Demystifying the Financial Aid Appeals Process

COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways including financial changes. This webinar provides help for families who’ve experienced economic loss or financial instability. Use this time to learn the options to appeal your school’s financial aid decision due to economic changes in financial standing. Launched April 15, SwiftStudent is a free online resource to support students, their families, and financial aid offices in streamlining the financial aid appeal process.

Join this FREE webinar to learn from experts on:

  • What a financial aid appeal is
  • Factors that may qualify students to seek an appeal
  • A tool that can help them request the appeal
“Millions of students already filled out the FAFSA this fall, well before the economic impact of COVID-19. Many students will need to ask for more financial aid when they receive their offers this April, and our members are relieved to have a tool to help them with the process.”

- Kim Cook, Executive Director of the National College Attainment Network.

Webinar Overview:

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2020
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 p.m. PT
Duration: 60 minutes

Register Now:


Abigail Seldin Abigail Seldin is the CEO of the Seldin / Haring-Smith Foundation, which she co-founded with her husband, Whitney Haring-Smith, in 2019. SHSF funds seed-stage public interest projects and collaborates with leading tech companies to build tools for the new college majority.

At SHSF, Seldin defined the strategy and led the development of SwiftStudent, a free digital tool for college students seeking financial aid appeals. Built in partnership with 18 leading higher education organizations and powered by FormSwift, The Washington Post has highlighted SwiftStudent as “an equity leveler.”

A Rhodes Scholar and Forbes “30 Under 30,” Seldin previously co-founded College Abacus, an edtech company known as the “Kayak.com of college financial aid,” in 2012. Seldin served as the company’s CEO until she led the successful sale in 2014 to ECMC Group. She joined the acquirer as VP of Innovation & Product Development, where she started and led their DC-based innovation Lab, an 80% female technology and design center. Seldin has been profiled in national media outlets including The New York Times, and her work on the Abacus products was highlighted in Secretary John King’s 2016 speech, “Opportunity Across America.”

Seldin now serves on the boards of Temple University’s Hope Center, Montgomery College Foundation, and the Association of American Rhodes Scholars.
Matt Newlin Matt Newlin, Ed.D., is Director of Rural Initiatives at College Advising Corps, a national non-profit that works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete higher education. Prior to joining CAC, Matt worked in financial aid for over 12 years, most recently serving as Director of Financial Aid at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. In his previous roles, he has established need-based scholarship opportunities, financial literacy programming, first-generation student support resources, and community outreach initiatives for low-income and underrepresented students. He has presented on undergraduate and graduate student financial aid issues at local, regional, and national conferences, including NASFAA and NASPA. Matt has also been interviewed about student financial aid by U.S. News & World Report and St. Louis On the Air.

Matt is a first-generation student from a low-income, working class background and is passionate about serving students with similar identities. He earned his Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University, a master’s degree from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He is based in St. Louis, Missouri. You can follow him on Twitter at @DrMattNewlin.
Kenton Pauls Kenton Pauls works closely with leaders in higher education in support of ACT's mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success as national director for higher education at ACT. Kenton has over 20 years of leadership experience in admissions and enrollment management at public and private institutions in the United States as well as Canada. Prior to joining ACT in July of 2015, he was Dean of Enrollment Management at Northwestern College in Iowa. Pauls earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Trinity Western University and an M.B.A. from the University of North Dakota.

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