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TC at Work: Vanessa Cisneros


TC at Work: Vanessa Cisneros

Vanessa Cisneros is the Associate Director of the Office of Financial Aid

Who She Is
Vanessa Cisneros is the Associate Director of the Office of Financial Aid. She is in charge of TC’s student loan operations, getting involved in everything from answering questions from students and helping process loan applications to troubleshooting any problems.

Road to TC
Vanessa grew up in Yonkers and attended Pace University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in finance. With thoughts of a career on Wall Street, she headed to Morgan Stanley after graduation but found the work unfulfilling. So, she took a job as a financial aid officer at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM) in midtown Manhattan in 2005. (LIM is the nation’s only college devoted to the business of fashion.) She came to TC in 2007 as an assistant director and initially coordinated TC’s federal work study program.

Best Part of the Job
For Vanessa, the best part of the job is the students. She says she has enjoyed working with students since her undergraduate days at Pace, when she took a job at the campus library. “Helping students finance their education is the best, especially those students who come in, and they are in despair. They have a few more classes to go, and they don’t want to take out any more loans. They need a scholarship or some other form of assistance, and for me to be able to help those students finish their degrees is very rewarding. That’s the purpose for us being here in financial aid.”

In Her Spare Time
She’s deeply committed to helping minority students finance their educations and often takes part in financial aid workshops and information sessions in New York City to let Latino high school students know that there are resources available for them to continue their education. “I try to help minority students understand the whole financial aid part of higher education. So many times, these students hear that it’s too expensive, and they don’t understand that they can go to college, and there are resources available.”

Did You Know?
Last summer was quite a memorable one for Vanessa. About the time that she began working at TC, she enrolled in the master’s degree program in higher education administration at Baruch College. In May, she completed the program and received her master’s degree. And a few months later, she bought a co-op apartment in New York City and has spent the past several months fixing up the place and making it home. “It’s been quite a good summer for me.”
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