MASFAA

Montana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Policy and Procedures

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose

The Association’s Policies and Procedures Manual is designed to provide guidance, reference material, and historical continuity for the Executive Board and committee members.

Each member of the Executive Board and committee members is responsible for knowing the content of the Policies and Procedures Manual and suggesting changes and updates. The manual is updated as needed for distribution to new Board members and committee members. The Immediate Past President is responsible for overseeing the updates to the Policies and Procedures Manual. This document is available on the MASFAA website at http://www.masfaaonline.org/.

1.2 Content

The Policies and Procedures Manual supplements the MASFAA Bylaws by:

  • Providing an overview of the Association’s structure;
  • Describing the responsibilities of members in leadership; and
  • Presenting Association’s approved operating policies and procedures.

1.3 Use

It is the responsibility of each Board member and committee member to:

  • Bring the Policy and Procedures Manual to all Board/committee meetings;
  • Keep the P&P current by suggesting additions and deletions of material;
  • Pass the P&P on to the succeeding member as soon as feasible at/or after the annual meeting.

1.4 Mission Statement for Association

The Montana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA) is an organization of persons involved with, or interested in, providing access to postsecondary education through administration of student financial aid.

MASFAA exists primarily to promote the professional preparation, effectiveness, and mutual support of persons involved in student financial aid administration. In addition, it exists to promote personal development of members, to include professional, leadership, and student diversity awareness development.

To serve its members, MASFAA shall:

  • Serve as a forum for its members and act as a focus for the expression of views on matters relating to administration of student financial aid.
  • Hold an annual conference for its members;
  • Place topics of interest on conference agendas;
  • Inform members of legislative issues regarding student financial aid or related matters;
  • Encourage communication and cooperation between all members in a spirit of cooperation and service to students.
  • Provide professional and personal development opportunities to members.
  • Place appropriate development items on conference agendas;
  • Promote attendance at regional and national conferences and training events;
  • Provide professional development scholarships to members;
  • Include student diversity awareness activities and/or training at conferences.
  • Encourage participation in MASFAA events of all individuals who play a major role in assisting students through student financial aid.
  • Recognize that delivery of federal student financial aid resources and compliance with regulations require teamwork between students, schools, lenders, guarantors, the Department of Education, and others;
  • Encourage all team members to actively participate in the organization;
  • Place applicable topics on conference agendas.
  • Serve, through its members, in leadership and/or supportive roles in the regional and national associations of student financial aid administrators.
  • Keep members informed of opportunities to serve the regional and national associations;
  • Encourage members to volunteer for committees and to respond to requests for information and service.
  • Provide a communications network for its members.
  • MASFAA List serve: masfaa@lists.umt.edu
  • MASFAA Website: http://www.masfaaonline.org/
  • Maintain a spirit of cooperation and openness, and an approach which is flexible, equitable, and innovative in all matters relating to the organization.
  • Provide the opportunity and encouragement for members to share ways to solve problems;
  • Encourage open discussion of relevant ideas, keeping in mind service to students and the financial aid community;
  • Provide an organizational structure that allows for positive response to the needs of organization membership.

2. Executive Board

2.1 Composition

The Executive Board is composed of the elected officers of the Association: President, President-Elect, Vice President/Secretary, Immediate Past President, Treasurer, Associate Member and two Executive Members-At-Large. All are voting members of the Executive Board. In addition, the Treasurer-Elect with serve as a non-voting member. All Board members must be Association members in good standing.

2.2 Meetings

The Executive Board will meet, at a minimum, once annually. One of the meetings will be held in conjunction with the annual conference. Notification of meetings shall be provided to all Board members at least thirty (30) days before meetings. The President as needed may call other meetings. Telecommunications may be used to conduct meetings. Others may be invited to the Executive Board meeting by invitation of the President. All meetings shall be conducted according to Roberts Rules of Order.

