Asher College Financial Aid Administrator Elona Owens has been named the 2017 Norma Ford Financial Aid Professional of the Year.
The Norma Ford Award is presented by the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools to an excellent financial aid professional in honor of CAPPS Financial Aid trainer and Board Member Norma Ford who passed away in 2010.
Elona Owens has been a financial aid advisor with Asher College for 11 years. Previously, Owens worked as an office manager in the dental field for more than 30 years. She decided she wanted to make a change and in 2006 enrolled in the medical billing and coding program at Asher College. A short time later she was offered the first financial aid position at Asher College.
“Being a former graduate of our school, Elona understands firsthand what our students are going through,” said Asher College Sacramento Campus Director Linda Freeman. “Most of our students are mature adults going back to school and making career changes and it is a very stressful time for them. Elona takes what is often the most stressful part of the enrollment process and puts people at ease.”
About 90 percent of students at Asher College are recipients of financial aid. Owens’ calm, friendly demeanor coupled with clear, concise information helps a person make an informed decision about their education and future. Owens always wants the best for the students and has an encouraging “you can accomplish this” attitude that comes from a place deep in her heart, said Freeman.
“Elona takes it personal. It’s personal to her when one of her staff succeeds and thrives. It’s personal to her when a student realizes their dreams and goals,” said Freeman.
Owens says she is honored and humbled to be recognized for this award. She says she loves working with people and helping them through the financial aid process.
“At some schools, students don’t know who their financial aid officer,” said Owens. “At Asher, we sit with them and walk them through everything. We let them know we are here for them and are their partners through this journey.”
Owens is a huge proponent of postsecondary education and enjoys being able to guide students and help show them that continuing their education is something they can do.
“For many students going back to school is a big step,” she said. “I help them through this process and see how getting this education impacts their life and changes it for the better. It is really wonderful to be able to be a part of helping them make that happen.”