Bridges in are built through positions such as the Family Engagement Counselor, which provides support for parents, guardians, and families of incoming first-year students. This position is held by Erin Connor, and it is a collaboration between the Office of Admissions and Student Financial Aid Services.
Erin assists parents and families throughout the different cycles of preparing for college, starting with the admissions process and continuing through the financial aid process. Erin remarks, “Leaving home and going to college can be such an emotional time for families, and it can be overwhelming and intimidating.” Through her role as Family Engagement Counselor, she is available to assist these individuals with any concerns or questions that they may have regarding the admissions process.
Working in Student Financial Aid Services in addition to the Office of Admissions gives Erin the opportunity to provide assistance throughout the cycle of one year for the families of the incoming students. After she helps them with the admissions portion, through her connection with Financial Aid, she is available to help families to complete the Financial Resource Questionnaire (FRQ), the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and other needs as well. Typically, more than half of Berea College students are selected for verification, so a large portion of her role with Student Financial Aid is helping families of the incoming students who have been selected for verification. Verification is a routine review by the federal government of the documents submitted in the financial aid process.
Erin shares, “verification can be extremely intimidating and stressful and I am here to be in close communication with all of the incoming families who are selected for verification so that they have someone supporting them through the process and someone who has been helping them from the very beginning.”
This bridge in is connected to the college’s mission of service to others and it makes a student’s family’s transition into Berea more smooth, through the levels of support that is available specifically for them.