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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Nathan Basford from Florida State University

May 9, 2011

Nathan Basford from Florida State University and Nelnet's Kristi Jones

Kristi Jones: How long have you worked in the Financial Aid industry?

Nathan Basford:  I have worked in the industry for 33 years.

Kristi:  You retired in 2004, what made you come back to FSU?

Nathan:  Once I retired, I traveled for an entire year and had no plans of coming back.  After my travels ended, I realized how much I love financial aid and helping students.  I enjoy it so much!  Also, coming back allowed me to work in the FASFAA and SASFAA associations again.   

Kristi:  What is your title at FSU?  Are you responsible for counseling students

Nathan:  I am a Financial Aid Representative.  When I came back to FSU, it was important for me to have a role counseling students.      

Kristi:  You are currently the FASFAA President and also held the position back in 2004. What has been the biggest change from then to today’s fulfillment?

Nathan:  I think there has been a change because the market has changed the profession so much.  The biggest challenge has been including our industry partners and still recognizing what they offer to schools and students.

Kristi:  You made a big change for the Florida organization, was it a difficult process to change the FASFAA logo?

Nathan:  I had our members vote on the change and they will also get the opportunity to vote for the new logo, during our Spring conference.  We had over 120 members vote and it passed significantly.   People are tired of the large “F” and ours differs so much from the other regional states.  I did not feel it represented Florida properly.    We are encouraging both students and financial aid administrators to create the new logo and a $500 scholarship will be awarded to the student or school that wins.

Kristi:  FSU keeps their default rate low, do you have a financial literacy process that your students are required to participate in?

Nathan:  We are in the process of implementing a financial literacy program.  We have been very lucky with our student body, but want to make sure we have a process in place to help educate our students in today’s economy and the new 3 year calculation.

Kristi:  FSU is in the process of transitioning to PeopleSoft, how is the implementation going and do you see the change being beneficial for the students?

Nathan:  We have a homegrown system that we have perfected and that works well, but we are embracing the change and keeping an open mind.  We will utilize our other schools partners that are currently on PeopleSoft.  There has been positive feedback regarding student success in the PeopleSoft environment.

Kristi:  What do you like to do for fun? 

Nathan:  I teach 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in Sunday school.  My class loves coming to Sunday school.  When I was first asked to teach, I didn’t think I wanted to, but now I love it!  I have them draw what they get out of the lesson each week.  I listen to my students and that has been key to a successful class.

Kristi:  What is your favorite type of food?

Nathan:  My favorite food is Japanese food.  I enjoy eating sushi.

Kristi:  What is your favorite movie?

NathanYou are going to laugh…Beaches is my favorite movie.  It is about life and has an important message.  The little things you do go a lot further than the big things. 

Kristi:  Will you run for FASFAA President for a third time?

NathanNo, but I am hoping to be nominated for SASFAA President.  I would like to become SASFAA President, prior to retiring from the industry for good.

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