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Financial Aid Administrators And State Government

1491 words - 6 pages

I currently work as an Administrative Program Specialist in the financial aid office of a local university. I have worked in the financial aid office for the past 7 years and have been promoted twice. I enjoy working in financial aid and would like to begin a career as a Financial Aid Advisor. I already know from my experiences in financial aid that this career choice is rewarding; helping parents and students through the financial aid process, assisting them with details that will benefit the student, ultimately allowing them to obtain their educational goals. However, to advance beyond my current position, I must earn a bachelor’s degree.
As a Financial Aid Advisor, a Communications ...view middle of the document...

The Texas government plays a large role in the university system and specifically the financial aid office. The allocation of state resources provides funding for higher education and is an investment in the student that it benefits and also in the state of Texas, as it strengthens future economic growth. Yet, getting the funding, and enough of it, to the financial aid budget programs proves challenging.
To begin, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board works with policymakers with the goals of increasing the number of degree completions, keeping college both affordable and accessible, maintaining programs consistent with needs of the workforce. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board establishes funding priorities and makes allocation recommendations to the Legislative Budget Board. The Legislative Budget Board in turn makes is responsible for the beginning stages of the state’s biennial budget. For the 2014-2015 biennial budget, seven focused budget areas for student financial aid programs realized an increase of over 18% from 2013-2014. For the 83rd regular session (2014-2015), House Bill 1 shows a total of 6.7% of the state’s budget dedicated to higher education funding.
The political process and actions of the government affect financial aid administrators regularly. Often, high profile news stories regarding financial aid create a rush of phone calls to financial aid offices. One such occurrence that happens every July is the announcement of the new interest rates for the Stafford loan, a government direct student loan program. In years past interest rates decreased, in actuality, the percentage that the government subsidized while students were in school decreased. Politicians were very vocal that their party lowered student loan interest rates. Currently, Stafford loan interest rates are rising, without any political party taking credit for the rise, of course. The increase of Stafford loan rates are being downplayed in the news, with consolation that interest rates cannot be raised past 8.25% for undergraduate students. The financial aid office is left with providing an explanation that the 30 second news story did not provide, to parents and students regarding the federal student loan program.

Another political topic related to financial aid made news in years past. House Bill 1403 from 2001, Texas Education Code (TEC) 54.052(j), was passed and ultimately allowed undocumented students to pay in state tuition at Texas public universities and receive financial aid through the state of Texas. The political storm ensued with opposing parties stating that it was unconstitutional. However, it was amended to be applicable to all individuals that met the residency and enrollment requirements, thus halting the cry that it was unconstitutional. It was amended as Senate Bill 1528 in 2005 with updated verbiage. However, it continues to be a hot topic, as politicians are continually debating immigration...

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