A Day in the Life: Ron Day’s Term Begins as 2012-13 NASFAA Chair
Jim’s Blog will be chronicling Ron Day’s year-long adventure as 2012-13 NASFAA Chair. Ron will spend an entire year on the road sharing his passion for educating students and years of “behind the desk” knowledge with Capitol Hill and Financial Aid Administrators across America. We hope this helps our readers get to know Ron, the man behind our interest column, A Day in the Life.
Here is the second in our series of A Day in the Life.
Sitting around the conference table in Ron’s office, Kristi and I gather more information about Ron and his position at NASFAA.
Amy: Thanks for taking the time to chat with Kristi and me again. Last time I saw you, we were at NASFAA. I happen to know it corresponded with your birthday. So what did you do to celebrate?
Ron: Yes, I had another birthday (a slight grimace noted), so I was in Chicago this year. The Board had a celebration for me, which was really nice. I loved Chicago and enjoyed the conference. So overall, it was a good birthday.
Amy: Now that your official term has begun, how has juggling peak season in the office and your NASFAA responsibilities been?
Ron: Thankfully I have a good staff and a supportive university administration.
Amy: In our first interview, you stated Reauthorization is the primary goal of your term as NASFAA Chair and Reauthorization Task Force Listening Sessions were key to information gathering. Have you enjoyed these sessions?
Ron: Yes, we scheduled over 30 sessions and have a college intern that has developed a spreadsheet and charts to document the material we gathered from these meetings. We are learning that there is a huge need for simplification because students are confused by the process. Too many students end up giving up and not attending college, due to the complexity of the financial aid process.
Amy: Have you been surprised by the feedback you are receiving?
Ron: I have not been surprised by the feedback. The process has become so complex, that there is no way that schools can be 100% compliant. For example, the complicated regulation for Summer R2T4. Financial aid must be all about the students, and that’s impossible due to the complexity of aid regulations.
Amy: What is your goal for 2013?
Ron: I need to narrow my focus and try not to do everything. My main focus needs to be on what I can do to help students and taking those proposals to Congress. We must get back to what makes sense for the students. Students have the ear of their elected officials, and the elected officials make the laws that govern aid.
Amy: Have you upgraded to a Smart Phone yet?
Ron: No, but I did buy a new Blackberry since our last interview.
Amy: What would you like to leave us with, until next time?
Ron: I am excited about the year. I look forward to going out to different states and regions to learn about concerns and bringing them back to the board. My approach is that I am serving WITH the membership, not above it. This is a partnership. And with that said, I look forward to seeing you in Lexington at the Kentucky state conference.