Doctoral Candidate Becomes NASFAA Committee Member

Consuela Mitchell, a COE doctoral candidate completing her Ph.D in Higher Education, is a member of the NASFAA Forward50 Committee.

Mitchell describes the NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Forward50 Committee as an organization comprised of forward-thinking campus-leaders. The committee is tasked with developing policy solutions that will help surmount obstacles preventing students from enrolling in, paying for, and graduating from college.

“NASFAA is using the grant funding, provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to facilitate the Higher Education Committee of 50—or "Forward50"— a group comprised of college presidents, enrollment managers, admissions staff, financial aid and bursar leaders, members of governing boards, students, and other leaders from all sectors of postsecondary institutions,” Mitchell said. “During the work, The Forward50 will produce four white papers on specific, pre-identified policy areas related to access, affordability, accountability and transparency. These papers will include practical solutions and recommendations for members of Congress, and will be available to the broader policy community for review and comment prior to finalization.”

Mitchell was chosen out of more than 200 applicants to become a member and officially joined in late 2017.

“I applied to be a part of the Forward50 because I am confident my experience as a scholar-practitioner can add value to any policy recommendations our group develops that will strengthen Title IV programs which so many college students rely on to make a college education affordable,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell became a member of NASFAA in 2005 during her time at SMU (Southern Methodist University) where she was an Assistant Director of Financial Aid. There she found an interest in working with matters that affect students’ financial abilities with regards to entering and staying in college.

“I hope to be a voice to policy recommendations who can speak from first-hand experience as a Pell Grant and Federal Work Study recipient,” Mitchell said. “Serving on this committee will allow me to pay-it-forward as an advocate for current and future students who rely on financial aid to make their college goals possible.”

The NASFAA Forward50 Committee began November 2017 and is expected to conclude in April 2019.