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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Terry Bazan from Austin Community College

March 15, 2011

When Terry Bazan began working in the Del Mar TX financial aid office as a work study student, little did she know that she would still be in the profession nearly 40 years later.

Terry is the Director of Student Assistance at Austin Community College, TX and has worked in the ACC financial aid office for almost 30 years.

She has always loved the challenge of her job, including assisting with the FISAP when it was a totally manual process. The adding machines have been replaced with computers, but the challenge remains.

Terry Bazan,Director of Student Assistance at Austin Community College


How did you select financial aid as your profession?

Terry: I began as a work study student at Del Mar College and then continued working in the office while working on my degree at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

 Don: What major changes have you seen in financial aid during your years in the industry?

Terry:  Automation has truly been one of the most significant changes. When I first started working everything was done manually from calculating need analysis, manual awarding, typing award letters, bubbling data sheets for the Pell reports.

 Don: What does your office do better than most financial aid offices?

Terry: We have had very little turnover in staff throughout the years, therefore, we have a very dedicated and knowledgeable group. Our overall quality control is very solid.

Don: If you could change one financial aid regulation, what would it be and why?

Terry: Year round Pell and using the higher EFC for paying during cross over periods. Administratively this is a very difficult process to program and consequently will cause all financial aid offices to manually compute awards. With the numbers of aid applicants increasing, this can only have a domino effect on how efficiently and effectively we can process/award.

Don: Who are/were your mentors?

Terry: Pat Tarpley was the Director of Financial Aid at Del Mar College when I was a work study student. As a young student/employee, I was very intrigued by her work ethic and passion for assisting students get their financial aid. She was also very involved with TASFAA and the Board.

Don: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Terry: I have met and worked with many dear and wonderful friends throughout the years. Every day is a new day in the aid office, there is never time to be bored.

Don: What are your biggest challenges for the 2011-12 school year?

Terry: The volume of students applying and limited resources, new SAP regulations.

Don: Name one thing about you that most people do not know.

Terry: I was going to be a teacher, however, financial aid got into my blood.

 Don: How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

Terry: I enjoy jazzercising and spending time with my husband.

Don: What is your favorite food, TV show, movie??? 

Terry: I love crabs and most seafood. My favorite TV show is 24, and movie is Legally Blonde.

Don Buehrer, Regional Director (TX, KS, NE, SD, ND, MT, and UT), Nelnet Partner Solutions

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