Financial Aid Director’s Note

Michael IrelandMichael Ireland has worked for many years at SIT. His approach to work and his manner with people are widely acknowledged among alumni as personable, polite, and unflappable. He is a person of integrity and sensitivity. SIT is proud he expresses his values on this campus.

I work in financial aid at SIT because I am inspired by our graduate students. By the work that they did before coming to SIT, the academic, advocacy, teaching, and research work they do here, and where they take themselves after graduating. It is quite easy to be overwhelmed by the challenges that the world faces and I derive such energy and hope learning about the work that our students do.

I came to SIT after working as an instructor and program manager for Outward Bound for five years. It was this foundation in experiential education along with my intercultural experiences of attending a bilingual school in my early years, and traveling outside the U.S. that drew me to SIT.

Now, in the financial aid world, I really enjoy streamlining the financial aid process so students can move beyond the forms and financial concerns to focus on the academic and practical side of their graduate program.

The other piece that I enjoy, and am continually working on, is to make an SIT education accessible to as many people as possible. For international students, that means providing as much grant and scholarship support as possible through SIT, while directing students to other funding sources that have a high likelihood of success.

For U.S. residents, I certainly strive for these same funding options with the added opportunity for students to borrow U.S. federal loans. Loans hold both challenges and opportunity: the challenge, of course, is that the loan must be repaid. The opportunity is that they open the door to education for many students.

If you are looking at SIT for graduate school, don’t hesitate to stop in or give a call. I always enjoy talking about budgeting for our daily lives, taking risks to achieve our goals, and learning more about the people behind the numbers.

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2 Responses to “Financial Aid Director’s Note”

  1. Mary Henderson Says:

    Hello, Michael – How wonderful to see that you are still at SIT doing good work and doing good! Mary

  2. Michael Ireland Says:

    Thanks for the post Mary! A note to more recent SIT observers, Mary Henderson was the Director of Financial Aid at SIT ten years ago. She taught herself the many regulations and processes that encompass the financial aid profession. I was fortunate enough to be under her tutelage for a year to gain some of her knowledge and wisdom. Thanks Mary for introducing me to a profession that has become my passion and feels like home.

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