Sharon Oliver

Director of Scholarships/Student Aid
North Carolina Central University
Durham NC
Biographical Sketch:
I have experienced a rewarding career in financial aid for more than twenty-five years. I find the work I do in my current position extremely gratifying because I am often afforded an opportunity to empathize with families from diverse economic backgrounds and to encourage them to make their dreams a reality. I currently serve as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Scholarships and Student Aid at North Carolina Central University. I have served in various capacities at the postsecondary level including Chief Accountant, Bursar, and Enrollment Manager. Therefore, I fully understand the role financial aid plays in meeting fiscal responsibilities of private as well as public institutions. I am actively involved in the national, state, and regional financial aid professional associations. I have grown tremendously in the financial aid profession while serving as SAFAA’s President. Beyond networking with members from nine states, I have had the privilege of building relations with five regional Presidents, NASFAA staff, and other key officials. It has been an honor and a privilege to lead SASFAA for 2017-18 with the support of a dynamic Executive Board. Of the many rewarding volunteer experiences that I have had, serving as the SASFAA Leadership Symposium Chairperson, has been quite rewarding. In this capacity, I played an integral role with the development of future leaders who are serving and supporting the state and regional associations as officers, committee chairpersons, committee members and volunteers. My personal interest includes volunteering within the community to ensure that families are aware of funding for college. It is indeed a privilege and an honor for me to have an opportunity to work with young people to provide assistance for making their dreams become a reality. My career has been punctuated with a series of rewarding growth experiences. One of my most rewarding work experiences has been working in the financial aid office and helping families through tough financial situations. I am often asked, “How can I provide the high level of support and services to difficult families and students? My response is simple: “because I care.” I care to listen, I care to understand, I care to help and I care to provide solutions. I care because I have walked in the shoes of many of the students and families that we serve, so I fully understand the challenges and frustration. I strongly believe in Mahatma Gandi’ quote about serving and caring for others: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”