Director of Corporate
March 16, 2012
American Student Assistance to Take on Vital College Access Role in Massachusetts
Underserved Students Will Continue to Receive Practical Help on Planning and Paying for College
BOSTON, MA March 16, 2012 – American Student Assistance® (ASA), the Boston-based nonprofit that empowers college students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their student loan debt, and The Education Resources Institute (TERI) announced today that the two organizations have reached an agreement for ASA® to assume management of TERI's College Access Programs.
Under the terms of the agreement initiated by TERI, ASA will take on operation of TERI’s programs and College Planning Centers, located in Boston, Brockton, and Chelsea, Massachusetts, where education advisors provide free, one-on-one guidance and resources to make planning and paying for college as simple as possible. The programs include TRIO Talent Search and Upward Bound, GEAR UP, and the Success Boston initiative.
Various approvals and conditions need to be met in order to close this transaction. The transfer has been approved by both organizations’ Boards of Directors, and the organizations will be working closely with the Massachusetts Attorney General and several grantors that provide grant funding for the programs’ operation, including the U.S. Department of Education, regarding their approval processes. Upon the transaction’s closing, TERI College Access staff is expected to join ASA to provide continuity and ensure no disruption in service to students and families.
“At ASA our mission is to aid and assist students in successfully completing a program of higher education financing and repayment,” said Paul Combe, ASA President. “The College Access Programs are a natural extension of the work that we do. We are taking on this responsibility to enhance these critical programs so that more economically and educationally disadvantaged students can fulfill the promise of higher education opportunities.”
TERI, a nonprofit private student loan guarantor, was created with original funding by ASA in 1985. Under the agreement announced today, ASA will assume only TERI’s College Planning Centers and grant-funded programs and no other part of TERI’s operations.
“TERI’s dedication to the College Access Programs in recent years never wavered, despite the suspension of our loan programs,” said Willis Hulings, TERI President and CEO. “We are confident in ASA’s ability to maintain and expand the Programs in the years ahead and are delighted that this essential public service will continue for deserving students.”
ASA has had a long-standing commitment to the Planning Centers. In 1984, ASA founded the original College Planning Center (then the Higher Education Information Center) at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square before providing a grant to TERI for the Center’s continued operation. In recent years, ASA also has provided Education Debt/Financial Aid Advisors to help staff the Centers.
“We hope to expand and improve the College Access Programs’ reach in the future by creating greater awareness of its services in the community and leveraging the power of the Web to efficiently serve even more students and families,” said Combe.
About American Student Assistance
American Student Assistance is a private nonprofit whose public purpose mission is to empower students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their college loan debt. We do this by providing student loan education and enabling the development of financial competencies through the use of innovative web-based tools and trusted, neutral advice”all free of charge to students and alumni. Through a game-changing educational membership program called “SALT,” we equip students and alumni with money skills for life so they reduce their student loan debt, improve student loan repayment outcomes, and increase their overall financial empowerment. Established in 1956 and based in Boston, ASA employs approximately 450 associates and has been recognized by the Boston Business Journal and Boston Globe as one of the region’s best places to work. Visit www.asa.org or call 617.728.4631 for more information.