HOW WE WORK
ASA is a change agent for career readiness and we’re taking a multifaceted approach devised to drive true, lasting change for students—but that’s just the beginning.
Students live in the digital world, so that’s where we reach them with tools and platforms that support their plans for the futures they want.
ASA influences change in policy and practice to ensure students have equitable exposure to career exploration resources, work-based learning experiences, and can navigate postsecondary education paths that meet their career objectives.
Our partnerships across the EdTech, business, philanthropy, and nonprofit sectors facilitate the development of critical career learning experiences that can be scaled to reach students nationwide.
THE PATH THAT LED US HERE
ASA has been at the forefront of educational innovation since our founding as a loan guarantor in 1956 helped to establish a means for students to finance their higher education. This model quickly proved successful and was eventually incorporated as part of the landmark Higher Education Act of 1965 that established a federal student loan program.
For over 60 years, ASA has paid close attention to the needs of students and has worked to develop innovative solutions to the challenges they face in achieving their education goals. Whether driving change in loan disbursement systems or modifying our business operations to focus all efforts on helping students avoid loan default, ASA has always aimed to put students first.
This drive to find the best opportunities that proactively help students prepare for the future prompted the development of digital-first, direct-to-student initiatives and ignited a larger organizational shift away from focusing on student loans and toward giving young people— starting in middle school—the agency to explore education options, career pathways, and to make future plans on their terms.
American Student Assistance (ASA) is a private nonprofit with a mission to help students know themselves, know their options, and make informed choices to achieve their education and career goals. We sustain our mission through Innovation, Advocacy, and Investment, with net assets of over $800 million. In March 2021, ASA secured a $100 million social bond to deepen our impact in reaching and engaging students, helping them make informed decisions and achieve life goals. ASA makes available its most recent financial statements here.
We have developed the American Student Assistance (ASA) Social Bond Framework under which the organization intends to issue social bonds. Proceeds will be used to expand the scope of offerings nationwide by providing grant funding to partner organizations and funding the creation and distribution of in-person and digital programs and resources. ASA has a wide range of potential projects outlined in this framework that seek to address the goals laid out by the United Nations to ensure high quality education, economic growth and reduced inequality. The full framework can be found here.
In addition, ASA’s Social Bond Framework has been validated by Sustanalytics and received the opinion that the ASA Social Bond Framework is “credible and impactful and aligns with the four core components of the Social Bond Principles 2020.” The full Second-Party Opinion can be found here.
Those Leading the Way
ASA is entering a new era of education innovation thanks to these individuals pushing us forward.
ASA’s newsletter, PivotED, is entirely devoted to issues, news and thought leadership that speaks to how kids – starting in the middle grades – are being prepared for their futures.
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