History of AASFAA

50 Years of AASFAA: 1968 to 2019

In August, 1967, a small group of financial aid professionals met in Flagstaff to discuss the possibility of creating a unified financial aid application to ease the burden of dealing with multiple financial aid forms for financial aid offices and high school counselors. There was much agreement on pursuing this objective and plans were put in motion to produce a High School Counselors Guide. Another outcome was the realization that Arizona could benefit from a permanent organization to meet similar needs and problems.

In August, 1968, at another meeting in Flagstaff, the Arizona Association of Financial Aid Officers was established. Joseph E. Bednorz of Northern Arizona University, was selected to be the first President. The first constitution and By-Laws was adopted in March, 1969. Also in 1969, AAFAO petitioned the newly formed Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators for admission to that organization.

In November, 1970, the first Association newsletter was published and was called the AAFAO Bulletin. The editor was Jack Foreman and he was assisted by Hank Kutak and Merle West.

In 1971-72, Richard Wooten became the first Arizonian to serve as WASFAA President.

The first WASFAA Conference hosted by AAFAO was in 1975, in Phoenix under the leadership of Les Knoll and Merle Lange.

By 1976, the Association had changed its name to the Arizona Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and had adopted the logo of the outline of the State of Arizona with the Lamp of Knowledge as a centerpiece.

The WASFAA Conference returned to Arizona in 1982 and AASFAA provided another warm western reception, this time under the direction of Vince Roig.

Iris Roach, the first woman to serve as an AASFAA President, in 1982-1983 ushered in an era of increased participation by the private trade and technical sector.

In 1991, WASFAA was once more the guest of AASFAA for its annual conference. The leadership of Paul Barberini provided for a successful event.

In 1992, after many years of research and hard work, AASFAA was incorporated due to the diligence and commitment of Dan Lupin.

The decade of 1982-92 saw AASFAA grow from a small group of dedicated professionals to a large, efficient and effective professional organization. AASFAA continues to provide the services and meet the needs that were responsible for its creation. The Association has shown time and time again that it has the talent, expertise and commitment to provide leadership in the field of financial assistance to Arizona's students.

In July 1992, AASFAA entered its twenty-fifth year of service to the profession. We celebrated the past and looked forward to the future.

In July of 1993, AASFAA was the recipient of a state award from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The "NASFAA State Award for Service to Students, Parents or Families," which recognized AASFAA's video "Cash for College," which was disbursed to all high school counselors as well as being telecast on statewide television as an early awareness and outreach campaign. The award recognized the culmination of a three year effort of Dan Melosi, Diana Mateer and Dave Briney.

AASFAA and the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education joined forces to coordinate College Goal Sunday. This event began in January 1995 and since then it has been held each year. College Goal Sunday is a statewide program that provides free information and assistance to Arizona students and families applying for college financial aid. In 1998, the event was held at 18 sites throughout the State. More than 300 AASFAA volunteers assisted those who attended the event.

In February 1999, AASFAA went live on the internet. Our website address is WWW.AASFAA.ORG.