Plan and organize all aspects of the annual conference. The Conference Committee has eight members and meets throughout the year, typically in December, February, April, June, and September at the conference site selected for that particular year. Meetings usually start Sunday afternoon and last through Monday noon. Duties include: selecting a theme and designing a logo for the conference; organizing general sessions consisting of federal and state updates; developing concurrent training sessions on relevant topics, such as current financial aid issues, professional development, and technology; and coordinating with the Finance and Development Committee for sponsorship opportunities. CONFERENCE COMMITTEE FEE DISCOUNT: In light of the Conference Committee’s and the Treasurer’s responsibilities prior to and during the actual conference and the conference committee members’ inability to participate in most of the conference sessions/events, the Treasurer and all committee members whose institutions are unable or unwilling to pay the conference fee will receive a discount of up to $200 at the time that they register for the conference (amount cannot exceed the Registration Fee).
“F&D”, as this committee is commonly known, monitors the financial viability of the Association, manages the sponsor solicitation process, and recommends to Council appropriate courses of action to ensure financial strength, including but not limited to development activities, investment policy, and budgeting. The committee’s size can vary, but it typically consists of 8-10 members. Specific duties include: preparing and recommending a budget for the new fiscal year, soliciting Business Partners, and providing oversight of investment policies. The committee conducts an annual conference call with the ISS Sector, to include all Business Partners, to obtain feedback regarding partner options and conference set-up. At least one additional conference call is held with the Association’s investment consultant. Establishing PASFAA’s proposed annual budget is usually done in an in-person meeting.
The purpose of this committee is to educate the public about financial aid (e.g., the sources of aid and the financial aid process), while promoting an awareness of PASFAA and its mission to parents, students, high school and guidance staffs, the financial aid community and the community at large. The committee has a maximum of 10 members. Specific duties include: informing the public of new initiatives in financing higher education/savings mechanisms, organizing volunteers to participate in PACAC and other regional college fairs, coordinating with PHEAA to update and print materials for distribution at such fairs, communicating with college fair site coordinators to identify any restrictions on acceptable materials to disseminate, shipping college fair materials to volunteers, and ensuring that the website listing of financial aid night volunteers is current. Time commitment for committee members is no more than 5 hours per semester. Volunteers at fairs can spend an average of 2-3 hours, but no more than 5 hours at one fair. There may be a few exceptions where the time commitment is greater, due to a combination morning/evening fair. The Committee Chair spends approximately 10 hours a semester organizing volunteers, ordering/shipping materials, and registering PASFAA for the fairs.
PASFAA’s Vice President is the Chair of this committee, which consists of approximately 10 members. The committee’s purpose is to educate the membership concerning federal and state legislative, political, and regulatory matters, and to represent the Association with respect to legislative, political, and regulatory interests to governmental and quasi-governmental agencies. Specific duties include: developing and implementing strategies to monitor and influence policy and administration of federal student aid programs (a primary tool is the RallyCongress site); developing and implementing strategies to inform and educate the Association membership on legislative, political, and regulatory issues; tracking major federal and state financial aid initiatives and proposing Association position statements for the Association to make its voice heard; coordinating the Association’s interest in legislative, political, and regulatory issues with governmental and quasi-governmental authorities; and planning and coordinating an annual Capitol Hill visit to Washington, DC, to educate and inform Congressional Members and Legislators on issues related to post-secondary education funding.
Sometimes called “M.A.G.” for short, this committee is chaired by PASFAA’s Immediate Past President, and it is comprised of the association’s eight Sector Representatives. The President and President-Elect may also serve in an ex officio capacity. Meetings usually occur the afternoon/evening prior to Executive Council meetings (about 4 times per year). The purpose of the committee is to manage the membership and election matters of the organization. Specific duties include: soliciting nominations for the appropriate council positions that need to be filled for the upcoming year; supervising and publicizing the annual voting procedures and election results; maintaining and updating the PASFAA Policies and Procedures Manual annually; reviewing, on a yearly basis, the Membership Brochure and making appropriate updates.
The Technology Committee consists of approximately 10 members (including the Website Coordinator Subcommittee), with the primary responsibility of providing PASFAA leaders with updates, information, and services related to technological and electronic initiatives. Specific duties include: monitoring a maintenance and replacement plan for all computer hardware owned by PASFAA; maintaining and updating, in conjunction with the Communication Committee, all social media channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook); working with other Association committees, as needed, to create event registration forms, calendar entries, web pages, etc.; maintaining, in conjunction with the Conference Committee, the conference portion of the PASFAA application for mobile devices; reviewing, coordinating, and monitoring the use of the PASFAA website.
The Website Coordinator Subcommittee can have up to 5 members, with the primary responsibilities of: maintaining the Association’s web presence (creating pages, modifying menus, uploading files, etc.); periodically providing website usage statistics to Executive Council; managing the business partner ads and web links; monitoring the job board and notifying members of new postings; responding to questions submitted to the Website Support email account; working with the Association’s website contractor on special projects that require their expertise; setting up elections, event registrations, membership forms, etc.; working with M.A.G. on membership database maintenance; and managing the membership archives.
The Historian subcommittee consists of 8-10 members. The primary focus is to preserve the history of the Association in terms of historical documents (i.e., PASFAA Post, minutes, directories, website, etc…) PASFAA’s Historian — the subcommittee’s Chair — serves as liaison to Executive Council regarding the collection, disposition, and preservation of historical documents, photos, and videos.
