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Robin Bridges Johnson
HESAA’s Priority Has Always Been to Benefit the Students We Serve
Trenton NJ, September 4, 2007: In response to a report issued earlier today by the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, through its Chairman, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D., Mass.), Angulo noted, "HESAA supports the Senate HELP Committee’s efforts to institute constructive changes within the financial aid sector." Notwithstanding HESAA’s concerns that the report relied upon "draft" documents and questionable information in drawing certain conclusions, HESAA recognizes that the student aid sector is evolving and operational changes are appropriate. As noted by Senator Kennedy, HESAA discontinued the historical activities referenced in the report in earlier this year.
"I want to be very clear about this," said Angulo, "HESAA is committed to transparency and the highest ethical standards. The Authority is working cooperatively with the Senate HELP Committee, Governor Corzine’s office, New Jersey Attorney General Milgram, and industry leaders towards implementing a code of conduct and best practices."
"Our mission has never changed," says E. Michael Angulo, Executive Director of the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). "Everything we do is to benefit the over 1 million students and constituents HESAA serves each year. Since April of this year, HESAA has instituted sweeping measures to ensure operational integrity and strict compliance with governing regulations. We are committed to staying in step with the rapidly evolving financial aid landscape."
"Our goal is to eliminate even the perception of compliance issues, " Angulo emphasized, "while still providing New Jersey students with essential financial and informational resources to pursue their educational dreams." "We look forward to continuing HESAA’s proud tradition of assisting New Jersey students and families" he concluded.
HESAA is one of 34 guaranty agencies in the nation. It administers State scholarships, grants, and loans, delivering approximately $1.2 billion annually in financial aid to New Jersey students. As a non-profit entity, HESAA invests all revenue back towards enhancing the delivery of financial aid. Since 1999, HESAA has waived over $31 million in guaranty insurance fees for NJ borrowers, decreasing the amount of students’ indebtedness. Under its NJCLASS Program, New Jersey borrowers save additional tens of millions of dollars over the life of their loans as a result of HESAA buying down the applicable interest rate. Last year the NJCLASS Program offered loans with fixed rate as low as 5.9%, or 2.6% below what is available through the Federal PLUS program. Through the state’s tuition aid grant program administered by the Authority, each year 60,000 of New Jersey’s neediest students are able to pursue their dream of a higher education. HESAA’s activities support New Jersey’s ranking among the top 3 states in the nation in the amount of need-based aid provided per recipient.