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Profiles in Financial Aid: Tony Lubbers, Friends University and KASFAA President

August 2, 2013
Tony Lubbers, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Friends University, 2013 KASFAA President

Tony Lubbers, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, Friends University, 2013 KASFAA President

Tony Lubbers has a lot to be proud of at the age 44. But I’m sure that being a grandfather of three girls is one of his proudest accomplishments.

Tony is the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Friends University (KS) and the current President of KASFAA.

Like so many others in financial aid, the profession found him. “I left my Admissions job at a local community college in 1996 without another prospect, and the financial aid position at Friends University came to my attention.” And he has been there ever since.

A camping, jet-skiing and reading enthusiast, Tony also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Butler Community College, Baker University, and at Friends University. “I primarily teach U.S. History courses, but have branched out into other courses as needed:  American Military History, History of the American Presidency, The JFK Assassination (which I am doing again in the Fall of 2013), Introduction to American Politics, and Western Civilization 1 and 2.”

He hopes to use his past activity in KASFAA (including Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee, Electronic Resource Committee, and Conference Planning Committee) to convince other members to become involved with the organization. “The biggest challenge is finding new people willing to volunteer their time to further the organization.  I think some of that can be attributed to poor communication on our part about what volunteers should expect. Many people do not like the unknown, and it makes sense to know what you’re getting into BEFORE volunteering to do it.”

One of his greatest challenges during the past 12 months has been balancing his financial aid work with being President-Elect (which included planning for the 2012 Fall Training and 2013 Spring Conference) and now President of KASFAA. The positive work environment that surrounds Tony has assisted him with this challenge. “The most enjoyable part of my job is the people.  We don’t have the year-round ‘tense’ atmosphere you see in some offices, and a lot of that is due not only to our leadership but our staff.”

Married (wife is Shawn) and the father of two children (Kendra and Chris), the history buff loves reading books by Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child (he suggests you check ‘em out, they’re good writers) and Sherlock Holmes.

And we share the same interest in movies as he lists his favorites as “Tombstone”, “A Few Good Men”, “Person of Interest”, and “Elementary”.

One of the greatest changes he has experienced during his 15 years in financial aid has been the switch to Direct Loans. But he’s quick to point out that “there is ALWAYS change in this industry.”

If he were given the opportunity to change one financial aid regulation, it would focus on the directive that requires tax transcripts. “The process for acquiring 1040s was complicating enough.  We didn’t need to add to everyone’s woes by making people jump through additional hoops to get federal aid.  I don’t buy that this will ‘cut down on fraud’ (or whatever reason was given).”

He recognizes Myra Pfannenstiel and Brandon Pierce as his financial aid mentors. “Having good directors to work with has kept me in this industry. And his teaching interest was spurred and shaped by Paul Stirnaman, “a brilliant instructor I had at Cowley County Community College (KS).”

So here is the setting. Tony gets to choose any three people to join him for dinner. He selects a nice quaint restaurant that has a lot of history behind it and has his favorite music playing in the background. Somehow this combination seems strange, but just picture Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Tony sitting at a table discussing items of interest. And in the background you hear Def Leppard, Journey, Whitesnake and Bon Jovi. Perhaps after dinner, the four of them go to a karaoke bar, get up on stage, and burst into song to the tune of Pour Some Sugar on Me.

Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Don Buehrer, Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

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