Dawn Patak, Ed.D

Senior Consultant

Dr. Dawn Patak is a financial aid professional with over 25 years of experience. Dawn began her career as a financial aid counselor at Alfred University. Over the years, she ascended the ranks, moving into assistant and associate director positions at Keuka College, the University of Rochester, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Dawn also held a relationship management role with the New York Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). Dawn worked as an independent contractor consultant with Financial Aid Services in 2016-17 and 2021-22 in between permanent positions as Director of Financial Aid at Finger Lakes Community College, Baltimore City Community College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In April of 2023, Dawn took time off to move across the country and is excited to rejoin FAS.

Dr. Patak is highly proficient in performing verification, monitoring Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), processing loans, and packaging federal, state, and institutional awards. Dawn understands the complexities of institutional, program, and student eligibility. She has deep insights on need analysis in both federal and institutional methodologies (FM and IM). Dawn is known for her expertise in helping families better understand the FAFSA and CSS Profile applications and complete them accurately. Dawn has experience with various financial aid systems, including Ellucian Colleague, PowerFAIDS, Regent Education, CAMS, and Banner. She is experienced with FISAP, IPEDS, and several other required reports as well.

During her career, she has been a member of the New York State Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NYSFAAA), the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), and the Eastern Association of Financial Aid Administrators (EASFAA).

Dr. Patak holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Management Science from State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland and Master of Science in Education in College Student Development from Alfred University. She recently (May 2023) finished her Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Higher Education at the University of Colorado Denver. Her Doctoral Research Project focused on the retention of Colorado Community College System (CCCS) financial aid administrators based on job satisfaction.

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