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Consuela Perez

Director of Enrollment Resources, Southern Methodist University

Focus Area: Access

Dallas, Texas
Office Representing: Enrollment Management

Consuela Perez currently manages the enrollment resources area at Southern Methodist University (SMU), which is the first point of contact for the Division of Enrollment Services that includes the offices of undergraduate admission, university bursar, financial aid, intersessions, and university registrar. Prior to working at SMU, Perez served first as the assistant director of financial and then as the director of financial aid at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas. Perez is also a doctoral candidate at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education.

How did you first get interested in or involved in higher education issues?

"I initially became interested in higher education issues as an undergraduate financial aid recipient who benefited from the Pell Grant and Federal Work-Study programs while completing my bachelor's degree from a public four-year, land-grant university," Perez said. "My experience as a first-generation college student—the first in my entire extended family to enroll—pushes me to do all I can to advocate for higher education policies that maintain the goals of access and affordability for students like me who could not attend college otherwise."

Why did you apply to be a part of the Higher Education Committee of 50? What drew you to this opportunity?

"I applied to be a part of the [Higher Education Committee of 50] because I am confident my experience as a scholar-practitioner can add value to any policy recommendations our group develops that will strengthen Title IV programs," Perez said. "My dissertation and research interests continue to focus on student financial aid policies that increase access and affordability, particularly for low-income and other marginalized students. I was drawn to this opportunity because it will allow me to draw from my unique personal, educational, and professional background to facilitate discussions and recommendations grounded in research, theory, and practical application."

Leadership roles with professional associations:

  • Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (TASFAA): Past Chair of the Training Committee

Membership(s) held with other professional associations:

  • Southwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SWASFAA)
  • Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)