Tag Archive for: Interim Staffing Solutions
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/businesswoman-has-a-meeting-with-businessman-2022-02-02-03-57-53-utc-scaled.jpg 1707 2560 Julia Francis https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Julia Francis2023-04-19 14:13:102023-04-27 10:11:233 Tips for Managing Transitions in Leadership within The Office of Financial Aid
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Staffing-pointing.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-11-17 08:26:212022-11-17 08:26:21Administrative Capability, a Mammoth Challenge in Financial Aid’s Staffing Crisis
By: Bob Covey-Robbins, Consultant
What does it mean for an institution of higher education to be administratively capable? Why is it important? Whose job is it to ensure that a school complies with administrative capability requirements?
Administrative capability is carefully evaluated when a school’s application for certification or re-certification is reviewed by the Department of Education. The school must demonstrate administrative capability. 34CFR§668.16 extensively outlines the conditions for administrative capability. In short, it means that the institution has the people, expertise, systems, technology, policies, and procedures to effectively manage Federal Student Aid programs.
The institution must designate someone to be responsible for administering FSA programs, but it also must ensure that the person is supported by an adequate number of staff needed to effectively administer the programs. There is no specific formula for determining the number of staff needed. It must be determined by the number of students applying for financial aid, the various financial aid programs the school administers, the technology used, and how much administration is automated.
Many schools are currently struggling to maintain an adequate number of staff to remain in compliance with the daunting number of Title IV statutory and regulatory requirements. According to a US Chamber of Commerce article, today, there are 2.9 million fewer people in the workforce than there were in February 2020, and even if every unemployed person were to gain employment, there would still be a labor shortage (Ferguson, 2022).
Has the financial aid office workload lessened with declining enrollment? Many would say that it has actually increased since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Expanding the modality of financial aid counseling to include remote advising, administering HEERF funds with its frequent changes in federal guidance and reporting requirements, and more recently, the addition of Fresh Start student loan default relief. The number of students seeking a Fresh Start at a school can bring a significant increase to the financial aid office workload.
Declining enrollment has led to decreases in operating budgets, making it even more difficult to retain valuable staff as more attractive employment opportunities arise outside of higher education administration. Creating entry-level financial aid office positions may add staff, but those staff need extensive training, supervision, and coaching as they become proficient in their new role. For many schools, the cost of new aid officer training programs offered by state, regional, and national associations is out of reach.
The harsh reality for many financial aid offices is that they are facing the perfect storm of increased demand for services, staffing vacancies, continuous audit pressures, shrinking budgets, and, ultimately, concern about maintaining the school’s eligibility to participate in federal student aid programs.
To provide the needed services to help families with financing higher education, while maintaining legislative and regulatory compliance, more schools are seeking interim staffing solutions. Services can range from filling a financial aid director’s role to outsourcing daily financial aid processing tasks. For many schools, using a trusted partner for interim staffing and outsourcing processing tasks provides a more cost-effective means to providing quality student service, while maintaining compliance and making a valuable contribution to the school’s enrollment management efforts.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Consulting-Corner-team.png 788 940 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2022-09-30 14:13:352022-09-30 14:24:51Welcome to FAS’ Consulting Corner
Welcome to FAS’ Consulting Corner! In conjunction with launching our new website, we want to use this space to share relevant information with financial aid and student business services practitioners. It’s a safe and reliable place to get the latest news on what’s happening in financial aid and student finance all around the country. We’ll tackle issues from maintaining rigorous compliance standards and leveraging technology, to giving your students the best possible experience. Our consultants are thought leaders with a combined 1,600 years of experience in their respective fields. Higher Education is an industry that’s always in motion. There is always something new to talk about, so check back often. We’re adding fresh content all the time. Whether you’re considering services, need guidance or resources, or just want to connect with FAS, we’ve got something for you.
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/case-study-modern.png 433 783 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2021-03-01 12:09:082022-09-30 12:15:18FAS Helps Marymount University Keep Performance at a High Level
Marymount is a comprehensive Catholic university that offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degrees through the Schools of Design, Arts, Humanities, Business and Technology, Sciences, Mathematics, Education, and the Malek School of Health Professions. With its Arlington, Va., location, students have a wide variety of internship opportunities in Washington, D.C., from Capitol Hill and the Smithsonian to the National Institute for Health and international corporations. When the school’s financial aid director’s position became available, Dr. William Bissett, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs, reached out to FAS.
“I knew about FAS because I had a good experience working with them at another institution,” said Dr. Bissett. “We had an inexperienced team at Marymount, and I knew they needed guidance while we searched for a new director.” FAS Consultant Ron Elmore, who was familiar with Marymount’s software system, stepped in for three months to direct and oversee day-to-day operations and mentor the staff. When a new financial aid director was hired, his engagement was extended so he could help with her orientation.
“FAS has the reputation for hiring very experienced, competent financial aid professionals who deal with a variety of situations, size up the issues and make an immediate impact,” said Dr. Bissett. He noted that Elmore’s recommendations and support kept operations running smoothly and helped improve student satisfaction. “In Ron, we not only found a good financial aid professional, but also were fortunate enough to find a good person who mentored and trained our staff with empathy.”
https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/case-study-modern.png 433 783 Ken Garrett https://www.financialaidservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/FAS-Stacked-Logo-02-300x127.png Ken Garrett2018-10-08 11:38:202022-09-30 11:47:54FAS ‘Well Worth the Investment’ for Peru State College
Founded in 1865 by members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Peru State College is the first and oldest institution in Nebraska. With 2,100 students, the four-year public college, located one hour’s drive from Omaha or Lincoln, offers undergraduate, graduate and online degrees. In September 2017, when newly appointed Financial Aid Director Mason White arrived at Peru State College, he turned to FAS to help get operations back on track, train staff and address compliance issues.
“The financial aid office was short staffed, had two financial aid ‘newbies’ and was behind in processing, verification, awarding and disbursements,” said White. “My previous institution had worked with FAS, so I immediately contacted them for assistance.” FAS Consultant Joyce Sonenberg quickly arrived on campus to assess the situation and provide counseling. During her four-month tenure, Sonenberg trained the staff, updated policies and procedures, resolved compliance issues and helped catch up with verification and disbursements.
“Joyce fit in easily, with her soothing demeanor, positive attitude, depth of knowledge and excellent listening skills,” said White. “She quickly became part of our community and was a wonderful mentor to me as I adjusted to my new role as financial aid director. Our Vice President for Administration and Finance said he thought Joyce was doing a fabulous job and well worth our investment.” He noted that “FAS has a solid reputation for the highest level of professionalism and provides a wide variety of offerings. “I would highly recommend them for any institution needing assistance,” he said.