Rich Nickel is president and chief executive officer of College Success Arizona, formerly known as Arizona College Success Foundation, since 2012. Before that, Nickel served as president and senior vice president of USA Funds Services division at SLM Corporation. Nickel served as president of Southwest Student Services Corporation and as vice president of SLM Corporation.
Nickel has more than 15 years of experience in student lending. He joined Southwest in 2003 as senior vice president of business development, where he led the Southwest school sales force and directed comprehensive sales and marketing plans, including corporate communications, community relations, advertising, consumer direct marketing and public relations, as well as the development and expansion of products and services.
Before joining Southwest, Nickel served as vice president of sales at Bank One’s Education One Group and was national business development officer at Student Loan Funding Resources. Before that, he spent six years at The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority in various roles, including manager of policy and client services, executive office adviser and loan market services supervisor.
Nickel is a member of numerous associations for higher education finance professionals, including the Southwestern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Nickel received a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications from the University of Kentucky.