Got anything fun planned for the third Wednesday of October?

We do!

Here’s an overlooked holiday to add to your calendars: National Financial Aid Day.

That’s right, every year, on the third Wednesday of October, a whole day is set aside to celebrate those who work in or with financial aid. This is an important day, as it gives all of us a chance to recognize individuals who often get overlooked.

The holiday itself was first celebrated by Neville R Brown in 2010, who was president of the Eastern Association Student Financial Aid Administrators (EASFAA) at the time. A year later in 2011, the holiday was officially recognized by lawmakers and began to spread throughout the country as a national tradition. Since then, the holiday has been celebrated every year by both financial aid workers and people who have no idea what FAFSA stands for.

While it’s easy to see financial aid services as a cog in the great machine that is education, there are countless individuals working every day to better the lives of students around the globe. Not to mention, financial aid is rarely simple work, as every student has different financial situations and needs in order to give them the best education possible. This variance combined with the massive volume of financial aid requests created each year makes it clear why financial aid professionals should be recognized to such a degree. Just to give an idea, Collegeboard reported that in the 2019-2020 school year, undergraduate and graduate students received a total of $242 billion in aid.

On top of already existing challenges for the financial aid industry, the COVID-19 crisis and its effects on education made financial aid an even more complex problem than ever before. Despite this adversity, financial aid distributors and companies worked hard throughout the pandemic to meet increased demand for financial aid. While students found new ways to attend class online and interact with their peers and professors, financial aid workers also found new ways to get students the help they need no matter the circumstances. Thanks to their efforts, students continued to get the assistance they required even though the economy was on the decline. If there’s any year to participate in the National Financial Aid Day and thank a financial aid professional- it is most certainly 2021.

With all that said, the anticipated holiday is still over a few months away, so why not start the festivities early and take some time out of today to thank someone you know who works in financial aid! Happy early National Financial Aid Day!

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