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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Richard Nash, Hanover College

July 23, 2010

Richard Nash, Director of Financial Aid at Hanover College

Raina Chezem: What are you most proud of with your financial aid office?

Richard Nash: Their dedication to helping students achieve their educational dreams and the teamwork to accomplish this.

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

Richard: Finding the necessary funding to cover educational costs in the present economic outlook.

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

Richard: We are having to become more like “financial planners” when it comes to dealing with finances for students and their families.

Raina: Do you have any tips for schools that are transitioning to Direct Lending (or what has been helpful to you as your school has made the transition)?

Richard: Hook up with a colleague in your area or state that has already made the transition or has been in DL for some time now.  There is a vast amount of knowledge out there of those who have gone on before you.  They will not want you to discover all the hardships to this program that may have stumped them for a while.

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

Richard: There has been several Directors of FA across Indiana and the Midwest region, currently working or now retired, who have been a major influence in my growth as a Director and Financial Aid Administrator.  To name just one would be very hard and not fair to all who have helped me grow.

Raina: 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?

Richard: Work with your students to see that they don’t borrow any more than they have to and guide them in their choice of the right, lower interest loan, mainly Stafford and PLUS, over the more costly, higher interest rate alternative/private loans.  Some just don’t understand how much these high rate loans will cost them in the end.

Raina: What do you most like about your job?

Richard: Seeing the relief in a family’s faces when they see that education is affordable for their child going on to college.  Mainly the families that have their first-time freshmen starting college.

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

Richard: Not much is really unknown about me, but I would guess that not everyone knows that I have 10 grandchildren (7 boys, 3 girls) ranging in ages from 1 to 12.  They all are my life, and I look forward to helping them to go on to college some day.

Raina Chezem, Midwest Regional Director (IL, IN, MN)

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