MEFA BLOG
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Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority
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MEFA was created thirty years ago by the state legislature at the request of Massachusetts colleges and universities, and our work continues to be centered on promoting the economic development of the higher education economy in Massachusetts.  At MEFA, we are committed to increasing college access and affordability for Massachusetts families, as well as for students enrolling at Massachusetts colleges and universities. 

 

Meet your School Support Team. 


 

 

College Outreach and Community Relations 

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Martha Savery 

Director of Public Affairs 

Martha joined MEFA in 2006. She began her tenure at MEFA by providing direction for the College Services Team, utilizing her extensive experience in higher education with a focus on college financing. Prior to joining MEFA she worked for ten years at Nellie Mae and Sallie Mae in a variety of capacities. Martha began her career in admissions at Dean College and entered financial aid at Fitchburg State University where she was the Director of Financial Aid for five years. She also served as Director of Financial Aid at Harvard Graduate School of Education for seven years and as Director of Admission for two years. She also was the Director of Student Services at MGH Institute of Health Professions where she oversaw Admissions, Financial Aid, Bursar and Registrar. Martha has been very involved in MASFAA in numerous capacities including as a member of the Executive Council, and a member of the Early Awareness Committee, College Goal Sunday Membership Chair, and as Chair and presenter of the Just the FACTS Training program for new college financial aid administrators.  Martha has presented on the national, regional and state levels on a variety of topics related to higher education. 


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Stephanie Wells 

Manager of Community Outreach 

Stephanie joined MEFA in 2001 and has over eighteen years of experience in the higher education financing industry.  As Manager of Community Outreach, she is responsible for working with colleges, high schools and community based organizations to further MEFA’s public mission of educating and supporting families on the college enrollment and financing process.  In addition, Stephanie has volunteered her time to help promote college access in the community as a member of MASFAA’s Government Relations Committee’s Financial Aid Day at the State House, FAFSA Day, and Young Men’s Success Series in Boston. Stephanie received her B.S. Degree in Speech Communications from Bridgewater State University and has completed graduate study for a joint Masters degree in Public Administration and Political Science at Suffolk University. 


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Meredith Barnhart 

Manager of Community Outreach 

Meredith joined MEFA’s community outreach team in July of 2012. Before coming to MEFA, Meredith worked at Boston University for 10 years, the majority of which she spent in the undergraduate financial aid office.  She has mentored high school and college students in Boston through the Posse Foundation, Bottom Line and the Higher Education Resource Center, and is an active volunteer tax preparer with the Boston Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition.  Meredith also serves as a member of MASFAA’s Just the FACTS Faculty.  As Manager of Community Outreach, Meredith works with colleges, high schools and community organizations to help educate families on planning, saving and paying for college.  Meredith received a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from Boston University. 


  

 

Loan Operations 

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Meg Villavicencio 

Finance Associate of Portfolio Originations 

Meg joined MEFA in 2003 as a member of the customer service team.  Meg is currently part of the finance team on the portfolio originations side.  As part of loan originations, she works closely with schools and families throughout the application and the certification process in an effort to make the process as smooth as possible for both families and schools.  Prior to MEFA, Meg worked at State Street in the global securities operations area.  Meg received her B.A. from Denison University and her M.B.A. from Suffolk University. 


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Greg Hargrave 

Assistant Director of Portfolio Servicing 

Greg joined MEFA in 2007 as a member of the Operations team.  As part of the servicing team, Greg works closely with both ACS Servicing and MEFA families to assist with customer service and issue resolution.  Greg also works with schools and MEFA Loan Originations to support MEFA families during the application and originations process.  Prior to MEFA, Greg worked for American Student Assistance as a member of the lender relations team.  Greg received his B.A. from The University of Massachusetts at Boston. 

 

 

 

Saving and Early College Planning, U.Plan, U.Fund, Workplace Education 

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Julie Shields-Rutyna 

Director of Early College Planning 

Julie provides expertise related to saving, planning and paying for college to families, colleges and universities, and other organizations around the state. From 2003-2007 Julie coordinated the College Board’s financial aid activities in the New England region. She previously worked for Nellie Mae and American Express Educational Loans. She also worked for thirteen years in financial aid at Harvard University where she was Director of Financial Aid at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Julie has been involved with the MASFAA in a variety of positions and committees since 1993. Her professional positions have given her the opportunity to present to varied audiences at many conferences and meetings throughout the New England region.  Julie has been involved with FAFSA Day Massachusetts, the College Goal Sunday program here in the state since the beginning.  She holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge. 

 
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Angelina Mancini 

Manager of Early College Planning 

Angelina joined MEFA in 2006 as a member of the customer service team. She currently works on the administration of our college savings programs, the U.Plan and the U.Fund. She works with families by helping them enroll in the U.Plan program as well as throughout the year assisting with questions on established accounts.  Angelina presents to families across the Commonwealth on the importance of saving for college. Prior to MEFA, Angelina worked at financial aid offices at Regis College and the Student Financial Services office at Babson College.  Angelina received her B.A and MPA from Regis College. 


  
 


 

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