2.3 Meeting Agendas

Meeting agendas shall be prepared and distributed at least two weeks in advance of each meeting. It is the responsibility of the President or may be in cooperation with another Board member, as designated by the President. The officers and committee chairs will make reports.

2.4 Meeting Locations

The President determines locations of Executive Board meetings not held in conjunction with the annual conference.

2.5 Meeting Minutes

The Vice President/Secretary will distribute minutes within eight weeks of the completion of the meeting.

2.6 Primary Responsibilities of the Executive Board

2.6.1 Determine the Mission of MASFAA

The MASFAA mission statement (see Section 1.4) should articulate goals, means and primary constituents served. This statement should serve as a guide for organizational planning, decision making and priority setting, as well as developing the long-range strategic plan. The mission statement must be approved by the general membership.

2.6.2 Ensure the Association’s goals are being met

Through effective planning the Board will ensure the Association’s goals are being met. Board members must initiate the planning process that will implement the Association’s objectives.

2.6.3 Manage Resources Wisely

An important part of serving the members is to protect assets and ensure current income is properly managed. MASFAA is incorporated and tax-exempt under federal law and therefore, the Board’s obligation goes well beyond its members. A well-developed annual budget will assist in achieving this goal. All historical and current information pertinent to such discussions should be available and will be kept by the Secretary/Treasurer.

2.6.4 Monitor Association Activities

The Board must determine that the current and proposed activities are consistent with the MASFAA mission statement. Given limited resources, the Board must decide among competing priorities.

2.6.5 Leadership Development

Although the Association has a formal nomination and election process, it is the Board’s responsibility to nurture, encourage and actively solicit those members of MASFAA for positions of leadership. Likewise, board members should encourage all members to be involved at the state, the regional and/or the national level.

2.6.6 Assess its performance

It is good practice to review how the Board is accomplishing its objectives.

2.7 Individual Board Member Responsibilities

Each Board member shall:

  • Know the Association’s mission, purpose, goals, policies, programs, services, strengths and needs;
  • Serve in leadership positions or undertake special assignments when asked;
  • Follow trends in the professional field;
  • Bring a sense of humor to Board deliberations;
  • Attend, prepare for, and participate in Board meetings;
  • Speak for the Board only if so authorized;
  • Suggest agenda items to ensure matters of policy are addressed;
  • Serve the organization as a whole rather than one special interest group;
  • Avoid any appearance of conflict of interest on any Board topic;
  • Read and understand the financial statements and assist the Board in fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities;
  • Assist all committees as needed;
  • Upon accepting nomination to the Board, agree to cover all expenses to attend Association required activities accept for those listed in section 5.4.

2.8 Detailed Officer Descriptions

2.8.1 President

2.8.1.1 Basic Function and Responsibility

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association at which he/she is present, shall serve as chairman of the Executive Board, and shall perform such other duties as pertain to that office. He/She shall be an ex-officio member of all commissions and committees of the Association. He/She may assign and delegate duties as he/she considers best, but he/she shall be responsible for all activities within the Association, and shall submit an annual report to the Association. He/She shall assume this office after the completion of one term as President-Elect and shall serve for a one (1) year term.

2.8.1.2 Characteristics,;Duties and Responsibilities
  • Provide leadership and direction to all activities of the Association, the Executive Board, and all standing and ad hoc committees of the Association;
  • Serve as the official representative of the Association and Board or delegate such responsibility to another Board member as deemed necessary;
  • Serve as the official spokesperson for the Association and the Board or delegate such responsibility to another Board member as deemed necessary;
  • Call and preside at all meetings of the Association and the Board, determine length of floor debate, manner of voting, and agenda items;
  • Serve as an ex officio member of Association committees.
  • Represent MASFAA on the RMASFAA Board (as long as that individual is a RMASFAA member in good standing);
  • Buy state gift for RMASFAA Conference;
  • Ensure that the Association selects members for acknowledgments as outlined by the Bylaws;
  • Submit an annual report to the Association membership on all matters which may be of interest or concern to the Association which have taken place during that term in office;
  • Ensure that the location and conference site committee chair be identified for the upcoming annual conference.
2.8.1.3 Length of Office

The President takes office for one year commencing with the installation at the annual business meeting.

