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Ron Hancock and Lou Murray Talk Financial Aid Trends, Family Time, and Cheese

May 29, 2014

Regional Directors are financial aid experts who live all across the United States and focus on helping schools in their region. They can serve as an invaluable resource to your school. What can Regional Directors provide for you and your colleagues?

  • Expert advice from the #1 default prevention servicer
  • A familiar, approachable face at area conferences
  • Information about any of Nelnet’s loan servicing solutions, both for schools and for borrowers
  • Help with financial aid-related issues
  • Training solutions for your financial aid office

Ron Hancock is a National Manager for Partner Solutions. Lou Murray handles territory in the Southwest, including Texas and New Mexico, in addition to Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. They answered a few questions so you can get to know them better:

Ron Hancock, National Manager, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Ron Hancock, National Manager, Nelnet Partner Solutions

1. How long have you been with Nelnet?

Ron: As of this May, I’ve been with Nelnet 14 years.

Lou: Though I was hired with LoanSTAR Funding Group in 2002, the acquisition by Nelnet (in 2005) has HR showing me at 11 ½ years.

2. How long have you been in the financial aid industry?

Ron: It doesn’t seem possible, but I’ve been in the industry for 23 years.

Lou: I have been in the industry 18 years.

3. What do you like most about working for Nelnet?

Ron: Nelnet has always been an organization that feels like my extended family. Nelnet has great people all working towards common goals that focus on the customer and our communities.

Lou: I am proud of our company’s leadership and vision, but it is the team I work with that I love the most. We are a  family.

Lou Murray, Southwest Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

Lou Murray, Southwest Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions

4. What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a Regional Director?

Ron: The most gratifying aspect of my job is being able to find a solution for someone struggling with a challenging situation. Sometimes it’s as simple as reassuring someone they are doing the right thing or can be as complex as helping navigate a borrower through a process such as a Total and Permanent Disability discharge.

Lou: I really enjoy assisting my school partners and representing their voice, as I bring their feedback and concerns “back to camp.” There is nothing like receiving thanks and appreciation from my school partners and associations.

lou5. What trends are you seeing in financial aid offices?

Ron: Aid offices are tasked with being responsible for a ton of things while not often having adequate resources to meet those challenges. As complex as financial aid can be, it’s always great to see how close-knit the community is and that folks are so willing to help one another and share best practices.

Lou: The concerns regarding cohort default rates are mind-boggling, with the weight of the expectations on schools being so heavy. Processing, regulation changes, budget concerns, hiring freezes… none of these are new issues, but it seems there is more stress than ever.

6. What are three words that describe you?

Ron: Analytical, calm, and sarcastic (had to be honest on that one).

Lou: Considerate, dedicated, and comical.

7. What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Ron: I’ve counted to infinity…twice.

Lou: I do not like cheese.

8. What do you like to do in your free time?

ronRon: Any free time is usually spent with my family. It’s a fast-paced world trying to keep up with all the activities of a 5-year-old princess and an 8-year-old superstar athlete (superstar in his mind anyway).

Lou: I like to sketch, watch football, and play with the kids.

9. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be and why?

Ron: Some people in my family feel I AM a cartoon character already. But…I’ll go with Donald Duck because sometimes financial aid can be so exasperating.

Lou: Wow, I just asked my wife and she said I’m Flynn from Tangled! (Score!) But I’ll say I would be Lightening McQueen, because you’d have to watch the paint job when around me, I’m pretty competitive, and he’s pretty cool, right? Or maybe Lumiere (dude is smooth).

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