Director of Corporate
At American Student Assistance, we reach the community through public-purpose projects and partnerships with organizations that share our vision for student loan borrower success:
The College Planning Centers provide free one-on-one guidance and resources aimed at making the process of planning and paying for college as simple as possible for low-income students. In order to reach a diverse and often underserved community of students, the advisors that work in the Centers are fluent in a number of foreign languages. These advisors provide assistance identifying sources of scholarships and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, CSS Profile and institutional financial aid applications; guidance on choosing prospective schools and through the entire application process; help in choosing a major and understanding how to achieve career goals; and advice on debt management.
ASA originally established the Centers as the Higher Education Information Center at the Boston Public Library in the 1980s, in response to a growing need to educate urban students about higher education and available funding opportunities. After ASA established The Education Resources Institute, Inc. in 1985, to support the first alternative loan program in the nation specifically aimed at low-income and disadvantaged students, ASA transferred the operation of HEIC to TERI and provided $14 million in grant and gift funding to TERI to oversee the HEIC. In recent years, thanks in part to staff resources provided by ASA, the Centers expanded to additional locations throughout the greater Boston area. Through a recent agreement waiting approval, ASA has agreed to once again assume operation of the College Planning Centers and TERI’s College Access Programs to preserve this essential public service in the community.
In addition to the Centers, ASA also supports:
- College Goal Sunday is a nationwide initiative that helps students and families fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and create sound financial aid plans.
- National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM) provides free training, resources, and tools for counselors and mentors working with students and families who need help accessing financial aid for college. ASA facilitates the NT4CM programs in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
- Reach4Success joined forces with ASA in the District of Columbia to create the innovative “Train the Trainer” program. This initiative informs guidance counselors, church group leaders, and other members of the education community about the financial aid process, so they can pass on their knowledge to the families they serve.
Learn more about these activities and our other efforts in the American Student Assistance Community Affairs Report (pdf, 2.68 MB).