CampusLogic is excited to publish a blog written by Financial Aid Specialist Robert Weinert, Jr. of Cuesta College. We believe his insight is a fitting accolade for all financial aid professionals who work tirelessly to help students achieve educational dreams and successful outcomes.
It is also a powerful reminder to those who have benefited from the support of a FA counselor to say “Thank you!” as often as possible and especially on Financial Aid Day!
From One FA Professional to the Rest
With National Financial Aid Day this week, I have taken the time to reflect on how much I love the work I do as a Financial Aid Administrator. My story begins 14 years ago when I was a federal work study (FWS) recipient and landed a job in the Office of Student Life, which exposed me to the Student Affairs profession. As a college work study student, I found my passion for helping others, especially college students (my peers at the time). After college, I explored Outreach/Recruitment and Admissions, where I realized I truly enjoy encouraging others to pursue their academic dreams and helping under represented students prepare and apply for college.
As a part of my work in Outreach/Admissions, I was introduced to Financial Aid – this was 9 years ago and I have been going strong and working hard in the FA community ever since. Helping students not only navigate the college landscape, but understand how they too can afford a college education is important to me. I’m passionate about my work in FA and have found my home here, because it allows me to still contribute to outreach and admissions while being an advocate for students, promoting access and completion. I wake up every morning happy to help students achieve their dreams of education, and I do this because, as a first-generation college student myself, I could have used a little more guidance, especially with paying for college.
I’m a strong believer in financial literacy and borrower counseling. I strive to empower the students I work with every day, so they can begin their post-graduation days on the right foot. Working in financial aid is a rewarding career choice, and seeing students walk at graduation or receiving a thank you note from a student or parent makes my job all the more fulfilling.
In general, I believe Financial Aid Administrators are a special breed. We have to work under the confines of state, federal, and institutional regulations that can sometimes make certain duties tedious and cumbersome. We have limited budgets, and staff and routinely deal with frustrated students and parents during the FA process, yet we still provide professional and courteous guidance and help.
At the end of the day, I think most of my colleagues share in the joy of helping students access and complete their college dreams, changing the lives of students for the better. We are in it for the students and their success! We are able to help students access the world through education; we get to help students grow and develop and become future agents for change.
The role of an FAA is inspiring, allowing us to contribute to changing the world for the better, contributing to social justice by supporting and engaging students with their education and preparing them to be financially savvy, responsible citizens. I’d like to wrap it up with congratulating and commending my fellow FA colleagues for the work they do. Here’s a big THANK YOU! to all of you out there working in financial aid land. Have a Happy Financial Aid Day this October 15, 2014.
About the Author
Robert Weinert is a Financial Aid Specialist at Cuesta College with 14 years combined experienceworking in the areas of Student Life, Admissions, Outreach and Financial Aid. He is passionate about helping students and families navigate the Admissions and Financial Aid processes! He began his Student Affairs work as an Undergraduate at UC Berkeley and has worked in both the private and public sectors of Higher Education, helping students to achieve their educational aspirations. Robert is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Higher Education with a concentration in Enrollment Management.
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