Financial Aid Offices Face Turnover and Staffing Shortages as ‘Great Resignation’ Hits Home


Owen Daugherty
January 7, 2022
After nearly 50 years working in financial aid, Sue Pedigo had earned her retirement.
She left Vol State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, in the summer of 2019 expecting to carry on the life of a retiree, no longer burdened by working long hours and keeping operations running smoothly at the financial aid office she had called home for 48 years, about 40 of which she served as the director.
But a little more than two years later, in the summer of 2021 when the country was still in the midst of a pandemic, Pedigo received a call asking her to come back to Vol State and assume the role of financial aid director she had only recently departed. To her surprise, the aid director who took her place had already left. Pedigo’s replacement had decided to retire early.
“I was happy to be retired. I needed to retire,” Pedigo said of her decision to depart the aid office. “I needed to do that for myself and my husband. And the school understood that and they wanted me to have that. It just ended up that they weren’t ready for it.”