2.8.2 President-Elect

2.8.2.1 Basic Function and Responsibility

The President-Elect shall serve as principal assistant to the President as needed; especially he/she shall be in charge of planning the program and coordinating the arrangements for the next annual meeting. He/She shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast for this office, and shall serve one term (1) as President. If he/she should become President prematurely because of a vacancy in that office, his/her normal term would not be affected.

2.8.2.2 Characteristics, Duties and Responsibilities
  • Provide assistance to the President as requested;
  • Arrange for the President’s gift which is presented at the Association’s annual conference;
  • Working with the conference planning committee, oversees the planning for the annual conference;
  • Keep the MASFAA banner.
2.8.2.3 Length of Office

The President-Elect shall serve for one year at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.The President-Elect automatically becomes President one year later.

2.8.3 Vice President/Secretary

2.8.3.1 Basic Function and Responsibility
  • The Vice President/Secretary shall keep the minutes of any meeting held by the Association or Executive Board and shall be custodian of the secretarial records of the Association.
  • He/She shall keep the minutes of all meetings and shall maintain a cumulative index of his/her proceedings.
  • He/She shall be responsible for distributing the meeting notices and other such communication as provided for in the constitution and Bylaws and for the performance of other duties as are appropriate to the office or as prescribed by the Executive Board.
  • The Vice President/Secretary shall supervise any special projects referred to him/her by the Association, coordinate the Association’s activities with those of other groups or individuals in financial aid research or training, and collect and disseminate information concerning training projects of common interests.
  • This officer shall be elected by a majority of the legal votes cast at the annual meeting.
2.8.3.2 Characteristics, Duties and Responsibilities
  • Record and distribute minutes of both Board and business meetings to appropriate members within eight (8) weeks of any meeting;
  • Shall perform the duties of the President in the absence or incapacity of both the President and the President-Elect;
  • Oversee Association professional activities and training to ensure that they are in accordance with the Association’s mission statement;
  • Serve as the Parliamentarian.
2.8.3.3 Length of Office

The Vice President/Secretary shall serve for two years commencing at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.

2.8.4 Treasurer

2.8.4.1 Basic Function and Responsibility
  • He/She shall be responsible for receiving and disbursing all monies of the Association under policies approved by the Board.
  • He/She shall keep an accurate list of the members of the Association, maintain membership records and annual membership reports, and report change in the membership list to the Executive Board.
  • He/She shall be ready whenever required to turn over to the Executive Board all monies, accounts, record books, papers, vouchers, and other records pertaining to the office, and shall turn the same over to his/her elected successor.
  • He/She shall fax monthly checking account statements to the President for review.
  • He/She shall submit an annual financial report to the Association.
  • He/She shall be under such bond as determined by the Executive Board.
  • He/She shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast for the office at the annual meeting.
2.8.4.2 Characteristics, Duties and Responsibilities
  • Coordinate any printing needs;
  • Collect and organize all Association records; deliver to the incoming Treasurer all Association records and equipment/software;
  • Receive and disburse monies of the Association with the authority provided by the Executive Board;
  • Maintain adequate and appropriate records of all transactions;
  • Reconcile funds on a timely basis;
  • Responsible for the proper and timely filing of all reports to include all necessary tax forms and audits and payment of Association bills;
  • Responsible to the account receivable billing of sponsorships or registration fees;
  • Responsible for ensuring the consistent membership numbers for both institutional and associate members;
  • Prepares the annual budget for Board approval;
  • Have an audit performed on the Associations’s financial records at the end of the Treasurer’s term (Bi-annual).
  • Perform other functions as assigned by the President or Executive Board.
2.8.4.3 Length of Office

The Treasurer shall serve for two years commencing at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.

