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.

Leadership Pipeline: Where are they now?

j hagar

Judy Hagar is the Director of Financial Aid for the University of Jamestown and serves as mentor for the current Leadership Pipeline class.

  1. What motivated you to become a mentor?

Basically, being asked! (That’s probably lame, but truthful!) Also, I was curious about the program.

  1. What have you gained from this experience?

The realization that a mentors learn as much or more from the folks we’re mentoring than we team them. Since mentors could only listen during our meetings, I learned so much from the mentees. They have great ideas, stories, information…etc. I need to just listen more all the time!

  1. What are you hoping to give to your mentee?

Greater confidence and courage to excel in this financial aid world. She is amazing!

  1. What advise do you have for others interested in being a mentor or mentee?

This is a great program from which you will obtain really valuable tools and resources, and the time and travel commitment is minimal, so it is very doable with our work schedules.

  1. Anything else you would like to share.

Great connections are available through Leadership Pipeline!!

Hello, October!

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, mid-terms are approaching, and…hello octoberso is RMASFAA conference!!

Join us in Billings, MT October 20-23 for Expedition 406 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Billings, MT.

 Haven’t registered for the 2019 RMASFAA Conference yet? There’s still time!

Conference registration is still open:

****Don’t forget to book your hotel! Make sure to book by October 4th (that’s this FRIDAY!!) for the special room rate****:

The conference mobile site is now available!  The direct link is

You may want to bookmark this on your favorite devices for easy access during the conference.

Coming into Billings a day or two early?

Billings offers a variety of local restaurants and breweries, walking trails, museums, and a zoo!

Check out the links below for more information

See you later this month!



Meet the State Delegate: Colorado


Ofelia Morales, University of Colorado Boulder, currently serves as the president of CAFAA. Here is a little bit about Ofelia:

 Tell us a little about yourself:

I was born in Petaluma, California, but Pueblo, Colorado will always be home. I attended college at CSU-Pueblo, back when it was called University of Southern Colorado. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and an M.B.A. As a professional, I’ve been in the field for 24 years. It’s more if you count my work-study. I’m currently the Director of Financial aid at the University of Colorado Boulder.

How did you get your start in higher education?

My mom told me to go see Ms. Barbara, a close family friend, who was the receptionist in the Financial Aid Office. She told me that I could use my work-study to work there, so I’ve pretty much been working in financial aid since my very first day of college.

 What is your favorite part about serving as CAFAA President?

I love getting to work with my colleagues throughout the state. We are all very passionate about ensuring underrepresented students have access to higher education in Colorado.

 What makes you excited to go to work?

The financial aid process is often so complex for families to navigate, so I’m on a constant mission to remove barriers and to improve the overall student experience with the Financial Aid Office.  But, what gets me excited to go to work is that I get to work on these issues with an absolutely brilliant staff.

 If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I just recently applied for my very first passport. In December, my husband and I will be travelling to Thailand and it will be our first time leaving this continent. This wasn’t necessarily a place I dreamed of going, but we didn’t want our daughter to go alone. The things we do for our kids.

From the desk of RMASFAA’s Past President

NASFAA Update from RMASFAA Past President

The final meeting of the 2018-19 NASFAA Board of Directors was held in Orlando FL, on June 23 & 24. The agenda included the following items. (NASFAA members can access the complete minutes of the meeting at

*Justin Draeger, NASFAA President and CEO, provided a management report which included NASFAA Successes and Highlights such as:

  • Verification Relief
  • FAFSA Act – direct sharing between ED and the IRS
  • Launch of CFAA
  • Standards of Excellence (SOE) far exceeding goals

*Justin Draeger then provided the “President’s Policy Report” discussing recent legislation and activity in congress. The Board then discussed concerns and suggestions related to some HEA (Higher Education Act) recommendations. The Board also discussed specific concerns regarding lack of availability of FSA regional trainers, reduction in timely responses and multiple levels for presentations.

*NASFAA’s Diversity Officer Craig Slaughter provided his annual report including a summary of the goals and accomplishments such as:

  • NASFAA Diversity Toolkit
  • NASFAA Diversity Leadership Program, year one
  • Diversity Sessions at the National Conference

*Blue Icon

Mindy Eline, Executive Director of Business Services, provided a background and summary update of the current status of Blue Icon Advisors. She explained that while NASFAA and Blue Icon will operate as separate, distinct and independent corporate entities, they are related in that NASFAA is the single member of Blue Icon and NASFAA and Blue Icon have certain common goals and interests. The nine member board managers of Blue Icon were approved by NASFAA’s Board of Directors at the June meeting.

*Ethic Commission

President Justin Draeger reported that the primary focus of the 2018-19 NASFAA Ethic’s Commission was on responding to the New America/U Aspire report about substandard award letters that they questioned met NASFAA’s code of conduct and ethical standards.

*Commission Directors Art Young, Karen Krause and Aaron Steffens oversaw task forces and committees in 2018-19 and provided an overview of their groups work including:

  • Student Aid Index
  • Compliance Engine

*Myra Pfannenstiel, current RMASFAA President, is now our region’s voting member on the NASFAA Board of Directors. I would like to thank RMASFAA for allowing me to serve this great organization. It has been a privilege and honor to represent RMASFAA on the NASFAA Board. The experience was enriching, challenging and one for which I will always be grateful for this opportunity.

Ken Kocer



Ken Kocer, 2018-19 RMASFAA Past President