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Solar eclipse

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What better excuse than a solar eclipse to take our eyes off work?

Most of us in the financial aid industry have our heads down this time year, completing paperwork, verifying need, and checking all the boxes needed to get students to that first day of class.

So just in case you've been too busy to hear about it (which could happen if you work in financial aid), there will be a total solar eclipse on August 21 visible across the United States. The cool thing is this is the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States since 1979, and we won't see another until April 2024, according to the website Time and Date. The photo to the right is of a lunar eclipse, which occurs more often.

I don't think you'll need to look far for a solar eclipse celebration on a college campus, but why not join in the celebration in the financial aid office? If you are planning a financial aid orientation, adding an eclipse theme might be a good way to attract more students.

You only have a few days to plan but here's a few ideas:

  • Serve moon-shaped food – like cookies, pizza, or moon pies, of course.
  • Play trivia games with astronomy questions, eclipse questions, and maybe through in a few financial aid or money management questions. You can have students answer the questions while they are waiting to see a counselor. Have a drawing at the end of the day for a school shirt, hat or other giveaway.
  • Dress as the sun, moon or a star – anything to fit with the astronomy theme. Sure, it may be a little hard to sit at your computer dressed as the sun, but it will definitely start some conversations.
  • Decorate the office with suns, moons, and stars.

If it all seems too much to plan a party right now with all the other work going on in your office, why not start planning now for the next eclipse in 2024?

In the meantime, when you look up from your work next Monday to see the solar eclipse, be sure you protect your eyes.


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