2.8.5 Immediate Past President

2.8.5.1 Basic Function and Responsibility

The Immediate Past President shall serve as advisor to the President and other officers. He/She shall hold this position for one (1) year, after completing his/her term as President.

2.8.5.2 Characteristics, Duties and Responsibilities
  • Participate in the meetings and activities of the Board and contribute to the formulation of policies and practices of the Association;
  • Select nominees for the several elected offices and to report to the Association at the annual meeting at which time opportunities shall be given for additional nominations from the floor;
  • Oversees updates to the Policies and Procedures Manual and MASFAA Bylaws;
  • Serve as the Association’s Historian which includes organizing the recognition of members for years of serve as described in the MASFAA Bylaws at the annual conference as well as retirement and lifetime membership recognition. As Historian, responsible for the written Association history;
  • Forward all Association historical information to the next Immediate Past President.
  • Solicit nominees for Financial Aid Professional of the year.
2.8.5.3 Length of Office

The Immediate Past President shall serve for one year commencing at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.

2.8.6 Associate Member Delegate

2.8.6.1 Basic Function and Responsibility

The Associate Member Delegate shall serve as a voting Board member representing the interests of the associate membership. This delegate serves as the communication link from the Association to the associate members and participates fully in the functions of the Executive Board. He/She shall solicit sponsorships from the associate members for the Association. He/She shall perform such duties as are assigned by the President and/or Executive Board.

2.8.6.2 Characteristics, Duties and Responsibilities
  • Regularly attend all Board meetings as well as the annual meeting;
  • Represent the interests and perspective of the associate membership to the Board;
  • Communicate Association plans and activities to the associate members;
  • Coordinate mailing of associate member sponsorship forms with the Treasurer with the membership mailing in January;
  • Serve as a member of the conference planning committee;
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the President or prescribed by the Executive Board.
2.8.6.3 Length of Office

The Associate Member Delegate shall assume office for a two (2) year term commencing at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.

2.8.7 Executive Members-At-Large

2.8.7.1 Basic Function and Responsibility

The two (2) Executive Members-At-Large serving staggered terms shall serve as members of the Executive Board and represent the general membership of the Association.

2.8.7.2 Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities
  • Attend all Board meetings as well as the annual business meeting;
  • Serve as contact person for the general membership to the Executive Board;
  • Serve as MASFAA representatives on other boards where MASFAA is a member;
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the President or prescribed by The Executive Board.
2.8.7.3 Length of Office

The two Executive Members-At-Large are elected for two year terms in alternating years. The newly elected Executive Member-At-Large takes office at the conclusion of the annual business meeting.

3. Standing Committees

3.1 Conference Planning Committee

This committee is responsible for planning the annual conference, which meets the professional needs of the membership and supports the mission statement and long range plans for the Association. The President-Elect shall be in charge of planning the program and the overall coordinating of arrangements for the annual conference. The entire Executive Board will be invited to be a part of this committee as well as other members as recruited by the President-Elect. This committee will meet once, at a minimum, at least three months prior to the annual conference. See section six (6) for more information about conference planning.

3.2 Ad Hoc Committees

As needed, the President can establish ad hoc committees. These committees should have a specific purpose and are dissolved once that purpose is complete. An ad hoc committee may become a standing committee upon the Executive Boards approval.

4. Miscellaneous Policies and Procedures

4.1 Alcohol Policy

Funds from the Association’s Treasury shall not be used to purchase any alcoholic beverages for any Association functions.

4.2 Awards/Acknowledgments

The Association has established several awards for members. These awards are outlined in Article XI of the MASFAA Bylaws. The Immediate Past President is responsible for ensuring that the years of service, retirement and lifetime membership awards, if any, are given at the annual business meeting. The Special Service Award, if there is one, will also be given at the annual business meeting. As a general rule, a member must be a member of MASFAA for 10 years before receiving the lifetime membership. Individuals who have been in MASFAA a shorter period of time but who were active in the Association may be sent a certificate of appreciation. The master copy of these certificates will be kept by the Vice President/Secretary. See the MASFAA Bylaws Article XIII for more information about awards.

