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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Karen Cooper, Stanford University

June 22, 2010

Karen Cooper, Stanford University

Jon Potter: What are you most proud of with your financial aid office?

Karen Cooper: Commitment to need-based financial aid. This is a core value of the University.

Jon: What has been the biggest challenge for your office over the past 12 months?

Karen: Difficulty in maintaining technological resources.

Jon: Are there any primary or coming trends that you see in the financial aid office?

Karen: 1) Simplification of the financial aid process. 2) Helping students through the DL transition and assisting them in locating loans on different servicing platforms.

Jon: Do you have any tips for schools that are transitioning to Direct Lending?

Karen: Keep it simple.

Jon: Who within the financial aid community has been your mentor?

Karen: The Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE).

Jon: Where do you think schools should focus their efforts with regard to default prevention strategies given the industry’s move to a 3-year CDR model?

Karen: Admit great students.

Jon: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Karen: I wanted to be a teacher when I was a kid.

Jon: What do you like most about your job?

Karen: 1) The people I work with. 2) Having a major impact on people’s lives.

Jon: What is your favorite book, movie or food?

Karen: Mexican food.

Jon: Name one thing that many people do not know about you.

Karen: If I tell you, then people will know…

Jon: What is your favorite television show?

Karen: Chuck.

Jon Potter, Western Regional Director (CA)

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