Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Kim Driggers from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in North Carolina
Dana Kelly: How did you get started in financial aid as a profession?
Kim Driggers: I was going back to work after having my second child and had heard about the position of Administrative Assistant in the newspaper. I really had no idea of what was going on in the financial aid office and had no intentions of staying long term. Now three promotions and almost 12 years later I’m still here.
Dana: What has been your biggest challenge over the last year? How did you overcome it?
Kim: Our biggest challenge over the past year has been implementing the Direct Loan program here at St. Andrews since we were only processing FFEL loans until July 1st. At the same time we were working with a reduced staff of down to two (including myself) and that happened just as we were beginning to transition over. Couple that with a lot of incorrect answers, from various sources, to our array of questions we had about processing the direct loan information.
Dana: Tell me about your involvement with NCASFAA, your state association?
Kim: My involvement with my state association NCASFAA (North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) originated back in 2002 by someone that I admire tremendously and her name is Dana Kelly. To begin, myself and one of my colleagues were selected to be NCASFAA Trainers and we also served on the program committee in 2002. Then I was asked to Chair the State and High School Relations Committee for two years. After that I was asked to run for office for NCASFAA’s first Treasurer-Elect, was elected for that position, and served as Treasurer for the next two years. And now I have been elected President-elect and will proudly serve as president for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Dana: What would you tell someone who has not gotten involved in their state?
Kim: I would tell them that it would be a great experience for them and a great way to meet people and make new contacts. The lasting friendships and memories that are made are priceless.
Dana: If you were speaking with someone totally new to the industry, what advice would you give them?
Kim: I would tell them to attend as much training as they can. They should ask their state association if they have a mentor program and get signed up with a mentor. They should also talk to people at various conferences and workshops and get their contact information to make them a point of contact when questions arise. In addition I would sign up for email list serves for FSA, state association, your financial aid software, etc.
Dana: Tell me one thing many people do not know about you.
Kim: I love…to laugh, the beach, and to cook!