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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Cindy Hejl, Metropolitan State College of Denver

September 17, 2010

Cindy Hejl has been the Director of Financial Aid at Metropolitan State College of Denver for over nine years. She has worked in the Office of Financial Aid at Metro State for almost 23 years.

During the 2009-2010 academic year, almost 17,000 students at Metro State received more than $147 million in financial aid that included grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study.  To date, Metro State is seeing an almost 30% increase in the number of students they are helping compared to last year at this time.

 

Cindy Hejl and family. Cindy is the Director of Financial Aid at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Alan Ishida: Has the current economic crisis placed additional pressure on you or your staff?

Cindy Hejl: We have seen 15-25% increases in the number of applications received the past few years.  Last year, at the beginning of the 2009-2010 year, our office posted a 300% increase in the number of Income Adjustments, so the economy has hit our students hard.  And of course, like most offices, these increases are being handled without any increase to full-time staff.

Alan: What do you do away from your job? 

Cindy:  I like to read murder mysteries, work in my yard, and play with my Cairn Terrier, Indiana Jones, [because] they named the dog “Indiana!”

Alan: What do you like most/least about your profession?

Cindy: The thing I like the most about our profession is to actually know that you are really, truly helping students achieve a dream that many would not ever realize. The thing I like the least is other offices not understanding how it operates in our office and how we have to also deal with federal and state aid regulations. Okay, and maybe student newspaper staff editorials where the article is negative toward our hard working staff.  But that is mainly due to the fact that they article just came out today in the paper, and it is the first week of school, and I am really tired.

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

Cindy: That we are experiencing huge increases in applications and students receiving aid and yet anything that has been asked of them has been done with no negative comments. I know that many of us are truly blessed with our staff!

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

Cindy: I am a huge Star Trek fan. When my son was young, we went to all of the Star Trek conventions. My basement is decorated in Star Trek memorabilia. I hope it is worth something some day, since I told my son it is his inheritance!

 
 
 

Alan Ishida - Rocky Mountain/Western Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions (AK, CO, HI, KS, MT, NE, SD, UT)

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