4.3 Sponsorships and Exhibit Policy

Sponsorships by outside organizations to underwrite expenses of the Association activities will be encouraged. Sponsorships will be solicited on a yearly basis with the mailing of the Association membership forms in January. The Association shall provide a designated exhibit display area at the annual conference. Exhibit displays will be limited to tablecloths, giveaways, and literature. Exhibits will be limited to table size. Sponsors will be acknowledged at the annual conference in accordance with the level of support received by the sponsor. Conference registration fees will not be waived for exhibitors. Table size will be uniform and will be determined by the conference committee.

4.4 Label Policy

All label and/or roster requests of the Association membership shall be made to the Treasurer who will approve and coordinate all orders.

4.5 Expressions of Condolence

It may be appropriate for the Association to express condolences upon the death of a MASFAA member. These guidelines are provided as a suggested response. At the discretion of the Board, alternative expressions may be approved.

4.5.1 In remembrance of a current or past MASFAA member, a donation may be made in an amount determined by the Executive Board.

4.5.2 In remembrance of a family member (spouse, parent or child) of a MASFAA member, a sympathy card is suggested.

4.6 Equipment and software owned by the Association

Any equipment owned by MASFAA shall be tagged as such and included on an inventory list held by the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be responsible for reviewing all software annually in their possession and make any recommendations to the Board.

5. Financial Policies and Procedures

5.1 Membership Dues

The membership year is January 1 to December 31. Annual membership forms will be announced on the MASFAA list serve by January 15th of each year and payment of dues is required by March 1st. Individuals attending Association activities shall be charged the non-membership fee until dues are paid.

5.2 Sponsorships

Sponsorships shall be solicited to underwrite direct budgeted expense items only once per year. Sponsorship forms will be mailed to associate members with membership forms in January of every year. Sponsorship fees will be evaluated yearly by the board in conjunction with the Associate Member delegate. Sponsors will be acknowledged for their support at the annual conference. The acknowledgment will be determined by the conference committee. Levels of sponsorship will be determined yearly by the board:

5.3 Conference registration fee refunds

All requests for refunds shall be in writing and sent to the Treasurer for approval.

5.3.1

A 100% refund shall be granted if the request is received at least 15 days prior to the start of the conference. The Treasurer shall confirm that the fee was received and issue a refund, with notification of the conference chair.

5.3.2

A request for refunds due to extenuating circumstances may be granted upon approval of the Treasurer and the President. These requests must be received within 15 days after the conclusion of the conference.

5.3.3

Registration fees may be transferred to another Association member or to a non-MASFAA member when accompanied by the additional non-member fee.

5.4 Reimbursement and Travel Expenses for Board Members

5.4.1 The Association will cover expenses incurred by Board members for the following activities:

  • For the President-Elect to attend the NASFAA Leadership & Legislative Conference and Expo. Expenses will include the conference registration fee, travel (including cab fare), lodging, and meals at State of Montana per diem amount.
  • For the President and Past President (or State Delegate to the RMASFAA Board of Directors, if different than the MASFAA President/Past President) to attend the RMASFAA annual conference excluding the conference registration fee.
  • The Executive Board may approve other Board member expenses on a case-by-case basis.

5.5 Commitments or Contract Signing

Contracts or letters of intent for conference facilities or conference entertainment groups will be reviewed and signed by the conference site chair. A copy of all written contracts shall be filed with the Treasurer.

5.6 Reserve Funds Policy

A reserve fund has been established by the Board to set aside funds not normally required for general operation expenses. These funds shall be placed in a standard interest-bearing account or Certificate of Deposit. The amount in reserves will be determined each year through the budgeting process. The Treasurers Report shall include the current account amount, including interest earned and reserve amount.

5.7 Treasurer’s Responsibilities

The Treasurer will manage the Association funds. The following outline details specific policies and procedures with respect to funds management.

