TASFAA Community Blog
Happy New Year TASFAA! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Now it is back to registration, bills due, freshman packaging for 17/18, 399 resolutions, and keeping the aid train on the tracks!
Here are a few goals your TASFAA board has been working on over the past few months:
Stay warm out there! Hope to see you at either the SASFAA or TASFAA conference (or both!) Remember – what you do matters!
TASFAA President 2016-17
This is a SHORT membership survey and your TASFAA Board would like to hear from you by November 18th. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TASFAAMbrSurvey
We would like to hear what sessions and topics you are interested in. Please respond by November 30th and provide session topics that would interest you and your school. Let us know if you are aware of someone who is an expert on the topic and might be willing to present at the conference. You can send your suggestions to Charles Harper mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, 2016-17 TASFAA Conference Committee Chair.
The TASFAA Nominations Committee is soliciting names of individuals who may be interested in serving in one of several elected TASFAA positions. If you would like to nominate someone for a particular office or wish to be considered yourself, please notify Richard Smelser, mailto:email@example.com by December 9th.
For those who attended the NASFAA credentialing sessions held in East, Middle and West Tennessee October 19-21, you are eligible to take the NASFAA Credentialing Test for Application Process for FREE!! The FREE test is available for three months and expires January 30, 2017. It is important that you follow the instructions sent to you via email from Tiffany Summers, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org TASFAA Training Chair 2016-17.
With the power of a personal phone call, Pellissippi State Community College is helping former students avoid defaulting on their student loans....More
State Programs Update
The Tennessee Promise application opened on August 1st and application totals are ahead of the pace from the first two years of the program. The application is available through the TSAC Student Portal and will close on November 1st.
Rule changes for the Tennessee Promise and Ned McWherter Scholars programs were approved by the TSAC Board on September 27th. Significant changes to the Tennessee Promise rule included removing the August 1 verification deadline, removing the requirement that transfer students do not have to complete their degree prior to reaching a terminating event, and eliminating the renewal application.
For the Ned McWherter Scholars, the rules were amended to require enrollment within 16 months and a regain provision was added. These changes mirror the HOPE Scholarship. The retention of the award was simplified and a work requirement was removed from the institutional match.
For 2015-16, TN Promise had 16,300 students at a cost of $15.2M. About 54% of the students received an award from the program. Lottery-funded programs, including TN Promise and TCAT Reconnect, totaled $324M with 120,000 recipients.
TSAA had a record year with $80.1M paid to almost 45,000 recipients. For the current year, TSAC expects to spend just over $91M. The TSAC Board approved an over commitment ratio of 153% for the 2017-18 academic year. This means almost 50,000 students could receive TSAA. TSAC is truly appreciative for the commitment this administration has shown to the program.
The Community College Reconnect Grant (CCRG) began this fall and $1.5M has been disbursed to the community colleges. The CCRG provides a last dollar scholarship to independent students who have earned 30 hours or more towards their associate degree. The program is a pilot project and will be re-evaluated after funds have been expended.
The new legislative session will start in January. We have received only one proposed piece of legislation of note thus far. It establishes a new program for high school juniors enrolled in middle college programs.
Tennessee Students Need You
To see how many mentors are needed and how many have registered in your county, visit: https://tnachieves.org/mentors/mentor-recruitment-dashboard/.
TASFAA Members! TSAC needs your support for Financial Aid Awareness and Outreach events. This is YOUR opportunity to support students and shine for TASFAA. It is easy! Volunteer for high school financial aid nights, TN FAFSA Frenzy events, FAFSA completion workshops to just name a few opportunities. Check out the wonderful materials available at https://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/gearuptn/attachments/TNFAFSAFrenzyToolkit2016.pdf for our use.
Please log into the TASFAA website and update your profile to volunteer. Set your personal goal for September 9, 2016 to add “volunteer” to your TASFAA profile! You can also email Diane LeJeune at diane.LeJeune@tn.gov to offer your assistance. If you plan your own event, please let Diane LeJeune, your TASFAA sector representative or me know. We can all work together to support college goals for our students and future TN students!
Financial Aid Awareness Chair
Sustaining the Dream
I just returned from the NASFAA conference where we celebrated 50 years as an organization. Student success stories were shared, affirming that education changes lives. Being in Washington, DC at a time when our country is experiencing targeted violence and a tumultuous Presidential campaign challenged me to ask, “What can one person do to make a positive impact in our world?” As I found myself standing at the feet of the Martin Luther King, Jr monument, while hundreds of people gathered to pray and advocate for peace, I decided the answer is EDUCATION. Education is key and we are at the doors of our institutions and organizations helping students with access and affordability for all who want to pursue their dream. Dr. King said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”
What a busy summer! Your 2015-16 TASFAA Board met June 28th to wrap up their year. This was followed by a two day transition meeting for your 2016-17 Board members, during which we discussed how we can support our organization’s members and the TASFAA mission. We spent time examining how we operate as a non-profit, how to be wise stewards of the budget we manage, and how we could enhance member benefits.
One of our first changes put to action was to increase our membership database with additional profile details. This information may be valuable to new and current members who would like to have a conversation regarding best practices, or how best to advance from interpretation to implementation. Think of them as subject expert mentors, available to all, realizing we work in an ever changing environment. Your board is creating a survey that will go out in August to all members. Please take a few minutes (our goal is to keep it short) and send your feedback. And of course, training is on the calendar. Watch for details for our Fall Training Series, scheduled for October 19 – 21.
TSAC is promoting statewide collaboration for early FAFSA completion. THEC, TSAC, TN DOE, tnAchieves, Southwest Tennessee Development District’s Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and the Ayers Foundation have partnered together to create TN FAFSA Frenzy, a campaign to increase statewide FAFSA filing rates. - See more at: http://www.tn.gov/gearuptn/article/tn-fafsa-frenzy-testing
Their collaboration with our schools is an important initiative that many of you will be participating in. Please share your events with Cherry Johnson (email@example.com), Financial Aid Awareness Chair, so we can celebrate these events to sustain the dream of education! As your offices continue to package financial aid, respond to requests for reconsideration, and plan for orientations know with certainty that your work matters. Education is Key!
Karen HauserTASFAA President
Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org