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Helen Faith named Director of Student Financial Aid

July 20, 2020 By Karla Weber Wandel

Helen Faith has been named the new director of the Office of Student Financial Aid at UW–Madison.

Faith has twenty years of financial aid experience at both public and private, and 2- and 4-years institutions.  Her extensive knowledge of policy and regulations has led her to be a key resource for colleagues and policy advocates alike. She has been a key negotiator in the federal negotiated rulemaking process for the U.S. Department of Education, in addition to serving on the national board of directors for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and as president of the regional Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Helen Faith

Tina Nielsen, associate director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and chair of the recruitment committee, says “Ms. Faith impressed the recruitment committee throughout the search process. Her commitment to student-centered financial aid that is equitable and inclusive will serve the University of Wisconsin–Madison well.”

Building off the successes of programs like Bucky’s Tuition Promise, Faith will focus on continuing to increase the number of UW–Madison’s Federal Pell Grant recipients and work closely with Professor Nick Hillman and the Student Success Through Applied Research (SSTAR) Lab.

“I’m beyond excited that Helen, a major national figure in our profession, and a champion for equity, access, diversity and inclusion, has chosen UW–Madison to be her home,” says Derek Kindle, vice provost for enrollment management.

Faith is a certified financial aid administrator and has a master’s degree  in educational policy, foundation and administration from Portland State University. She received her bachelor’s degree with honors in literature from the University of California-Santa Cruz.

“I could not be more ecstatic to be asked to serve as the fifth director of student financial aid at the distinguished University of Wisconsin–Madison, and I share the university’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and transformative social change,” says Faith.

Faith will succeed and report to Derek Kindle, who transitioned earlier this year to become the vice provost for enrollment management.

The Office of Student Financial Aid includes 50 full-time and 50 student team members who help students and their families navigate all things financial aid: from assisting with the application process and connecting them to funding and community resources to determining eligibility and helping with budgeting and money management.  Overall, the team manages the federal, state, institutional, and private sources of financial aid totaling more than $480 million annually.