5.7.1 The Treasurer shall be solely responsible for all financial transactions including:

  • All check writing
  • Issuing refunds
  • Payment of all expenses
  • Receiving and depositing all income
  • Reconciling bank statements

5.7.2 Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer at each of the meetings of the Executive Board shall give a report. This report must be reviewed and approved by the Board. This report shall summarize year-to-date income and expenses incurred by the Association. In addition, the report shall include a summary of the checking and savings account activity since the last approved Treasurer’s Report.

5.8 Checking and Savings Accounts

5.8.1 Checking Account

The Association shall have only one checking account. All income and expenses shall pass through this account. The Treasurer’s address shall be the address on this account. Deposits will be made in a timely fashion and expenses shall be paid within 30 days. Reimbursement to MAFSAA members shall be made as quickly as possible. The Treasurer will fax the President monthly checking account statements.

5.8.2 Savings Account

The Association may have a separate interest-bearing account. This account will hold the funds for the Association reserves policy.

5.9 Stale Check Policy

All Association checks that are not cashed within 90 days will be considered stale dated. It will be the payee’s responsibility to contact the Treasurer for a duplicate to be issued. By declaring a check stale, the Association is not relinquishing its obligation to the payee.

5.10 Scholarships

The Association may offer scholarships to members to attend RMASFAA Summer Institute. The Executive Board will determine the number and amount of scholarship each year. Traditionally one Minority Scholarship and one general scholarship will be awarded each year to cover the early bird rate of the institute registration fee.

Mick Hanson Professional Development Scholarship: When funds are available, this $500 scholarship will be awarded to a mentee or mentor who has been accepted into the RMASFAA Leadership Pipeline. Recipients of the scholarship are required to be a MASFAA and a RMASFAA member. This scholarship will be used to help offset costs related to the RMASFAA Fall Conference (conference fee, lodging, and travel expenses). Selection of the recipient will reside with the MASFAA Executive Board.

6. Conference Guidelines

In addition to the NASFAA conference planning guide the following will be used to help the Conference Planning Committee with planning of the annual conference.

6.1 Site and Date Selection

The site and dates of the annual conference will be determined one year prior to that conference so that appropriate time is allowed for determining a site chair, booking a conference facility and getting the MASFAA conference on the RMASFAA calendar. In order to maximize attendance of out-of-state professionals, every effort should be made to schedule the MASFAA conference without conflicting with any other RMASFAA states conferences. The Board should obtain the most current RMASFAA calendar before selecting conference dates. In order to accommodate members limited travel budgets, the Board will schedule the MASFAA annual conference in conjunction with Department of Education training and, when offered, RMASFAA Decentralized training. Although any appropriate site in the state may be selected for the annual conference, the Board has set the following tentative order of state conference sites.

  • Butte
  • Helena
  • Billings
  • Missoula
  • Great Falls
  • Bozeman

6.2 Themes, Agenda and Timetables

The theme shall be decided by the site committee. The conference committee will make all decisions about the agenda. The committee, within the following guidelines, will establish the timetable for the conference planning. The President-Elect will be responsible for keeping the committee within this timetable.

  • Site selected At least one year prior
  • Site Chair selected At least one year prior
  • Facility booked At least one year prior
  • Theme and agenda set At least three months prior
  • Budget set At least three months prior
  • Presenters booked At least two months prior
  • Presenters confirmed, in writing At least one month prior
  • Registration available At least one month prior
  • Soliciting conference sponsorships At least one month prior

6.3 Budget

The conference budget will be set within the yearly Association budget. The site chair will be responsible for keeping spending within the conference budget. The Executive Board must approve any expenses beyond the conference budget.

6.4 Conference Planning Committee

The committee will have two chairs: the President-Elect who is responsible for overseeing the entire conference but specifically the agenda and presenters and the Site Chair who is responsible for overseeing the location issues including facility, theme and registration materials.


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