Grinchly Greetings

Grinch Kilt

Greetings RMASFAA. Tis the season as they say. Hope you have the opportunity to be refreshed with family and close friends during this slow (ha ha) time in financial aid.

Exciting news and if you read the previous blog from Electronic Initiatives, you know we have a new website in transition. Take a look at is now live.  The Electronic Initiatives Committee has done huge work on this over the last many months and I want to offer a big thank you to them, awesome work. Big box with bows on it under the tree. We have much work still to do in the transition so please be patient. Members will be contacted in December with instructions on how to get your membership profile set up so you can access features such as the membership directory, job postings, listserv and eventually event registration. 

Primary members, look for membership renewal early in 2020 if not sooner.

What we do: dating back to 1968, RMASFAA has been dedicated to supporting this profession by providing effective training and leadership development. This work can be hard and complex, and a supporting network of colleagues and peers is significant in complimenting what we can all do individually at our institutions. In your individual mission to serve students and families, this group serves to support you in making that more effective and efficient. We stand ready to serve member institutions and states by being actively engaged with you and additionally with our National Association (NASFAA).

The 2019-2020 Board of Directors is honored to serve you. Our board is dedicated to preserving the ideas and practices of those that have come before us and kept this organization strong. We want to hear from you. Reach out to me or anyone on the board in respect to ideas and collaboration and questions. We are here for you.

RMASFAA is planning wonderful training and conference opportunities for members to network and get involved in many different activities. Look for dates and announcements regarding our nationally recognized (and it is fair to say that) Summer Institute this summer. We will be back in Colorado Springs this June. Come October, we will be in Nebraska to wrap up the year. In between, stay tuned. We will have leadership available at each State Conference to relay relevant regional and national information.

The winter board meeting is coming up soon. If you have items you would like to be brought before the group, please let me know.

James Broscheit

RMASFAA President 2019/20 

Log On Now to RMASFAA’s New Website

All RMASFAA members should have received an email on the afternoon of Thursday December 5 from  This email would have given you a temporary username and password for our new website at  If you do not recall receiving this email, please check your junk mail.  Even better, you may want to add the domain to your Safe Senders list in Outlook so that you don’t miss any emails from RMASFAA.  Here are some instructions on how to do that.

  1. In Outlook, go to the Home tab.
  2. Click the Junk button.
  3. Choose “Junk E-Mail Options” from the drop-down list.
  4. Go to the Safe Senders tab.
  5. Click Add…
  6. Type in either the email address or the domain name you wish to add.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click Apply.

The email directed you on how to log in, change your username/password, review your profile, and upload a photo.  I hope you’ll be able to do those things so we have our database as updated as possible!

Please also take a moment to browse the website, both through the website menu and by logging in by clicking the maroon Member Log In button on the home page and exploring the member menu.

Members have access to search the directory, view the calendar of events, and submit and view job postings.  You can do all of those things once you’re logged in and viewing the Member Menu.

Stay tuned for updates here on the blog as we roll out additional functionality.  And please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or problems.


Sara Vancil
EIC Chair

First-Time Attendee Experience at RMASFAA: Expedition 406 Billings, MT

Caridad Trudy Bargamento, Financial Aid Counselor @ Utah Valley University

Attending the RMASFAA conference has strengthen my personal resolve when assisting students to reach their potential at Utah Valley University. Our conference keynote speaker, Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein, talk left an indelible mark on my heart and mind! Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein, bio stated she will forever be an island girl. She was born in Trinidad, West Indies and raised on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  She shared how her mother worked several jobs to ensure she and her brother were able to attend a private school. She was an intelligent girl, but she shared she was angry inside and fought in school constantly. In her life’s journey there were two significant people outside of her family who were instrumental her finishing high school and later graduating from college. One was her JROTC instructor that provided her with a purpose in high school and let her know she could go to college. Then in college while struggling in her math class and lack of support and not knowing what to do, a janitor took the time to talk to her about her not attending her math class. That janitor made the difference in her college life.

Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein, made this statement during the beginning of her talk, “You Were Born For Greatness!”  There were stigmas in her life and she could have let them control her life, but she learned she was better than those stigmas and overcame them. She learned how to fight for something purposeful.

In her closing remarks, she shared the word “ENHANCE” … “How Will You INTENTIOANLLY Grow Greatness?”

As I sat and listed to her, I realized how much our lives were somewhat similar. I too am an island girl, that grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii. Aa young girl, I faced many educational and prejudicial obstacles at my elementary and middle school. Like Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein I had a mother that worked long hours to provide a better future for me and her expectation of me going to college never wavered. As a little girl, then as a young woman, my life goal was always to get a college education. My life choices initially prevented me from attaining that goal.  However, forty-four years after starting my college degree, while working for the University of Maryland University College Europe in Germany I was able to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree.

In closing, Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein, shared her personal story with us, then asked us, “What is your story?” I nodded and smiled to myself, because as I work with students daily and they ask me on how they can receive a scholarship, I always say share your story! Your story is your essay, it is your way of conveying, sharing who you are! I have this quote on my office credenza that says, “What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what within us. Emerson.” I let students know, they should not let what lies behind them or the uncertainty of their future to define who they can become! I share with students what lies within them is what that matters! Everyone has a story to share!

Attending this RMASFAA Conference, participating in the sessions, meeting other professionals who care about their chosen profession and most importantly after hearing Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein, going forward I know I am on the right path! When students share their sorrow of not having that caring support, I become their biggest supporter, just like the JROTC leader and the janitor in Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein life. I let them know to come back always, I am here for them!

