The Coordinating Commission's financial aid officer, J. Ritchie Morrow, was part of a contingent of federal aid administrators from across the country who visited the White House on Oct. 21. Morrow and his colleagues were in Washington, D.C., for the annual conference of the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP).
At the White House, they met with officials from the U.S. Department of Education to discuss strategies to get students to complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The discussion followed First Lady Michelle Obama's announcement on Oct. 19 of the "Better Make Room" campaign, intended to raise public awareness of education issues among 14- to 19-year-olds. This campaign is part of a larger effort, the "Reach Higher" initiative, which aims to inspire students to continue their education beyond high school.
Morrow currently serves as chair of NASSGAP's Federal Relations Committee. He previously served as president of the group, which draws its members from agencies nationwide responsible for state-funded financial aid programs. At the Coordinating Commission, Morrow administers the Nebraska Opportunity Grant, which is Nebraska's need-based financial aid program for college students, and the Access College Early scholarship program, which pays for low-income high school students to take dual-credit college courses.