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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Bill Spiers from Florida’s Tallahasee Community College

August 24, 2011

Bill Spiers, Director of Financial at Tallahasee Community College

Kristi Jones:  How long have you been at Tallahassee Community College (TCC)?

Bill Spiers:  I have been at TCC for nearly 14 years. 

Kristi:  Prior to that, you worked at Jacksonville University.  Is the culture at a private institution a lot different from the community college?

Bill:  Yes, I worked at JU from 1979 until 1997.  The culture is different, yet distinctly similar.  Students at each are very different, but in both institution types, you have to spend more one-on-one time counseling your students.

Kristi:  Most of the community colleges in Florida have changed their names and become four year institutions; does TCC plan to do the same? 

Bill:  TCC is constantly looking into this, but we do not have plans to change any time soon.  We have close relationships with the 4 year institutions in our area which allows our students to pursue their bachelor’s degree.  Only time will tell.

Kristi:  You are very involved in FASFAA, SASFAA and NASFAA; what positions do you currently hold? 

Bill:  I actually just rotated out of two positions.  Currently, I am the Fiscal Concerns Chair for FASFAA, on the CollegeBoard Community College Colloquium and Chair of the TG Council.

Kristi:  Will you run for President again?

Bill:  Not in the near future.

Kristi:  What are some things that you would like to see changed, regarding regulations?

Bill:  I would like to see some common sense brought back into the decision making process.  We need an understanding of what can be proactively done day to day.  Regulations have become so complex, that it is hard for schools to implement these changes.

Kristi:  Has TCC implemented a Financial Literacy program for your students?

Bill:  We have been conducting a program for 3 years.  First time borrowers are required to go through a 50 minute seminar.

Kristi:  Are there initiatives that you would like done by the servicers to help with your defaults?

Bill:  It goes back to the affordability for servicers.  They do not have the same resources that they once had.  I would like to see some of the efforts brought back from the days of FFELP.

Kristi:  What are your hobbies?

Bill:  My family would say work.  I am a Music major and for 34 years, I did part-time church singing, which I stopped doing a few years ago.  Currently, I sing in my church choir.

Kristi:  Do you have a favorite food and/or restaurant?

Bill:  I am a meat and potatoes guy.  One of my favorite restaurants is Charlie’s Steakhouse inOrlando,Florida.

Kristi:  What is something that most people do not know about you?

Bill:  I am an open book and I think most people know everything about me.  I think the fact that I am a Music major, surprises people most. 

Kristi Jones, Southern Regional Director (AL, FL, GA, MS, PR), Nelnet Partner Solutions

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