Rich Nickel

Guest Blogger

CEO, College Success Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Rich leads College Success Arizona toward its goal of assisting young Arizonans in obtaining a college education. Rich brings 22 years of government, corporate and nonprofit experience to the organization, much of that in senior-level leadership roles. Rich has invested the majority of his career leading sales organizations and service-related businesses in the financial services and education finance arenas.

Rich may be best known for the years he spent with Sallie Mae, Inc. As senior vice president there, he directed Sallie Mae’s relationships with its largest business-to-business clients, including the country’s largest student loan guarantor, USA Funds and the U.S. Department of Education. Most recently, he served as vice president of Next Generation Insurance Group, based in Phoenix. Rich’s first role in the greater Phoenix community was in the mid 2000s, where he served as president of Gilbert-based Southwest Student Services Corporation, following its merger with Sallie Mae.

Along with his passion for helping students attain their educational goals, Rich is also passionate about helping children take advantage of the benefits derived from participating in middle and high school team sports. In that vein, he recently served as president of Franklin County High School Baseball Booster Club, as well as Director of WeWannaPlay, Inc., a Franklin County nonprofit organization aimed at aiding young, financially disadvantaged athletes. Rich earned his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from the University of Kentucky.

RECENT POSTS

Posted June 13, 2016

Why Latinos Can’t Be Left Out in the Race Towards College Degrees

There is little doubt that a post-secondary degree or certificate is a key to success in our increasingly knowledge-driven economy.…

By Rich Nickel

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Posted Apr. 23, 2018

Why Is Oklahoma City Blocking This School for Native American Kids?

Having grown up on a reservation in Reno, Nevada, Phil Gover of Oklahoma is committed to improving education for Native American students. In the summer…

By Erika Sanzi

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Posted Apr. 20, 2018

Everyone Keeps Talking About Implicit Racial Bias But What Is It?

Over the last few days, I’ve been tackling implicit bias with my eighth-graders. I mean, if Starbucks can shut down for a day to learn…

By Tom Rademacher

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Posted Apr. 24, 2018

Why Are White People So Afraid of Immigrant Kids?

Not long ago I was in Wilmington, Delaware—reporting another story—and I visited Academia Antonia Alonso, a two-way dual immersion charter school where over half the…

By Conor P. Williams

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