limit space, and fits perfect my suitcase… plus it is water resistant so it works in the rain too.
  4. A good set of headphones is a necessity; noise cancelling ones are nice when you are on a crowded bus or airplane. So, I have multiple pairs of headphones, and yes I travel with multiple pairs of headphones for different scenarios I encounter. It sounds crazy, but I always fear I will lose a pair, or worse break a pair, and I do not want to scramble to buy another set while traveling. I have done this before and paid way too much for them. A good set of headphones also helps to block out the noise as you read your book or work as you sit in the airport.
  5. External battery pack. This is a lifesaver especially when all the charging stations are full in the airport… or you have to sit on the plane waiting to take off… and you need to charge your phone. It is also handy on a long bus trip and your seat is not next to an outlet. I also carry a charging tower that I bought at Target for $5.00 which allows me to charge four things at once. It is easy to pack and you only need the tower and the cords so there is less to lose and less to pack.
  6. My last “must have” is a good carryon bag/backpack. One that has lots of pockets that you are able to find items easily and fit all the things that you need. It should be lightweight and one that can hook onto another suitcase is ideal so you minimize the items that you have to carry.

Over the years, I have nearly perfected a packing strategy that works for me and have tweaked my ways (such as my new found excitement for packing cubes). I also love learning new tips and tricks on how other people travel. Hope mine help and feel free to share your tips below on this blog! Happy traveling!

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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.