Steven E. Brooks, Ed.D., has served as the executive director of the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority since February 1997. He plans to retire by the end of 2014. Prior to joining SEAA, he was involved for 20 years in student financial aid administration at Wake Forest University and Louisburg College. He holds degrees of Bachelor of Arts with Highest Honors in History (1971), Master of Arts (1974), and Doctor of Education (1986) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A former Peace Corps volunteer in the Marshall Islands, Dr. Brooks has served as Trustee of the College Board, Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, Chair of the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Assembly, and President of the North Carolina Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NCASFAA). He served, initially as a member of and then as a special advisor to, the College Board's Financial Aid Standards and Services Advisory Committee from its inception in 1993 until 2007. He also served on the College Board's Rethinking Student Aid panel and supports proposals for the simplification of federal student aid. He has served on numerous other state and national committees on financing higher education, including the Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and HCM Strategists.
Dr. Brooks co-chaired the College Board Trustees' Task Force on College Access for Low Income Students. That work led to the establishment of the "College Keys Compact" between the College Board and its members, a collaborative agreement intended to enhance preparation, access, and success for students now underrepresented in higher education. He also served as the founding chair of the task force established by the National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs to implement college access initiatives by guaranty agencies across the nation. He has been a key force in the establishment and development of the College Foundation of North Carolina college access service, widely regarded as a "gold standard" service for the nation for its assistance to students who want to plan, apply, and pay for college.
Among other honors, he has received the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Distinguished Service Award and the North Carolina Associate of Student Financial Aid Administrators Distinguished Service Award. He was inducted as one of 50 inaugural members into the CSS Hall of Fame on the fiftieth anniversary of that organization in 2004. His history of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, The First Twenty Years, won the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award in 1986.
He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the National Student Clearinghouse, the National Council of Higher Education Resources, and Mapping Your Future. He also currently serves as the Parliamentarian for the College Board and on the Advisory Board for The Completion Arch™.