Becoming a change agent within your campus and the financial aid profession
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Becoming a Change Agent within your Campus and the Financial Aid Profession. Nathan R. Basford Jr. Florida State University Michael J. Bennett St Petersburg College Sandra Neel Bellarmine University. St Petersburg College. 32,500 students, 9 campuses

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Becoming a change agent within your campus and the financial aid profession

Becoming a Change Agent within your Campus and the Financial Aid Profession

Nathan R. Basford Jr.

Florida State University

Michael J. Bennett

St Petersburg College

Sandra Neel

Bellarmine University

St petersburg college

St Petersburg College

  • 32,500 students, 9 campuses

  • Established 1927, Florida’s First Community College, first to offer 4 year degrees (25%)

  • 70% Independent, 30% Dependent

  • Financial Aid Applicants – 39,000

  • Financial Aid Recipients – 24,000

  • % of Enrolled Students Receive Aid - 67%

  • Disbursed – 168 million dollars (Stafford 92)

  • 52 full-time employees

Four objectives

Four Objectives

  • Examine the meaning of leadership

  • To learn how to develop leadership skills and use various leadership styles within your office and professional organization

  • Examine how to be a “change agent” on your campus and in professional associations

  • To encourage you to Volunteer for leadership roles!

What is a leader

What is a Leader?

  • Someone with a vision and passion.

  • Leaders have the ability to influence and motivate others to do their best to accomplish any task, goal or project.

    Financial Aid

  • Leaders are willing to fight for long standing FA principles and for what’s best for FA students and staff.

Difference between a leader and a manager


Has Vision, thinks globally

Inspires co-workers

Empowers people

Questions established procedures

Takes Calculated Risks



Relies on control

Uses established policies

Is problem solver

Difference between a “Leader” and a “Manager”

Leadership traits

Leadership Traits

Personal Responsibility

Clarity of Thought

Integrity of Action – Do Good

Good Communicators and Negotiators

Foundation for the Future

Pay the Price

What makes us special

What Makes Us “Special”

Leadership Qualities

  • Passionate Curiosity

  • Battle Hardened Confidence

  • Team Smarts

  • A Simple Mind Set

  • Fearlessness

    The Corner Office, Adam Bryant

To be a change agent you need a supportive boss

To be a Change Agent you need a supportive Boss

  • A good boss is someone when you see them, you don’t want to run away and hide. You’re happy to see them and want to talk with them.

  • A good boss is someone who has your back and always puts students first.

  • A good boss knows how to get things done.

Becoming a change agent within your campus and the financial aid profession

“Every man at some point in his life is going to lose a battle. He is going to fight and he is going to lose. But what makes him a man is in the midst of that battle ….

he does not lose himself.”

Friday Night Lights

Becoming a change agent within your campus and the financial aid profession

“You need to strive to be better than everyone else …You need to try …

That’s what character is .. … it’s in the trying”

Bellarmine university

Bellarmine University

  • Approximately 3,249 students, of which 2,457 are undergraduates

  • Primarily 18-21 year olds who graduate high school and enroll full-time in college

  • Male = 36% - Females = 64%

  • In-state = 66% - Out-of-state = 34%

  • Minority students = 13.3%

  • 6 full-time employees

  • 5 Federal work-study students

Advantages of leadership

Advantages of Leadership

  • Opportunity to help others learn and grow

  • Creative Expression

  • Friendship and Affiliation (social aspects extremely rewarding)

  • Power (influencing, persuading and controlling others) and Responsibility

  • Prestige and Status

Becoming a change agent within your campus and the financial aid profession

With Great Power comes great responsibility

Some disadvantages

Some Disadvantages

  • Constant strain and stress to produce

  • Need to always be at your best

  • Having direct responsibility/accountability for your organization/area’s actions

  • In Professional Associations – challenge of juggling the responsibilities of your “real” with your volunteer leadership responsibility

  • Loneliness

Responsibilities of leadership

Responsibilities of Leadership

  • Vision – Future oriented, focus on change, progress, and growth

  • Communicate – Articulate your vision

  • Motivate/Influence – Treat others with dignity/respect. Find out what motivates those you lead and be open to using different motivational methods for different individuals

  • Accept Responsibility for your own actions and those of your group

Leadership styles

Leadership Styles

  • Authoritarian or Autocratic

  • Participative or Democratic

  • Delegative or Free Reign

Authoritarian autocratic


  • With this style of leadership the leader tells everyone what is going to be done and how it is going to be accomplished.

