MEFA 529 student loans for college

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 MEFA – the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority – was created in 1982 by the state legislature at the request of Massachusetts colleges and universities and provides community education programs, college savings plans, and low-cost financing options.  In its thirty year history, MEFA has issued $4.4 billion in bonds and has assisted hundreds of thousands of families in financing a college education. 



What has MEFA accomplished in 30 years? 


Our mandate to offer low-cost financing options to Massachusetts families has led MEFA to offer a variety of industry-leading family and student loans for college and graduate school throughout the years.  Under the direction of our Board of Directors, MEFA has added products and services to respond to the changing needs of families and the higher education economy in Massachusetts. 


MEFA innovated the college savings landscape in 1995 when the U.Plan Prepaid Tuition Program launched in partnership with colleges and universities across Massachusetts. When federal legislation created 529 college savings plans, MEFA added the U.Fund College Investing Plan in 1999.  Both options encourage families to save for college by offering state and federal tax advantages. 


Since 1990 MEFA has been committed to proactively educating families about the necessity of preparing early for college.  The size and scope of MEFA’s community education programming has grown enormously, reaching tens of thousands of families each year and culminating in 2008 with an invitation from the Patrick Administration to spearhead the Commonwealth’s efforts to create a free college and career planning website.  MEFA introduced YourPlanForTheFuture in 2009, providing interactive online tools and support for students, families, and communities to successfully plan and navigate the transitions from middle school to high school to postsecondary education and career. 



What is MEFA’s role in Massachusetts today? 


MEFA maintains a position central to conversations about higher education – preparation, access, and completion – in Massachusetts.  The higher education landscape has grown more complex over the last three decades – witness to changes in technology, demographics, the economy and the labor market – but MEFA’s mission remains simple: to help make higher education more affordable and more accessible for Massachusetts families.  MEFA helps families plan, save, and pay through a broad and evolving range of programs, products and initiatives.  Our success is based on our mission focus, our transparency, and our close work with high schools, colleges and universities, community organizations and program partners. 



How is MEFA a public benefit? 


One of Massachusetts’s great strengths is its engaged and educated citizenry, with the highest college-going and college-completion rates in the country, according to the College Board’s 2011 College Completion Agenda Progress Report.  MEFA’s comprehensive curriculum of college-planning support reaches statewide and is an essential component of the Commonwealth’s higher education success.  In particular, MEFA strives to increase awareness of financial aid opportunities and remove one of the primary barriers to college enrollment. MEFA also works to reduce the cost of education for Massachusetts families through outreach on the advantages of saving, and counseling about strategies for minimizing college debt, and low-cost financing options.  MEFA opens sustainable educational pathways for families and boosts the education economy of communities. 



What is MEFA’s vision for the future? 


MEFA is uniquely privileged to serve as a trusted advisor for families, schools, and community organizations seeking guidance about planning, saving and paying for college.  Today more than ever, families need information and assistance they can rely on, delivered early and often through a variety of channels.  Through world-class educational resources, versatile savings programs and low-cost financing options, MEFA will continue to cultivate and promote college aspirations for Massachusetts families.  In these ways, MEFA will also continue to nurture the higher education sector that is the bedrock of the Massachusetts economy. 






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To request information or schedule interview, members of the press, please contact: 


Martha Savery
800.842.1531 ext. 4813


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