Welcome to “The Water Cooler.” If this is your first visit, please take a moment to read “About the Blog.” If you would like to particpate by commenting on the postings, please take a moment to “Register.” You may also “Subscribe” to simply receive an email when a new post is submitted. If you are a registered user, be sure to participate in our latest poll at the bottom of this page. As always, if you need assistance, please contact support@wasfaa.org.

Last Call for the 2016 Summer Institute!


Financial Aid Pop Quiz:

  1. What are the three methods a student and the parent of a dependent FAFSA applicant can use to sign the FOTW application?
  2. As of April 2016, what is the federal minimum wage?
  3. True or False: A school is required to include in the COA loan fees for nonfederal, conventional alternative or private student loans borrowed by the student.

How sure are you of your answers? You can learn more on these topics, and many others by attending the WASFAA Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute. We are still accepting registrations for both the basic and intermediate tracks, which will be held at Portland State University June 19-24. Faculty will be teaching from NASFAA University curriculum using NASFAA materials, which will prepare each participant to credential at no additional costs (which would normally cost $1782!).

More information and registration is available online. The cost for training, housing and meals is $775; a commuter rate for those not staying at PSU is available for $525 (prices include a $50 required membership fee and a $25 late fee for registrations after May 13).

We hope to see you in Portland!

Pop Quiz Answers:

  1. The FOTW application may be signed electronically using an FSA ID, signed using a printed copy of the FOTW signature page, or by signing a rejected SAR.
  2. $7.25 an hour
  3. False

Please Help Support WASFAA Conference Charity

Conference LogoEach year, WASFAA selects a charity in the conference location to support. This year, the conference committee is pleased to support You Are Not Alone, a youth suicide prevention training and outreach program in Alaska. Alaska has the highest rate of suicide per capita in the US, with Alaska Native men between the ages of 15 and 24 having the highest rate of suicide among any demographic in the country. You Are Not Alone empowers youth to care for and education each other about suicide prevention through early intervention and creating hope through positive action. They provide bracelets with the Alaska Careline phone number, sponsor presentations, and organize student clubs. You Are Not Alone events have been held at college campus and high schools around the state.

What can you do to support You Are Not Alone? YANA provides messages of hope and distributes the Alaska Carline contact information at many events throughout the year. The organization needs help! Volunteers for You Are Not Alone need:

  • Individually wrapped candy
  • Address labels, either blank or with the Alaska Careline number printed (template for standard address labels provided, see attached. 1” x 2 5/8” (3M: 3500-B or 3400-B; Avery 8660 or 5630)- information gets placed on candy and distributed to students. For a template, please email akmunroe@alaska.edu.
  • Colorful sticky note pads- for messages of hope to be written and placed around schools.

We will have a collection and monetary donation box at the WASFAA booth in the vendor room. If you are able to provide the above items, they will be used and all donations are greatly appreciated. If you are unable to attend the conference, but would like to support You Are Not Alone, you can mail your items to Ashley Munro, Conference Co-Chair PO Box 756360 Fairbanks, AK 99775. If you would like information on similar programs in your own state, YANA can help connect you.

You Are Not Alone:

For more information and donations visit www.YouAreNotAloneAK.org 

You Are Not Alone 501c3 Tax ID 92-0123900

Careline 877-266-HELP is available 24/7.

Thank you in advance for your support of You Are Not Alone.

Summer Institute Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for this year’s WASFAA Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute! SDBSI will be held June 19-24, 2016 at Portland State University in beautiful and exciting Portland, Oregon. We will have two tracks: Basic Track (0-3 years of financial aid or other related experience) and Intermediate Track (3-5 years of financial aid experience). Please visit our webpage for a draft agenda and faculty list. Registration is $700 to stay on campus and $450 for commuters, plus $50 for a 2016-17 WASFAA membership.

The SBDSI is a 6 day boot camp focusing on the fundamentals of financial aid administration. The Intermediate Track will provide participants with 3 to 4 separate sessions in place of some beginners classes from the Basic Track (e.g., Cash Management, Reporting-Certification, FISAP, etc.).

The SDBSI will be using the NASFAA University curriculum and each session will be taught by a NASFAA certified instructor. Offering NASFAA University certified faculty and teaching materials allow each participant that graduates from WASFAA SDBSI to credential at no additional cost in the areas where credentialing is available. NASFAA University normally charges $99 per topic to test, however by attending Summer Institute all testing is included in your registration! SDBSI is a value added training offering networking plus face-to-face instruction from certified, experienced instructors as well as a guest appearance by Department of Education Region X Training Officer, Kim Wells.  Get more bang for your training dollars!

Still unsure if you’d like to attend? Laura Aguilar, a Loan Coordinator from Heritage University, attended SBDSI in 2015. She says “I especially enjoyed the hands-on activities and discussions in our small groups. I learned so much from the case study.  It was my first time doing an EFC hand calculation and manually packaging. I must admit, I had gotten comfortable knowing that the computer software did all these calculations for us. But it was amazing to finally see all the components that go into the calculations and fully understand it.” Laura proves that this is an amazing training opportunity that everyone should attend.

Don’t forget that scholarships are still available for this event. Complete the general or ethnic diversity scholarship application by April 1, 2016!

Scholarship Deadline

Summer Institute Scholarship

Don’t forget that the scholarship application deadline for the Sister Dale Brown Summer Institute (SDBSI) is two weeks from today, April 1, 2016. There are two scholarship types available: general and ethnic diversity. SDBSI will be held June 19-24 at Portland State University.

Kathi Overpeck, a Financial Services Coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College, attended the 2015 SDBSI at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. Kathi “found the SDBSI faculty to be professioPSU SDBSInal, knowledgeable, and yet, very real and easy to relate to.” Wondering who the faculty will be this year? Check out the recently updated SDBSI mini site for more information, including the agenda!

You may wonder why the event starts on a Sunday. Kathi wondered the same. “I found out by Sunday night! As we waded right into the overview of financial aid, I realized that this was not a “fluff” conference but rather each session would get us down to the nuts and bolts of financial aid. At the end of each day I was sure that there was not one more bit of information that I could possibly cram in my head however, every session build upon the last and there I was, taking in more!”

Are you ready to gain the same valuable information that Kathi did last year? If so, apply for a scholarship here today.