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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Charles “Buddy” Mayfield, Missouri Valley College

July 27, 2010
 

Charles "Buddy" Mayfield is the Director of Financial Aid at Missouri Valley College

Pam King: What are you most proud of with your financial aid office? Charles “Buddy” Mayfield: When I started working in the Financial Aid Office at Valley, we didn’t have the best of reputations, both from the student’s perspective and from the perspective of other campus departments.  Our excellent working relationship with all campus departments is now one of our office’s strengths and students now enjoy visiting our office. (We even have a few students that like to occasionally come “hang out” in our office!) 

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

Buddy: Without a doubt, it’s been the interpretation of additional regulatory guidance and the implementation of new and revised programs.  

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

Buddy: We’ve recently seen an increase in governmental oversight, and I see this trend continuing for at least the next several years.  

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

Buddy: One of the best things about our industry is the network of peers that are always willing to help.  I would encourage schools to try and find an institution similar to theirs that has experience participating in the Direct Loan Program.  The “watch out for this or think about that” advice they can provide could be priceless.  

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

Buddy: To give one name to answer this question would be next to impossible.  That said, my lender client reps in the FFEL industry provided me invaluable information anytime I needed it (and several times when I didn’t think I needed it).  I also called on Amy Hager at Moberly Area Community College, Lori Bode at Lindenwood University, and Jan Brandow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  These ladies were always willing to help me “learn the ropes” when I entered this profession.  

Pam: 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?   

Buddy: At Missouri Valley College we are planning to spend more time and energy profiling our defaulted borrowers to identify similarities amongst them.  These characteristics will help us to identify potential future defaulters.  

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

Buddy: A civil engineer.  I wanted to design and build roads and bridges.  

Pam: What do you like most about your job?   

Buddy: I think I’d get bored in a job that was very mundane and routine and right now my job is anything but.  I guess the expression “when it rains, it pours” applies here.  

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

Buddy: I don’t know that I’d call it a favorite, but a short read that comes to mind, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, is very fitting in our industry’s current time of change.  It describes change in someone’s work and life while their typical reactions are illustrated by two mice and two little people during their hunt for cheese (happiness and success).  

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

Buddy: My nickname, Buddy, comes from a Cabbage Patch doll.  When I was very young a few of my cousins struggled to pronounce Charles.  One of my cousins had a Cabbage Patch doll she called “Buddy” and asked my mom if they could just call me “Buddy.”  They all started using it, and it stuck.  Now, if someone calls me Charles Richard, I know it’s probably Nona (my grandmother) or my mom and I’m in trouble!  

Pam King, Midwestern Regional Director

 

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