Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Grant Uecker from Mitchell Technical Institute in South Dakota
For 38 years, Grant Uecker has enjoyed the financial aid profession, one that he calls rewarding, enlightening and filled with unexpected experiences. Grant is the current financial aid coordinator at Mitchell Technical Institute in SD and has been actively involved in SDASFAA and RMASFAA, as well as his community and other educational organizations. An avid bowler, Grant currently carries an average of 201 and has 2 sanctioned perfect 300 games to his credit. Grant is married, has two children and five grandchildren and recently was interviewed by Don Buehrer, Nelnet’s Regional Director for RMASFAA and SWASFAA.
Don: How did you select financial aid as your profession?
Grant: I was given the responsibility of processing the BEOG Program back in 1973 and it just fell into place from there.
Don: What major changes have you seen in financial aid during your years in the industry?
Grant: Probably the biggest change is how technology has been introduced to the processing. The 2nd biggest change would be the switch to the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
Don: What is your favorite movie, book, TV show?
Grant: Favorite movie is “Animal House”. Favorite book is anything written by Zane Grey (Westerns). Favorite TV show is “Wheel of Fortune”
Don: If you could change one financial aid regulation, what would it be and why?
Grant: I would change the Direct Lending Program back to the FFELP Program. Lenders gave more support to the process.
Don: Who are/were your mentors?
Grant: Clarence Shoemaker (University of South Dakota) and Eugene Linton (former financial aid director at Augustana College, SD)
Don: What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Grant: One on one contact with needy students
Don: Would you care to share with us your most embarrassing moment?
Grant: No, but you were there with me Don.
Don: Name one thing about you that most people do not know.
Grant: I can stand on my head.
Don: What has been your biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12 months?
Grant: Changing to the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
Don: How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
Grant: Bowling and working out
Don: If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would they be?
Grant: Don Buehrer, Donald Trump, and Jane Fonda.