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CASFAA CASFAA
Thompson Rivers University
Kamloops, BC

2017-18 CASFAA President’s Message

Welcome to CASFAA’s website.  I am privileged to work with a fantastic group of colleagues, from across the country, on the CASFAA Board of Directors.  Guided by our Strategic Plan, we focus on the following areas in the advancement of our mission for our member institutions and the post-secondary students we collectively serve:

 

FEDERAL BUDGETS AND POLICIES
We take stock of the federal landscape and monitor changes being implemented to the Canada Student Loan Program (CSLP) as a result of budget announcements and policy adjustments.  On an annual basis, we take advantage of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance pre-budget consultations to suggest improvements.  We communicate directly with Members of Parliament on specific policy proposals. 

NATIONAL ADVISORY GROUP ON STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
(NAGSFA) is a CSLP Stakeholder forum which focuses on both Policy and Service Delivery.  CASFAA has three seats to participate, of which one is my role as co-Chair.  This is a very important and formal pathway to effecting change.  We promote our Policy Proposals and concerns here.  This is particularly critical at a time of service delivery transformation over the next year. We have also forged informal pathways to work with CSLP, including their participation at our CASFAA Board meetings for in depth discussions.

FINANCIAL LITERACY
We know financial literacy is critical for student well-being and academic success.  To champion financial literacy, we have an excellent working relationship with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).  We have undertaken several contracts with FCAC to test and refine their educational programming to ensure utmost effectiveness for our PSE audience.

A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
In addition to our advocacy and federal collaboration efforts, our Regional Representatives bring expertise and information for Provincial/Territorial Student Financial Assistance Programs which out-of-province institutions don’t easily have access to.  Our Out-of-Province Summary for Full-Time and Part-Time students is one of our most anticipated publications and valued resources.  Our semi-annual Newsletters also provide essential information throughout the year.

Our annual CASFAA Conference is filled with wonderful opportunities to share best practices and hear from industry leaders in the areas of Government Student Financial Assistance, Institutional Aid & Awards programs, External Scholarship opportunities and Financial Literacy (to name a few!).   The conference provides invaluable opportunities to network and to share our work and experiences with those who share a similar passion.

Each year the CASFAA board endeavours to provide an opportunity for membership involvement.  Be on the lookout for calls to participate on our Working Groups and Task Forces.  We are open to ideas and suggestions anytime, please don’t hesitate to contact us at membership@casfaa.ca. You can also use this email if you have any questions about becoming a member.

CASFAA’s strength comes from our collective diversity, as well as wide geographic perspectives and expertise in colleges and universities across the country.  Together, we advocate for positive change and reduced financial barriers for post-secondary education that no single institution could do on its own.  Thank you for your membership support and your passion in making a daily difference in students’ lives.

Warmest regards,

 

Stephanie Williams
CASFAA President 2017/18
Coordinator of Program Eligibility, Student Financial Aid and Awards
British Columbia Institute of Technology