  • When to use Authoritarian style

    • Leader has all the information to solve problem

    • Short on Time

    • Team is well motivated

Participative democratic


  • The Leader and the team working together to reach a common goal. As many people as possible are included in the decision making process in order to make the most informed decisions and foster teamwork and ownership.

  • When to use

    • Leaders has part of the information and the Team has the rest

Delegative free reign

Delegative/Free Reign

  • The Leader allows the Team to make the decisions however ultimately the Leader is still responsible for the decisions made.

  • This is used when

    • Team is able to analysis the situation, determines what needs to be done and does it.

    • Used when you fully trust and have confidence in the team.

A servant leader

A Servant Leader

The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.

Are you a servant leader?

Being a change agent

Being a “Change Agent”

  • Persuasion

  • Negotiation

  • Consensus

  • Involvement

  • Know your Supervisor

  • “Change Agent” in your Profession

Promoting your office yourself

Promoting Your Office/Yourself

  • People who do not work in financial do not understand what we do or the daily pressures of working in this profession

  • This is why there is closeness among us at financial aid conferences/meetings

  • We need to demystify financial aid whenever we can to as many people as we can



There are two financial aid offices on campus...

The one where you work,

and the one everybody else sees you working in.

And they aren’t the same!

Perception IS Reality!

Three steps to ensure success

Three Steps To Ensure Success

  • Manage the President and Superiors (Administration).

  • Form direct relationships with other offices.

  • Develop a “marketing” strategy that includes outreach.

Don t forget the small things

Don’t Forget the Small Things

  • Send follow-up “Thank You” notes when and where appropriate.

  • Don’t be afraid to communicate your successes, no matter how small.

  • Notify or copy the administrative person in the president’s office on financial aid impact items.

Manage the administration

Manage the Administration

  • Invite them to meetings.

  • Ask them to speak at FAO-sponsored events.

  • Provide them periodic reports with information relevant to them.

  • Zero-in on initiatives important to them.

  • Join committees on campus

Mentoring coaching professional development

Mentoring\Coaching\Professional Development

  • Being a mentor is like being a Personal Trainer at an athletic club,  We play the role of trainer giving mentee access to the equipment (contacts, friends, presentations, our expertise) … after that, our job is to be demanding.  We need to make sure our mentees are exerting themselves.  We need to make the time to praise them when they deserve it and celebrate with them.  We also need to tell them honestly when they have it in them to work harder …

Our role

Our Role

Most important, we need to let them know how to judge for themselves how they’re coming along. Our job is to teach colleagues how to see their minds growing in the same way as they can see their muscles grow in an athletic club when they look in the mirror.”

  • Paraphrased from The Last Lecture

    Randy Pausch

Florida state university

Florida State University

  • 41,466 students Main Campus

  • 4 Campuses

  • Financial Aid Applicants – 76,184

  • Financial Aid Recipients – 34,332

  • 83% of Enrolled Students Receive Aid

  • $310,083,799 Total Funds Disbursed – (This includes all types of aid)

  • 50 full-time employees

The current financial aid leadership landscape

The Current Financial Aid Leadership Landscape

In both regions/states:

  • ballots for leadership roles with candidates running unopposed

  • less diversity and sector representation.

    Void in many states/regions:

  • developing and maintaining of new leaders/volunteers

  • Staff not permitted to participate in committee/leadership roles by their boss

Roadmap to involvement

Roadmap to Involvement

How Do I Get Involved?

  • Determine your areas of interest and expertise; and examine the organization of the associations:

  • State

  • Regional

  • National

    See where you might best contribute.

    Contact your State Association President and other officers to express

    your interest and commitment. 

    Ask how you can help!

Roadmap to involvement1

Roadmap to Involvement

How Do I Get Involved?

If you don't have time for a very involved


  • volunteer for small projects:

  • assisting at a conference registration desk, writing an article for the State or Regional Newsletter

  • Present or Moderate a Conference Presentation.

    These efforts are very much appreciated!

How to avoid road blocks

How to Avoid Road Blocks

  • Talk to the person in the position you are considering.

  • Understand your responsibilities:

    • the time commitment involved

    • any expenses to you or your institution before you accept a volunteer position.

  • Secure your employer's approval and your family's support. Make sure both understand the time commitment involved.

  • Periodically update your employer on your activities within the association.

How to avoid road blocks1

How to Avoid Road Blocks

  • Incorporate meeting dates in your schedule early and plan to attend all of them.

