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Profiles in the Financial Aid Profession: Sandy Osborne from University of Indianapolis

April 2, 2012

Sandy Osborne, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, University of Indianapolis

Raina Chezem:  How did you get into financial aid?  How many years?

Sandy Osborne:  I have been in financial aid for 20 years.  I worked in financial aid as a student employee for a couple of summers during college at the University of Indianapolis.  I must have done a decent job because Linda Handy hired me as a full time counselor after graduate school and a brief career in Admissions.

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

Sandy:  In addition to managing the loan programs, I also manage SAP.  SAP has been one of our biggest challenges this year, but in a good way.  I think the new policies will catch students earlier, and we will have more of a chance to work with students on maintaining their progress.  We are also now involving so many more departments into our process and that will greatly benefit the student as well.

Raina:  What do you most like about your job?

Sandy:  I definitely like working with students and families who are new to the financial aid process.  It can be overwhelming to them, and I like being able to help them understand it better.

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

Sandy:  Linda Handy has been my greatest mentor in financial aid.  She taught me so much over the years.  Not just about financial aid, but also how to deal with people.  She is all about providing the best customer service possible, and I appreciate her devotion to that.  In developing new policies, she always puts the student’s best interest first.

Raina:  What is one thing most people do not know about you?

Sandy:  Most of the time I am easy going……However, when it comes to playing games, I can get pretty competitive.  I enjoy playing, but I really enjoy winning!

Raina:  What would be your favorite vacation getaway aside from Disney?

Sandy:  When I was growing up, we went to the Smoky Mountains almost every summer to visit my aunt and uncle.  They lived on a lake, and we had so much fun boating on the lake and hiking through the mountains.  It was always very peaceful.   Dennis, Rachel, and I still enjoy going there occasionally.

We also enjoy going on cruises.  We have found that to insure nice weather over Rachel’s spring break, the cruise is the way to go!

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

Sandy:  Dennis, Rachel, and I like to find things to do together.  We try to set aside time to read every night.  We also have a few television programs that we try to watch each week (right now it is American Idol).   We enjoy going to the movies and out to eat on the weekends.   Something that I enjoy doing by myself is scrapbooking.  I also am in the bell choir at church and play my flute on occasion.

Raina:  If you could interview anyone from your life living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?

Sandy:  I never met my paternal grandmother as she passed away before I was born.  I would love to sit down and talk with her.

Raina:  What life lesson would you like to pass onto your daughter?

Sandy:  To be there for your family and friends.  Be kind to others and have a giving heart.

Raina Chezem, Midwest Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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