Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Vision Statement

OASFAA’s commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) includes: 1) Ensuring a diverse perspective of ideas plays an intentional role in the conversation of financial aid administration and policy-making. 2) Promoting equitable professional development opportunities that honor the integrity of its members with the intent to better the lives of each colleague, student, and family we serve regardless of personal identities, career trajectory, and background. 3) Actively promote and practice the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion by encouraging member involvement and access to state, regional, and national organizations.

The IDEA Advocate and IDEA Advisory Board

The IDEA Advocate (and Advocate-Elect) are elected members of the OASFAA Executive Council. This role aims to incorporate IDEA action into the mission and operations of OASFAA. This includes highlighting perspectives and removing barriers for professionals from marginalized identities around race, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, and more. 

The IDEA Advisory Board assists the Advocate in their responsibilities, such as by providing further input from varying perspectives on actions, decisions, and deliberations of the Executive Council and other committees. The IDEA Advocate (with assistance from the Advocate-Elect) chairs the Advisory Board.


The IDEA Advocate and Advisory Board are tasked with advancing equity, cultivating diversity, practicing inclusion, and promoting access by: 

  1. Creating an environment of continuous learning that is inclusive and creates a brave space where people are open to ideas, expression, embrace differences, and are accepting of all people.

  2. Acknowledging power and its effects of the “ism” by creating accessible opportunities in which diverse individuals can participate.

  3. Being mindful that our identities influence how we perceive and how others perceive us.

  4. Connecting and inspiring members with professional development and learning opportunities centered on EDI.

The board is committed to:

Inclusion: The extent to which individuals with marginalized identities are able to participate in the decision-making process and have a sense of belonging within an organization and/or group. We practice inclusion by implementing practices that further these goals.

Diversity: Everyone is diverse. We all bring our experiences, identities, cultures, socioeconomic status, upbringing, interests, and education that shape our perspectives and actions.We cultivate diversity by sharing these aspects of ourselves and celebrating them in others.

Equity:  All people and/or groups are given access to the precise number and types of resources for them to realize (attain, reach, achieve) equal results. We advance equity through fairness by knowing that fairness is not always equal. Acknowledging one’s biases also helps in ensuring that fair and impartial results occur. 

Access: This is characterized by if and how those with different levels of abilities or disabilities can fully participate in organizations, groups, systems, etc.  Ability symbolizes or categorizes people based on a person’s ways of navigating and negotiating society – physically, emotionally, psychologically, and mentally. We promote access by advocating for


This webpage provides information and resources on:

  • IDEA definitions

  • Upcoming OASFAA trainings related to IDEA topics

  • Regular email communications with membership

If you would like to contact the advisory board or are interested in serving on it, please reach out to the IDEA Advocate for further information using the Member Directory.


IDEA Resources

General IDEA





People First/ Centered Language 


People of Color 



Houselessness/ Foster Care


 Mental Health