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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: David Barron, Rogers State University

September 27, 2010

David Barron, Director of Financial Aid, Rogers State University

David has been the Director of Financial Aid at Rogers State University (Claremore, Oklahoma) for about a year and a half. He is also the current President of the Oklahoma Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Ron Hancock: What made you decide to get into the financial aid profession?

David Barron: I had just graduated with my master’s degree in 1996 and needed to get a job–preferably with insurance benefits. There was a financial aid counselor position available at Oral Roberts University, and I figured how hard could it be to work with students.

Ron: Since you’ve been here, what are some accomplishments you’re most proud of?

David: I think the improvement we’ve made in out student service processes. We’ve implemented online award letters, increased retention, and also been able to increase our cash flow, which also is a benefit to the students by getting their money to them faster. Our office has also taken on the responsibility for administering all the scholarships for the university.

Ron: You’ve made a lot of great progress. What is something in the last 12 months that has provided the biggest challenge for your office?

David: The transition to Direct Lending has been our biggest challenge, especially during the past month. We’ve had some difficulty and frustration trying to generate a batch file of origination records in EDExpress. We’re still trying to work through those issues.

Ron: What do you see as the next big issue you’ll have to deal with in the near future?

David: Year-round Pell will definitely be the next big issue we’ll have to address.

Ron: Are you worried about your default rate and borrowers having more difficulties in this current economic downturn?

David: We are gearing up to do more with regard to default aversion. If we’re able to add a staff position, I’d like to dedicate that role to working in this area.

Ron: As incoming President of OASFAA, what are a couple of goals you have for the association?

David: I want to make sure we continue to offer training to our members. Primarily, we’ll see how we can continue to provide the decentralized training we’ve done in the past as well as offer training opportunities for support staff. I also want to engage our state legislature and inform them about our association and the critical role we play as a resource for our communities. I also want to get our members more engaged with OASFAA and may try to create something in Facebook.

Ron: Okay, now for some fun stuff. What’s your favorite movie?

David: Tombstone.

Ron: That’s a pretty good frozen pizza, too.  What’s something most people might not know about you?

David: I met my wife in jail (the Horace Mann Correctional Facility, to be exact).

Ron: What do you enjoy most about your job?

David: Being able to provide opportunities for students to succeed and being here to work with students throughout the process.

Ron Hancock, Southwestern Regional Director

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