David Nichols Start in Higher Education!

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At Financial Aid Services (FAS) and Genesis Software, we are known for our industry expertise with decades worth of experience. But how did our experts first begin their journey in the world of Higher Education and Financial Aid? This month we are hearing from David Nichols, a senior consultant and expert in client solutions. He has dabbled in many areas of FAS!

How did I get started in the industry? Well, that is a long story, a little by accident, hard work, and luck (as I see it now)…

After college, I moved back to the Northeast for employment. I had a friend who worked at FAS, and that’s how I originally met the FAS crew! At the time FAS was not hiring (plus, what did I know about Financial Aid?).

Mr. Al Gillis, the founder of FAS, created a summer project for me – which really kicked off my journey of learning the industry. After that summer, Al Gillis, who had taken me under his wing, helped me land my first Financial Aid position at one of the local schools we serviced.

Being at a school that retained FAS, I learned so much, attended lots of training, and dove deeper into learning the industry over the next 12 months. In May of 1995, I got a call from Al Gillis, “due to unforeseen circumstances, a position in need of Financial Aid expertise at FAS has opened and you would be the perfect fit for it.”

I was all in!

Over the years at FAS, I have had many opportunities to work in various departments. The industry is always changing, which can be a challenge, but FAS has always fostered a learning environment! I travel often for FAS, attending various workshops and conferences, promoting our services and our organization. I am very proud to be part of this company! I love meeting with existing and future clients and forming that special bond.

FAS has been a part of my family for the past 28+ years. In transparency, has it always been easy? Of course not! But families work through their ups and downs, rely on each other, and rally. In this, I am looking forward to many more years with my FAS family!

When not working or traveling for FAS, you can find me boating, fishing, snowmobiling, doing my automotive hobbies, and spending time with my yellow lab Gracie!

Have you seen David on the road? Drop him a comment below!

If you are new to the Higher Education industry, or have been around for years, we would love to hear how YOU began!


  1. Sandra O'Connell

    May 10, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    Glad you were all in then and that you are still all in. You are such a big part of the FAS Family. We are forever bonded by all our FAS experiences from the last 28 years. Gracie is so beautiful. She got big! I hope to come visit you soon!

  2. Mario Recio

    June 1, 2023 at 10:24 am

    “has it always been easy? Of course not! But families work through their ups and downs, rely on each other, and rally.”


    Dave great to know a little more about you. Enjoy the boating season.


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