Meet your Financial Aid Advisor

We understand that each student's financial situation is unique. SMU has financial aid advisors that can help you and your family determine the best way to finance your future. We look forward to helping you through the financial aid process. 

Last names beginning with A, D, I, J, P, R, S 

Ashley Griffin-Ruiz

Ashley is a Dallas native who earned her B.A. in Business Administration-Management at The University of Texas at Arlington. She began working in the SMU Financial Aid Office in 2012. Her favorite part about working at SMU is the beautiful atmosphere of the campus. She especially loves the opportunity to work with students. Her best financial aid tip is to always pay attention to deadlines and check your SMU e-mail account.

Last names beginning with B, C, L, W and Veterans

Gordon Brannon

Gordon is from Portland, Oregon. He graduated from The University of North Texas with a bachelor's degree in accounting. Gordon joined the SMU admission Financial Aid staff in March 2006.

As a Financial Aid Advisor at SMU, Gordon serves as an integral part of students' pursuit of a college degree. He finds it to be both an exhilarating and inspiring experience in assisting students with enhancing their education.

“The best tip when going through the financial aid process is to start as early as possible with completing financial aid applications. Certain aspects of pursuing financial assistance can be competitive.”


Last names beginning with F, G, K, N, O, T, V

Deffie Williams

Deffie is a Texas native and has worked in the financial aid arena since 2000 by way of Navarro College, UNT, and UNTD. She became a part of the SMU family in March 2015. Deffie enjoys seeing her students reach the ultimate goal of graduation. Deffie’s best tip for students with going through the process of financial aid is to seek advice from the financial aid office because no one situation is the same.


Last names beginning with E, H, M, Q, U, X, Y, Z

Penny Griffin

Penny is a proud graduate of SMU and has worked in financial aid at SMU for 10 years. Penny loves working at SMU with her great co-workers and all of the wonderful students and families with which she gets to interact. She also loves the atmosphere and the beauty of the campus. Penny's best tip for students going through the financial aid process is to be aware of deadlines and not procrastinate!