I look forward to other opportunities with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in the future to share my passion for education with the diverse student population at UVU, students struggling to find their way!! I know without a shadow of doubt that with Exceptional Care, Exceptional Accountability, there is no reason not to have Exceptional Results, EXCEPTIONAL GREATNESS!!

New RMASFAA Website

RMASFAA’s new website at is now live.  The Electronic Initiatives Committee asks for your patience as we get all the functions of the site up and running!  All members will be contacted in December with instructions on how to get your membership profile set up so you can access features such as the membership directory, job postings, listserv and eventually event registration.  Primary members will also be contacted soon about renewing your membership for 2020.  If you are having trouble seeing the new site, please clear your browser cache.  Please let me know if you have questions!

Sara Vancil
EIC Chair


Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the 2018/2019 Chair of Association News. It was a great experience and I feel lucky to be involved with such a wonderful board. The Association News Committee was full of excellent people and great to work with as well!

Please remember to say yes when you’re asked to volunteer. Jump in with both feet, don’t be scared to take a stab at it! It can open doors and further opportunities, you just never know!!

Thank you!

Brenda Haseman

NWCCD – Sheridan, Gillette, & Sheridan College – Johnson County, Wyoming


Last minute RMASFAA Conference Reminders!!

  • First Time Attendee Reception on Sunday, 10/20 from 3pm to 4pm has been moved to Skybridge 1.


  •  Philanthropy Project: CASA fundraiser will be 50/50, so bring your cash for a chance to bring home half!

    CASA of Yellowstone County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate for a safe and permanent home for abused and neglected children in Yellowstone County. This is accomplished through the work of volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), appointed by a judge to represent a child or group of siblings in foster care and speak up for the children’s best interests. Funds raised help train and support volunteers to advocate for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. If you would like to donate prior to the RMASFAA conference please go on-line at


  •  Don’t forget to stop by the Ballroom on Sunday, 10/20 at 4:30pm for State, Board, Leadership Pipeline, and Exhibitor/Sponsor photos!


  •  Yoga will be available Monday – Wednesday from 6am – 7am in Conference Room 4. Mats will be provided. Please sign up at Registration Desk.


  •  Not wanting to “go out” Monday – We have an option for you! Sip & Paint from 6pm – 7pm in the Ballroom. Please sign up at Registration Desk.


  •  Bookmark the conference mobile site on your favorite device for easy access during the conference. The direct link is


  •  Flying into Billings and need the Hotel Shuttle? Contact the hotel at 1-406-252-7400 when you arrive for the free shuttle service from the airport.



  • Parking is free and will be validated by the hotel!



See you in Billings!406



Bigger Can Be Better When It Comes To Default Management Services

Group buying has gained in popularity as a way for individual people or companies to reap the benefits of power in numbers. Known as “economies of scale”, some advantages include more purchasing power, lower costs, and reduced administrative workload. If you’ve ever wondered if group buying could work in higher-ed—specifically with default management services—keep reading. It’s an interesting thought we’ve explored.

Each year, millions of students rely on student loans. While many successfully repay them, others struggle and default, experiencing serious consequences. As schools are being held increasingly accountable for student success, finding innovative and cost-effective solutions remains on the to-do list for higher-ed leaders.

Taking Advantage of Group Buying Through Affiliation

The Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) has more than 300,000 individuals who annually access their 16 technical colleges. While programs are affordable, many students rely on loans to help finance their education and cover living expenses. When student need to repay their loans, the schools want to provide extra help to those who need it.

In late 2017, WTCS leadership discussed this need. But with tight budgets and limited resources, they needed a creative way to serve their students and reduce Cohort Default Rates (CDRs). They explored group buying. Individual campuses were offered the chance to evaluate and purchase default management services as part of a larger entity.

WTCS wanted their schools to maintain autonomy in choosing which services to use (e.g., financial wellness tools, default prevention or loan rehabilitation services, etc). But they also wanted schools to reap the benefits of group buying. In total 13 of the 16 schools computer2participated. The positive, and significant, outcomes achieved (in < 12 months) are explored in a case study.

Group Buying Benefits

Multi-campus benefits can include:

  • Cost effectiveness.Service providers’ fixed expenses become proportionally smaller with higher volumes, providing an opportunity to offer services at a proportionally lower fee.
  • Measurable reduction in administrative time. One collective body goes through the purchase process to consider an offer. Instead of creating, scoring, and evaluating multiple RFPs or default prevention presentations, there’s one team to collaborate and share responsibility.percent
  • Contract coordination.A unified group with similar legal requirements makes the oversight of establishing or evaluating a contract easier. From the vendor’s side, the ability to execute one verses multiple contracts brings positive financial gains, which subsequently benefits schools, too.

Make It Easier to Find a Default Prevention Company

6 Steps to Choosing A Default Prevention Partner
Checklist to Compare Default Prevention Providers

Ways for Single Schools to Band Together

If you’re not part of a large school system there are ways to connect with an existing buying group or create your own.

  • Reach out to schools in your state or region.
  • Post on your favorite listserv.
  • Make connections through state associations.
  • Engage your state leadership to uncover interest in pursuing a state-based solution.

We discovered that group buying isn’t just for retailers and hospitals. There’s solid opportunity for the higher-ed industry to save time and money and grow their buying power.

Ensure you’re current on higher-ed student success topics by subscribing to the Attigo Connects monthly newsletter.