Shirley Hughes began working in a financial aid office 20 years ago while still a student at Cal State Fullerton. Today, Hughes is a Financial Aid Supervisor at Cuyamaca College, overseeing an office of eight employees who are dedicated to making sure students get all the help they need in securing critical funding.
“Most students who go to school here are receiving some form of financial aid, whether it’s a fee waiver, grant funds, student loans, scholarships or veterans’ benefits,” Hughes said. “We’re doing what we can to help students in pursuing their education and be successful in whatever it is they choose to do.”
A native of San Diego, Hughes began her career in financial aid as a student worker at Cal State Fullerton. She was hired full time after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, working her way up to a front office supervisor and financial aid advisor before moving to Cuyamaca College 10 years ago.
Students seeking financial aid at Cuyamaca College run the gamut and range in age from 18 to 83. Some days are busier than others, and it’s not unusual to see a line of students snaking outside the front door. Questions range from simply checking on their financial aid status to more complex special circumstances about their particular situation.
“Many students have overcome seemingly overwhelming challenges to get to Cuyamaca and seeing them be successful in completing their goal is what it is all about,” she said.