  • Be dependable; follow through completely and promptly with all committee tasks.

  • Be Accessible: encourage members to call or email you with their concerns or ideas.

  • If you're not selected at first, continue to direct your energy towards positive action and keep trying; sometimes the current focus of activities doesn't align with your skill set, but that changes over time.

Nathan basford repeat offender

Nathan BasfordRepeat Offender

  • FASFAA – State Association

    • President

    • President-elect

    • VP of Training

    • Regional Representative

    • Conference Chair

    • Membership Chair

    • Coordinator of Regional Activities

    • Presenter & Moderator

  • SASFAA – Regional Association

    • Executive Board Member

    • Annual Conference Committee Member

    • Presenter & Moderator


Immediate Past President

Nathan basford

Nathan Basford

  • NASFAA – National Association

  • Volunteer of the Year Finalist (Tallahassee)

  • Volunteer for Big Bend Cares (AIDS Outreach)

  • Sunday School Teacher (Grades K - 5)

  • Presenter at Financial Aid Nights

  • College Goal Sunday Outreach


Immediate Past President

Sandy neel

Sandy Neel

SASFAA 2010-11 President

TASFAA-State Association

Newsletter Editor

Conference Chair

Program Committee

New Aid Workshop

Presenter at several Conference

SASFAA – Regional Association

2010-11 President

2008-09 Vice President


Executive Board Member

Conference Chair

Presenter at Numerous Conferences

Summer NAOW Curriculum Coordinator

Summer NAOW Instructor

Member of Various Committees

  • KASFAA – State Association

    • Past President

    • Secretary

    • Executive Board Member

    • Conference Chair several times

    • College Goal Sunday Chair

    • Wrote the first Lumina Foundation grants for KASFAA 2001

    • Support Staff Workshop Chair

    • Presenter at Numerous Conferences

Sandy neel1

Sandy Neel

  • NASFAA – National Association

    • Board Member (as SASFAA President)

    • Local Arrangements Volunteer

    • beta tester/mentor

    • Awards Committee

  • Other

    • Enrollment Management Leadership Team

    • Access and Diversity Advisory Counsel

    • Student Retention Committee

    • Board of Directors-Black Mudd Little League

    • T-ball Coach

    • PTSA Secretary

    • Church Picnic Chair

    • Habitat for Humanity

    • Relay for Life

SASFAA 2010-11 President

Michael bennett

Michael Bennett

President - New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators – 1993-1994

Board of Directors (1996-2003)

Association Governance, Chair (1993-1994)

Constitution and Bylaws Committee (1998)

Early Awareness Committee, Chair (1993)

Nominations and Elections Committee, Chair (1995)

Training (1986, 1988, 1991)

Representative-at-Large (1987)

Conference Committee, Chair (1986, 1988)

Conference Presenter (1981-1999, 2003, 2004)

  • The College Board:

  • 1995-1997 - CSS National Council

  • Community College Advisory Board

  • 1998-2001 - Middle States Regional Council

  • 1994-2001 & 2003-2006 - Power-FAIDS Advisory Board

  • Power-FAIDS Conference Presenter

  • 1986-1987 - MICRO-FAIDS National Conference, Chair

  • Institute of Financial Aid 1980

  • College Goal Sunday – 2006, 2007

  • Wrote two Lumina Foundation Grants and was awarded a total of $119,250

  • Designed College Goal Sunday web site

  • Statewide Coordinator.

Michael bennett1

Michael Bennett

President EASFAA 1999-2000

  • EASFAA Council (1993-1995); 1996-2001)

  • Conference Committee (2003, 2004)

  • Non-Traditional Concerns Chair (1994-1995)

  • Electronic Services Committee (1996-1997)

  • Designed EASFAA Website (1996)

  • Conference Presenter (1988, 1992, 2000, 2003

National Chair - (NASFAA) – 2007-2008

  • Board of Directors (1997-2001, 2005 – 2010)

  • Commission Director (2003)

  • Conference Presenter (1999, 2003)

  • Awards Committee (2005, 2010)

  • Association Governance Committee (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008)

  • Best Practices Task Force (2002, 2003)

  • Electronic Initiatives Committee (1996,2003

  • Finance & Audit Committee 2008-2009

  • Journal of Financial Aid Editorial Board (2003)

  • Research Committee (2003)

  • Strategic Long Range Plan (2000)

  • Student Aid Transcript Editorial Board (2003)

  • Created and maintained a bi-weekly National Chair Blog

  • Login