NextPAGE consists of 8-10 members, with a primary goal of providing new financial aid administrators (mentees) with seasoned, experienced financial aid administrators (mentors) to assist them in building a career in financial aid. This subcommittee’s specific responsibilities include: identifying new financial aid administrators (either from membership information, trainings, or Mentor Request Form); updating and posting the Mentor Request Form on the PASFAA website; producing blast emails advertising program; developing a list of seasoned members who are willing to be a mentor; matching each mentee with a mentor; scheduling social networking and training events; introducing new administrators to other members at Association-sponsored events; and serving as a professional resource during the early stages of a financial aid administrator’s career.
In the winter of 2009, Megan Jones, a financial aid counselor at Central Pennsylvania College, submitted her entry in the contest to name PASFAA’s quarterly newsletter. Since then, the “PASFAA Post” has continued to get better and better with each edition. The subcommittee consists of 8-10 members, chaired by the Newsletter Editor. Newsletter subcommittee members write topical articles, interview experts in the field, determine what new topics are acceptable for publishing, and solicit feedback from colleagues. The Editor is responsible for each issue of the PASFAA Post including: the establishment of content/article ideas; working with the Chair of the Finance and Development Committee to confirm eligible, paid advertisers and to obtain said ads from those business partners; compiling and editing articles; determining if submissions are acceptable for publishing; the layout of each issue; and communicating with the Website Coordinator and/or website contractor to publish content on pasfaa.org. The Editor also has final approval of pictures posted in the PASFAA Photo Gallery. This subcommittee typically meets via conference call once a year to plan for the upcoming issues. All additional communication and planning is done via email, typically. Estimated time commitment for committee members: 1-2 hours each quarter.
The Scholarship Subcommittee consists of a Chair and 8-10 members and has a primary focus of organizing the PASFAA Student Scholarship program. Awarding of scholarships is dependent upon the fiscal well-being of the association; awards are made to one student from each sector, with the exception of the ISS Sector. Amount is capped at $1,000 and not less than $500. Specific duties of the subcommittee include: working with Executive Council to determine the scholarship amounts and awarding criteria; developing a calendar to announce scholarship competition; working with the Website Coordinator to update and implement the online scholarship application; working with the Communication Committee and Sector Representatives to announce the scholarship program via all available means, including social media and email; coordinating scholarship awards with the Sector Representatives; notifying the President and Treasurer of winners; and arranging for certificates/letters and checks to be provided to the winners.
Consisting of a maximum of 6 members, the Counselor Workshop Subcommittee develops materials designed to update high school counselors concerning financial aid processing and programming. Responsibilities also include arranging workshop locations and seeking volunteer presenters.
In service to PASFAA for many years, Don Raley of Dickinson College’s Financial Aid Office graciously hosted a training program for new or inexperienced financial aid administrators. The training focused on basic principles of the administration of student financial aid. To honor his dedication to this initiative, PASFAA named the program the “Don Raley Institute” or simply “DRI”. The Institute typically occurs in June every year, encompassing several days of enjoyable learning experiences. The subcommittee consists of a Chair and 8-10 members, several of which serve as DRI’s faculty. Responsibilities include revising, editing, and preparing all training materials; arranging for guest speakers; working with the Website Coordinator to produce an online registration form; and coordinating the travel, accommodations, etc., for attendees.
With a maximum of 6 members, the Fundamentals Workshop Subcommittee plans, organizes, and conducts a training program that typically occurs just prior to the annual conference in October. This program provides an overview of financial aid programs. Subcommittee responsibilities include: revising, editing, and preparing all training materials; arranging for faculty; working with the Website Coordinator to produce an online registration form; and coordinating the travel, accommodations, etc., for attendees.
This subcommittee consists of a maximum of 6 members. Their primary purpose is to plan and provide a bi-annual, pre-conference Leadership Development Workshop for PASFAA members who aspire to leadership positions within the association. Attendance for the Leadership Development Workshop is limited to twenty. The subcommittee usually convenes a minimum of four times a year. Specific duties include: revising, editing and preparing all training materials; requesting speakers; and planning the curriculum for the program. The Workshop is offered in even numbered years. The subcommittee Chair serves as the moderator for the workshop.
An eagerly anticipated initiative every year is PASFAA’s Spring Training. Consisting of a one-day event at an eastern PA location and another one-day event at a western PA location (during March or April), Spring Training is the perfect way for financial aid professionals to ensure they are up-to-date on everything that has transpired in the financial aid world since attending the annual conference the prior October. The Spring Training Subcommittee consists of a maximum of 7 members. Their responsibilities include: developing topics related to current and upcoming issues in financial aid; selecting presenters for the workshops; making site arrangements, to include meeting room space and food; working with the Finance and Development Committee regarding the participation of Business Partners; and working with the Website Coordinator to set up a dedicated web page, as well as online registration.
The Webinars Subcommittee provides timely webinar training on issues pertinent to PASFAA members. The subcommittee, with a maximum membership of 4, develops webinar topics, finds presenters, advertises the availability of the webinars, and coordinates the technology aspects of the presentations. Working with the Finance and Development Committee and directly with Business Partners, the subcommittee organizes and conducts the Tier 1 Business Partner webinar series. Corroboration with the Website Coordinator is also necessary in order to update the Webinars page on pasfaa.org and create online calendar entries.
All expenses to Committee involvement are paid for by PASFAA, with exception in the Conference Committee as it relates to the annual conference. For more detailed information, see the Policies & Procedures Manual “Travel Reimbursement Guidelines”.
If you have further questions regarding the activities of a specific committee, please feel free to contact the current Committee Chair or a member of the Executive Council.