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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Marty Mehringer, Harrison College

November 15, 2010


Marty Mehringer, Director of Student Financial Services at Harrison College

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

Marty Mehringer: The ability for us to continue to adapt to the ever changing landscape of financial aid.  We continue to think of additional ways to become more efficient and effective as the expectation continues to be “do more with less” in financial aid.

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

Marty: The external regulatory items that have been up for discussion with the Department of Education.  It seems as though the aid community has been in tumultuous times for the past three years.  The internal changes are continuing to come fast and furious, and it is very challenging, to say the least, to stay up with everything.

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

Marty: The additional level of scrutiny that is placed on higher education institutions by the Obama administration and the Department of Education.  I welcome the change and direction in which they are trying to move the higher education community, but there also needs to be an understanding that the administrative burden put on offices can only be so high.

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

Marty: Darrel Wilson was my mentor during my first three years when I entered into the world of financial aid.  He taught me the groundrules and let me grow and develop into the position that I hold today.

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?

Marty: The effort needs to move more to the front end of the process through financial literacy programs and continuous counseling while our students are in school so that they are adequately prepared when they enter repayment.

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

Marty: I always saw myself as being a pilot, even though I was scared of heights.  As I grew up, I decided to move in a different direction.  I chose to go down the business path and work with finances.  I enjoy my position and feel that it fits into my overall career goals and objectives.

Raina: What do you like most about your job?

Marty: The thing that I like most and least about my job is the continuous change.  It definitely keeps you on your toes.  There never seems to be a dull moment, and you are constantly learning something new.

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

Marty: The food that I enjoy most is Italian.

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

Marty:  I have two wonderful young boys, ages 5 and 3.  They definitely keep life interesting and entertaining at the same time.  They are my pride and joy!

Raina: What is your favorite television show?

Marty: My favorite TV show, by far, is The Office.  I think you have to work in an office to appreciate the humor that the show brings to the table.

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

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