Lee's Dill Speaks Before HELP Committee In D.C.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014 - by Jillian Ellis, Lee University
Marian Dill testifies before a Senate committee on student financial aid
Marian Dill testifies before a Senate committee on student financial aid

Marian Dill, director of Financial Aid at Lee University, spoke before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Thursday on the invitation of the United States Senate.

The hearing, entitled “Strengthening the Federal Student Loan Program for Borrowers,” was held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. 

The purpose of the hearing was to examine all aspects of the federal student loan programs, touching on issues ranging from origination, counseling, repayment plans, servicing, collections, and shared accountability.

Ms. Dill was asked to provide an overview of the current system from her perspective as a financial aid administrator, particularly focusing on aspects of the process that are working well for students and where the process can be improved. She was also asked to provide any recommendations to strengthen the loan counseling process, streamline and simplify the current system, and improve loan servicing.

“I was honored by the invitation from Senator Lamar Alexander,” said Ms. Dill. “I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to advocate for improvements in the federal student aid programs.”  

The hearing, which was televised live at 10 a.m. on C-SPAN, focused on four panelists, including Ms. Dill. 

Ms. Dill covered student success recommendations such as improvements to loan counseling, limiting borrowing and over-borrowing and stricter underwriting requirements for the parent PLUS loans.  Other suggestions were submitted regarding reduction of unnecessary administrative burdens.

Prior to Ms. Dill’s arrival at Lee University in 1998, she served as assistant director of Financial Aid at Cleveland State Community College and a financial aid counselor at Tennessee Wesleyan College. 

She earned her MEd in Community Counseling at UTC, her bachelor’s in Human Services at Tennessee Wesleyan College, and an associate’s degree in Computer Science from Tomlinson College.

Ms. Dill was nominated and elected Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators vice president for 2014-2015. She currently serves as membership chair for SASFAA and will assume the vice president role on July 1.

Ms. Dill has served SASFAA as NAOW trainer, budget and finance chair, and Tennessee representative. She was a budget and finance chair, president, and treasurer for the Tennessee Association of Financial Aid Administrators, and she was on the Tennessee Student Assistant Corporation Board of Directors and was a PowerFAIDS National User Conference presenter.

SASFAA is an organization of over 1,200 financial aid professionals working within the nine southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia) whose purpose is to promote the professional preparation of individuals within financial aid, to develop effective programs related to student financial aid, to facilitate communication between all interested parties within the financial aid community, and to continually evaluate and update their services. 


Marian Dill, right, and Lee Assistant Director of Financial Aid Laurie Richmond with Senator Lamar Alexander.
Marian Dill, right, and Lee Assistant Director of Financial Aid Laurie Richmond with Senator Lamar Alexander.

Dalton State Protects, Breeds Endangered Turtles

Dalton State couple has a new  couple, a male and female spiny turtle – known as the Heosemys spinosa in scientific communities - which is an endangered species. They live in the Dalton State College Turtle Assurance Colony. The colony is part of the international Turtle Survival Alliance, which is a conservation group formed in response to the disappearance of turtles ... (click for more)

Lee To Add TESOL Major This Fall

Beginning this fall, Lee University’s Department of Language and Literature will offer two new tracks in its Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program. Previously offered as a minor only, students can now opt between a BAT or a BA in TESOL. “There is an increasing demand for teachers that can teach English as a second language, and Lee is responding to that need,” ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $8 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Our’ American Minute

William J. Federer is one of the leading historians in the United States and every morning I am among thousands of people who get an entertaining email from him called the “American Minute.” I adore it because Bill takes a significant event in American history that happened long ago – but he remembers on the very anniversary of when it occurred. A great example is that last Thursday ... (click for more)