CAPPS is Now Accepting Nominations for The Norma 2024

Deadline for Nominations is August 5, 2024


1953 – 2010

Norma Ford was a long-time CAPPS Financial Aid Trainer, CAPPS Board Member and one of the original Inductees into the CAPPS Hall of Fame in 2009. Norma’s accomplishments were only exceeded by the countless friendships that she made along the way. Norma worked in the private career school sector for over 28 years. She started her career at FAME in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where she rose through the ranks to become Vice President of Training and Product Development. In 1992, Norma relocated to Southern California where she worked with Bill Clohan’s law firm as a non-attorney professional, providing financial aid consulting and training for client schools. In 1995, Norma formed her own consulting company – NFA Consulting – providing Title IV guidance and training for over 20 private career schools throughout California. Over the next two decades, Norma was the primary trainer for the CAPPS financial aid workshops where hundreds of financial aid personnel, from neophytes to seasoned professionals were trained. Norma also served on the CAPPS Board of Directors from 2004 – 2007. Norma served as Corporate Director of Financial Services and Regulatory Compliance for American Career College and West Coast University, with locations in Los Angeles, Orange County and Ontario. Norma’s greatest accomplishment was in providing a foundation of knowledge to financial aid officers, directors and school owners in the ever-changing, complex world of financial aid.

“The Norma”

The California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS) is pleased to announce the creation of the Norma Ford Financial Aid Professional of the Year Award. “The Norma,” as this award is affectionately called was created in honor of Norma Ford, CAPPS long-time Financial Aid Trainer who passed away in 2010. Norma was a dedicated and brilliant Financial Aid professional, who never failed to take time to assist others and help them understand the intricacies required in working with students, schools, and others to successfully manage the financial aid process. After decades in the financial aid field, Norma left behind a legacy of commitment and excellence that will be impossible to replace. CAPPS believes that by creating this annual award we can honor those who administer financial aid in private postsecondary Institutions. Norma often commented that an Institution could not function without financial aid staff, but they were often the overlooked unsung heroes in the School. We cannot think of a better way to honor Norma than to recognize outstanding Financial Aid professionals on a yearly basis at the CAPPS Annual Conference.

Award Recipients


Maria Duenas, Mikhail Education Corporation


Laurie Vulich, Select Education Group


Sylvia Bautista, CNI College


Eva Arvanitopoulos, Concorde Career College


Mary O’Brien, Empire College


Elona Owens, Asher College


Elizabeth Schaefer, Central Coast College