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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Steve Daffer, Rose State College

September 8, 2010

Steve Daffer, Director of Financial Aid, Rose State College

Steve is the Director of Financial Aid at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma, where he has worked for the past 20 years. 

Ron Hancock: How did you get started in financial aid? 

Steve Daffer: This was my first job right out of college back in 1990, and I’m still here 20 years later! 

Ron: You’ve got a good group of folks here in your office. What are you most proud of with your office? 

Steve: I really like how we all get along so well and how we really have a sense of family among all of us. 

Ron: Have you been experiencing enrollment growth like most other colleges? 

Steve: Yes, our numbers have been up for summer and all our terms. That’s good, but our open admission policy also creates some challenges because we see students entering with varying levels of college readiness. 

Ron: What has presented the biggest challenge for your office recently? 

Steve: Gearing up for Direct Lending has been a big undertaking, as well as implementing the second Pell. However, the conversion to Direct Lending has actually gone smoother than what I anticipated. 

Ron: How has the economy and state budget shortfall impacted your office? 

Steve: The whole campus is impacted as we’ve all had budget cuts. I think the economy will also start to negatively affect our default rates. We’re always concerned about our default rate and find it challenging as a school to lower those rates. 

Ron: Okay, you’re the Financial Aid Czar for a day–what is something you’d change? 

Steve: I’d get rid of the restrictive rules and regulations we have to deal with and make administering financial aid programs easier and less burdensome on colleges. 

Ron: What do you think you’re next big challenge will be in the financial aid office? 

Steve: It’s really hard to see past today. We’ve been trying to just survive, it seems, lately, so it’s hard to say what might be coming up next. We may have a PeopleSoft upgrade/conversion in the future, so that might be our next big issue. 

Ron: I know that you live and breathe financial aid, but what are some things you enjoy outside of the office? 

Steve: I enjoy riding motorcycles and spending time with my family. My son is involved in a lot of sports and my daughter sings. 

Ron: Hopefully she gets her singing talents from her mother. What’s your favorite TV show? 

Steve: I like Survivor, Chuck and Heroes

Ron Hancock, Southwestern Regional Director

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