Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, or "PHEAA", headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with regional offices throughout the state , is the quasi-governmental agency that administers several State higher education student financial aid programs.

It administers the Pennsylvania commonwealth grant program for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and serves as a coordinating body for other grant programs administered by other state agencies. It also serves as one of several student loan guarantors in the United States for the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), under the Higher Education Act of 1965. It also has a loan servicing operation, for student loans that it owns and for lenders under contract. From a small student loan guarantor with approximately 5,000 student loans in 1964, it now manages more than $33 billion in total assets and serves nearly four million students through its carious programs The agency has consistently been listed by the U.S. Department of Education as having one of the lowest default rates among all major guarantors through its highly successful default prevention initiatives.Fact|date=October 2007

In the past ten years, the agency has experienced growth through expansion of its lending operations with relationships with neighboring states, such as West Virginia and Delaware, and with schools throughout the country for loan servicing and guaranty services. As a lender of its own right, the agency created a national presence for itself under the name "American Education Services". As a result, the agency is now frequently referred to as "AES/PHEAA". AES/PHEAA is in the top ten in loan volume of guarantors throughout the nation. Fact|date=October 2007

AES/PHEAA is also active in the secondary market for FFELP loans.

As a quasi-governmental agency, AES/PHEAA's board of directors is comprised mostly of members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, with one appointee typically a college president. The board does not have an appointed representative or ombudsman for student/borrower interests, nor a financial aid professional as a formal member.

In October, 2007, Jack Wagner, the Pennsylvania auditor-general released a report accusing the agency of giving excessive bonuses and incentives. Rep. Bill Adolph, chairman of the agency’s board, subsequently scheduled an emergency meeting of the board for Wednesday, Oct10, to request the early resignation of the President of the agency, Richard E. Willey, [ "As Pheaa Faces Scathing New Report, President Moves Up Departure Date" Chronicle of Higher Education [ Oct. 4, 2007] ] based on reporting from the Pittsburgh News-Tribune and the Associated Press.


External links

* [ The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency]
* [ American Education Services]
* [ You Can Deal With It Student Debt Management Campaign]

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