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Profiles in Financial Aid: Shannon Crossland from Texas Tech University

August 7, 2012

Shannon Crossland, Associate Director of Administrative Maintenance and Compliance, Texas Tech University

It didn’t take long for financial aid administrators in Texas to see the value that Shannon Crossland was bringing to the financial aid industry six years ago when she joined their ranks. Her fellow professionals have elected her as the Vice President of the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and value her services on the committees she serves on. Shannon is the current Associate Director of Administrative Maintenance and Compliance at Texas Tech University. She joined the University in 2006 as the Assistant Director of NCAA Compliance in the financial aid office. She is active in Campus Organization Advising, Young Professionals of Greater Lubbock, and various university committees and work groups. She recently was interviewed by Don Buehrer, Nelnet Regional Director for SWASFAA and RMASFAA.

Don: How did you select financial aid as your profession?

Shannon: I started my career in NCAA Compliance focusing on financial aid.

Don: What major changes have you seen in financial aid during your years in the industry?

Shannon: During my years in financial aid, I have noticed an increase in the requirements by financial aid staff with regards to federal and state regulations in terms of reporting, documenting, policies, etc.

Don: What is your favorite movie, book, TV show?

Shannon: Movie:  Star Wars and The Avengers,  Book:  The Winds of War by Herman Wouk, TV Show:  Band of Brothers

Don: If you could change one financial aid regulation, what would it be and why?

Shannon: Currently, I would not change any regulations with regards to financial aid.  The regulations are in place in order for financial aid offices to streamline their policies.

Don: Who are/were your mentors?

Shannon: I feel that one can learn something from every person in their life.

Don: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Shannon:  Having been on the other side of the fence as a student at Texas Tech University and now an employee in the Office of Student Financial Aid, I have a high respect for every single person in this field.  I would never have been able to pursue my degree had it not been for the Office of Student Financial Aid.  Financial Aid Officers coast to coast help students achieve their dreams and goals.  The students truly benefit each day from the guidance, service, and help they receive and the Officers know that they are making a significant difference in the life of another human being.  I want to give back to other students what I received, the realization of a dream and the chance of a lifetime.

Don: Name one thing about you that most people do not know.

Shannon: My Bachelor of Science degree is in Agronomy with a specialty in soil science.

Don: What has been your biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12 months?

Shannon: The biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12 months has been communicating important deadlines, information, etc. to students.  With so many social networking tools, Email, texting – which is the most effective, efficient way to reach students?

Don: How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

Shannon: I enjoy traveling, exercising, cooking, and learning new things.

Don: If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would they be?

Shannon: Ronald Regan, Yogi Berra, and Neil Armstrong

Don: What was your most enjoyable vacation (and what did you do?)

Shannon: My most enjoyable vacation was last September.  My fiancé was home on R&R Leave from his tour in Afghanistan.  We spent 15 days together.  We went to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.  It was my first time to go to these parks and being with him made it even more special.  The time of my life.  :-)

Don: Do you have any upcoming vacation plans?

Shannon: I am currently saving for a trip to Australia in the next five years as well as the “Band of Brothers” tour.

Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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