Higher education and providing the needed funding to help cover the cost is a personal mission for Keia Brown, Director of Financial Aid at Marymount University.
“In my new role at the University, I have the privilege of working with parents and students who are navigating the financial aid process, many for the very first time,” Brown explained. “My family and I were in their position before, so I use that experience to connect with students and families to make the overwhelming process a little less stressful.”
Brown will make an even greater impact as she and two others join the board of the National Scholarship Providers Association (NSPA). The nonprofit’s mission is to advance the impact of scholarship providers and the scholarships they award in order to increase college success for all students.
“The NSPA Board of Directors is a dedicated team that represents some of the most innovative scholarship providers in North America,” said Jackie Bright, Executive Director of NSPA. “This remarkable group of individuals has steered the Association through the tumultuous landscape of 2020 and into a position where we can shape the organization according to the needs of our community and the demands of the scholarship industry. It couldn’t be a more perfect time to welcome three new board members who bring such diverse backgrounds, perspectives and resources to NSPA’s leadership.”
In this new role, Brown brings first-hand experience of working alongside students to fulfill their dreams of higher education. She says approximately 97 percent of Marymount students receive some type of financial aid, which includes federal, state and institutional aid that assists students with tuition and fees, room and board, textbook expenses and transportation.
“It is essential that students not only receive aid, but are afforded financial literacy opportunities to understand what they are awarded and how it impacts their future goals,” Brown said. “One of my personal objectives is to increase financial literacy education for our students to learn more about their financial aid options and how to prepare for their future upon graduation.”
As a new member of the NSPA Board, Brown aims to bring to the forefront the concerns and challenges from her perspective as a four-year university administrator.
“How can we better serve our students, strengthen retention efforts and increase graduation rates along the East Coast through provided scholarships?” Brown poses.
Brown adds that her undergraduate experience at Marymount helped prepare her for both her new position and for her work on the NSPA Board. She graduated from the University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising.
“Being a first-generation college student at Marymount, I learned the importance of giving back to the community as well as professionalism and leadership skills,” she explained. “These values, I believe, are instrumental in the goals of the University and throughout the community.”