Jan 22, 2016

NGPF Podcast: Mary Morrison, Financial Aid Guru and Personal Finance Innovator

Thanks to Mary Morrison for joining me recently on the NGPF podcast show.  Mary was Director of Funds Management in the Office of Financial Aid at Stanford University and gave away millions of dollars in financial aid each year. Identifying a need, she also started a course on financial literacy for Stanford students and has prepared thirty groups of Stanford seniors for the “real world” that awaits them.  She received Amy Blue Award in 2008 for her service to students and the University and even in retirement, she continues to serve the community by leading financial aid workshops throughout the region.  

Listen to this podcast to hear Mary’s insights on:

  • The biggest blind spots that families have when it comes to financial aid
  • The inside scoop on college scholarships
  • What motivated her to start up a new personal finance course on campus
  • What she wishes college students knew before they step foot on a college campus



0:00~0:58 – Intro
0:58~2:28 – Mary’s Background
2:28~4:32 – What did your parents teach you about personal finance?
4:32~5:25 – How did you learn personal finance lessons?
5:25~9:03 – Is it possible for parents to negotiate the financial aid package?
9:03~9:55 – How many parents have you talked to?
9:55~11:07 – What percent of students that you came across in your career had a good grasp of financial aid?
11:07~12:53 – Most common blind spot on financial aid?
12:53~14:54 – Is it true that scholarships go unused?
14:54~17:47 – Other misunderstandings about scholarships
17:47~19:43 – Difference between sticker price and net price
19:43~20:30 – What does ‘impacted’ mean?
20:30~23:50 – How much is too much for student loans?
23:50~27:21 – What do you teach Stanford students about personal finance?
27:21~31:23  – Do you find your classes skewed to seniors? What are the key lessons that you teach them?
31:23~35:10 – How do you teach budgeting?
35:10~37:53 – How has your class changed every year?
37:53~41:32 – How much is too much of work study?
41:32~52:04 – What do you wish that high school students knew about before coming to college?
52:04~54:21 – Parting words from Mary
54:21~54:55 – Outro
“The cost of attendance is a concept that we need to talk to parents about”


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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