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Profiles in Financial Aid: Jeff Scofield from University of Hawaii – Hilo

September 18, 2012

Jeff Scofield, Director of Financial Aid, University of Hawaii – Hilo

Alan Ishida:  You are a member of one of Nelnet’s regional advisory councils.  What are some of the things that you hope to accomplish through your participation?

Jeff Scofield:  Being a member of the advisory council has helped me learn more about the world of Direct Loan services.  Coming from a school that only moved to DL when we had to, it is still somewhat of a new world for us. I want to accomplish a clearer understanding of the many aspects of the new world in which we all operate.

I also hope I can help Nelnet understand the needs of an institution’s financial aid office as we do our best to help our current and former students and parents.  Also, I hope I can use my role to occasionally remind us all that not every student has a smart phone and an ipad.  Many areas of the Hawaii Island don’t have cell phone service or reliable internet connections. It is important that we don’t leave anyone behind, and we think about serving all.

Alan:  What do you think about the state of the industry?

Jeff:  I remember when I first started in financial aid in Texas. I was amazed at how long many people had been in the profession. It was not unusual for people to be recognized for being in the profession 20, 25, and 30 years.   Now as I start my 28th year, I’m still amazed!   As it was then and still is now, the profession has a wonderful mix of seasoned professionals and those who are new to the profession who will be carrying on 25 years from now.  The mix of historical perspective and new ideas and visions are very healthy for the industry.

Alan:  When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jeff:  My mother reminds me that when I was young I wanted to be a mailman. I used to walk to my hometown’s post office and peek through the glass mailbox windows to see what all was going on in the back room where the mail was processed. Later, I wanted to be a bus driver. Then I wanted to own a bus company. I had a company name and motto all picked out: Sco Lines Charter Bus Service—“Why fly when we can drive you!”.   Somewhere I took a different turn and ended up in financial aid.

Alan:  Have you had any memorable moments over the past year that you’d like to share? 

Jeff:  I had an excellent history professor in college who stressed the importance of reading in one’s everyday life. He encouraged students to always be reading a book for pleasure and to keep a log of what they read.  I took his advice and have been all the better for it. Last year I decided to compile all of my various reading lists from over the years into one list. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that since I graduated from college 30 years ago that I have read 1,000 books.  For me, this was a very memorable moment.  I am now working my way through the next 1,000……

Alan:  What are your hobbies?

Jeff:  I have been a Bluegrass music fan (fanatic) for a long time.  I have hundreds of Bluegrass albums, tapes, cds, and dvds. And I think I have every issue of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine since March 1976!   I like to listen to the music, watch it, and read about it. Drives my family crazy!

Alan Ishida – Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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