FASFAA Directors Summit:  A Whole New World - Solving Mysteries

FASFAA 2024 Director Summit Page Pic
Welcome to the FASFAA Directors Summit, where financial aid leaders unite for professional development and networking to address the challenges of our ever-evolving profession. In this dynamic landscape of 2024-25, we are navigating uncharted territory, facing significant changes in FAFSA Simplification that impact institutions, students, families, third-party servicers, and software providers alike. Join us as we unravel these mysteries and collaborate on innovative solutions.
Day One: Unraveling FAFSA Simplification

The first day of the summit provides insights and lessons learned regarding FAFSA Simplification. Engage in open discussions, share experiences, and glean best practices from your colleagues. Together, we'll explore how to navigate the challenges posed by the latest FAFSA changes and effectively support our students and families.

Day Two: Empowering Financial Aid Professionals

On the second day, we delve into the challenges faced by financial aid professionals and explore strategies to elevate our profession. From addressing salary concerns to enhancing the perception of financial aid offices on campus, we'll collaborate on cultivating talent, overcoming staffing challenges, and empowering our staff for success. 

Non-members must Join/Renew their FASFAA membership before completing the Registration Form.

Click Here to Join/Renew Membership 




Monday, May 20, 2024 




12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Director Summit Registration Open 

Registration Desk

  1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Welcome & Introductions

Hosted by FASFAA Director Summit Co-Chairs

Tierra Smith, Director of Financial Aid, Hillsborough Community College

Brenda M. Brown, VP of Campus Partnerships, College Aid Services


1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

The New Normal Continues to Affect Us

As we see what is happening in the world of higher education with school closures, mergers, FAFSA delays, and the enrollment cliff, a refocus on the basics of higher education finance and operations is more important now than ever before. This presentation will discuss where we were, where we are, and where we are headed through the lens of Chief Financial and Administrative Officer with experiences at HBCUs, PWIs (including an Ivy League), and an HSI. There are no shortcuts to managing a higher education institution, and it will require that all campus constituents understand the fundamentals of our financial and operational positioning for the future. Without a firm grounding in the facts, we cannot serve our institutions, in particular our students, with the excellence they have come to expect.

Speaker: Gerald L. Hector, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, University of Central Florida Bio


2:30 PM – 2:45 PM



 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

Exploring A Whole New World of 24-25 FAFSA Application Processing

Step into a whole new world of financial aid as we embark on a journey through the 24-25 FAFSA application processing. Just like the magic carpet ride in the beloved song, we'll explore the enchanted realms of student aid, where dreams and opportunities await. From the shining, shimmering, splendid possibilities to the challenges and triumphs of navigating this new frontier, this conversation promises to be a thrilling adventure. Join us as we uncover the mysteries, embrace the changes, and discover a whole new world of financial aid possibilities.

Presenter:  William K. Spiers, Jr., Director of Student Financial Services, Tallahassee Community College


3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Business Partner Resources & Speed Session 

Facilitator:  Brenda M. Brown, FASFAA Business Partner Liaison


4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

Embark on A Journey of Navigating Challenges and Crafting Strategies for Directors in Higher Education 

Embark on a journey through the enchanted world of financial aid administration, where Financial Aid Directors from diverse higher education institutions convene to explore the magical twists and turns of their roles. Inspired by Aladdin's quest for a new horizon, this open forum invites participants to unravel the mysteries of modern financial aid management against the backdrop of a dynamic and ever-changing landscape.

This session invites attendees to share their tales of triumph and tribulation in financial aid management, unlocking the secrets to overcoming obstacles and casting spells of positive change within their institutions. By fostering a spirit of camaraderie and shared wisdom, participants will depart with newfound insights and enchanted strategies to chart their course toward exemplary customer service and student success in the magical realm of higher education.

Facilitators:  FASFAA Director Summit Co-Chairs

Tierra Smith, Director of Financial Aid, Hillsborough Community College

Brenda M. Brown, VP of Campus Partnerships, College Aid Services


5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Dinner On Your Own 

It's your pick!

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Networking:  Unwind and connect with Direct summit attendees! 

FASFAA Hospitality Suite 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 



8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Tackling the Struggle of Salaries and Compensation in the Financial Aid Profession

Financial aid professionals play a pivotal role in shaping students' educational journeys, yet they often face challenges related to salaries and compensation that can impact morale and retention. In this session, we address the pressing issue of salary disparity and explore strategies for advocating for fair compensation within the financial aid profession.


Aida Claro, Director of Financial Aid, Barry University

Dr. Raymond Nault, Jr., President/CEO, College Aid Services

Tierra Smith, Director of Financial Aid, Hillsborough Community College

Tina Lamb, Director, Student Financial Aid & Scholarships, University of Florida





 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Reviewing Your Office Structure, Acquiring Talent, and Cultivating Your Staff to Overcome Staffing Challenges

Building and maintaining a skilled and motivated team is essential for the success of any financial aid office. However, recruiting and retaining talented staff members can present significant challenges in today's competitive job market. In this session, we delve into strategies for evaluating your office structure, attracting top talent, and nurturing a supportive and engaged workforce to overcome staffing challenges effectively.

Presenter:  Alicia Keaton, Interim Associate VP of Enrollment Planning and Management, University of Central Florida


 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM



 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM

Elevating the Perception of the Financial Aid Office on Your Campus

The financial aid office plays a vital role in supporting student success and fostering a positive campus environment. However, perceptions of the financial aid office can vary widely among students, faculty, and staff, impacting the office's effectiveness and influence. In this session, we explore strategies for enhancing the visibility, credibility, and reputation of the financial aid office within the broader campus community.

Presenter:  Karemah Manselle, Interim Director of Financial Aid, University of Central Florida


 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM



12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Unlocking Financial Aid Mysteries: Navigating Uncharted Regulatory Waters 

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial aid, unraveling the mysteries beyond FAFSA is essential to safeguard institutional compliance. Amidst heightened scrutiny, this session delves into the less-explored regulatory shifts and compliance requirements, empowering financial aid directors with the insights needed to navigate uncharted waters effectively. Stay informed, stay compliant, and secure your institution's financial aid processes across all fronts.

Presenter:  Rebecca Flake, Senior Advisor, Higher Education Services, Cooley LLP


1:45 PM - 2:00 PM

Wrap-Up & Closing



If you have any questions or need any further information don't hesitate to get in touch with the FASFAA Director Summit Co-Chairs listed below:

Tierra Smith | Director of Financial Aid | Hillsborough Community College 

Brenda M. Brown Vice President of Campus Partnerships | College Aid Services, LLC   

 Conference Program     |     Agenda At-A-Glance     |     Detailed Agenda

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