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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Featured Posts

Posted May 11, 2017

It’s Not Just About What Happens in School, After School Matters, Too

President Trump’s “skinny budget” for the coming fiscal year is chock full of proposed cutbacks to longstanding federal programs. But one of his most surprising…

By Jodi Grant

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Posted May 10, 2017

Why Poor College Kids Like Us Need to Start Asking for the Help We Need

Growing up, my parents embedded the ideology that I should be happy and grateful for what I have. My mother would say, “Aunque seamos pobres,…

By Guillermo Camarillo

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Posted May 15, 2017

Every Teacher Tried to Get Him on Track But Only This Student Knew Exactly What He Needed

During the first seven months of this school year, I struggled to find a way to motivate a ninth-grade student whom I’ll call Ameer. Ameer…

By Christopher Mah

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