Financial Aid Consultants

Our Financial Aid consultants are ready to ensure you know your options and have all the support you need to get the best possible financial aid available.

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Amanda Ashley

Former Associate Director, Student Financial Planning

   Georgetown University School of Medicine

Former Financial Aid Counselor, Student Financial Services

   Georgetown University

7 Years (combined) in Georgetown University Undergraduate, Graduate, and School of Medicine Financial Aid

 

Amanda completed her Master’s of Professional Studies at Georgetown University in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. Amanda earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in Psychology.

 

Amanda has a knack for explaining complex financial aid information in simple terms for clients to understand. As a seasoned higher education financial aid administrator, Amanda enjoys easing the concern and confusion that clients might have about education funding options.

 

As Associate Director of Student Financial Planning at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Amanda created newsletters and blog posts to educate, equip, and increase client satisfaction. Amanda advised students daily on financial aid decisions, advocated for students to resolve concerns involving internal offices and outside lenders, and helped students budget their expenses. Amanda reviewed financial aid applications to administer $22 million dollars in financial aid awards. She presented daily to prospective students on the financial aid process and programs during the 6-month interview season in support of the Office of Admissions student recruitment.

 

While being a financial aid counselor for the undergraduate and graduate students at Georgetown University, Amanda communicated with students and parents daily by phone, email, and in-person to guide them through the application process, retaining financial aid awards, and resolving issues. Amanda counseled a caseload of 1,000 students on strategically planning how to finance their education. She reviewed and administered financial aid awards for proper implementation of federal regulations and university policy to remain in compliance for both Title IV funding and institutional aid.

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Sarah Edelman

Former Assistant Director of Student Accounts

   Financial Aid at Northeastern University

Former Financial Aid Counselor

   Northeastern University

5 years in Northeastern University Financial Aid

Sarah holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Northeastern University. She has served in a professional capacity at Northeastern University through various roles. Most recently, she worked as the Assistant Director for Student Accounts within the Financial Aid office. Prior to this, she worked as a Financial Aid Counselor for Graduate Students at the D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern.

 

Sarah has experience collaborating directly with students to help them navigate the financial aid process. She has provided counseling for students from a variety of backgrounds, a lot of her work has been with international students, helping them navigate higher education and finances in the U.S. Additionally, she worked closely with graduate students helping them understand the differences in the undergraduate versus graduate financial aid process. Simultaneously, she has led several project implementations designed to streamline student payment plans as well as worked on the universities tax reporting system making annual student tax information more accessible to all students.

 

Sarah has led many information sessions for students on navigating the financial aid process. She is passionate about ensuring that financial aid information is accessible to all students and enjoys working with students towards their higher education goals. Outside of advising, Sarah enjoys hiking with her two dogs and spending time with her family.

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Jasmine King

Former Financial Aid Officer, Assistant Director of Admissions

   Art Institute of Philadelphia

Former Education Coordinator

   Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Former Program Coordinator

   Georgetown University

5 years at the Art Institute of Philadelphia,

2 years at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

1.5 years at Georgetown University

 

Jasmine has over 8 years of experience working with high school and college students in various phases of their academic careers. She brings a passion for helping students put their best foot forward and navigate the sometimes confusing waters of college admissions. Jasmine began her career in higher education at the Art Institute of Philadelphia as a Financial Aid Officer and moved to an Assistant Director of Admissions position. Here she helped students manage the admissions and financial aid process at the school. From there she moved to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital as the Education Coordinator in their medical school and supported medical students, residents, and fellows during their studies by developing a mentoring program and streamlining the interview and onboarding process. After moving to Washington, DC, Jasmine joined the graduate school at Georgetown University as the Program Coordinator to manage recruitment efforts and develop guidelines and standards for the graduate programs.

Jasmine currently works as a government contractor in their project management office where she leads diversity and inclusion efforts. She has a breadth of experience to draw from and looks forward to helping students understand their financial aid options. 

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Jessica Klein

Former Financial Aid Counselor

   Boston University

Former Assistant Director of Financial Assistance

   Boston University

Certified NASFAA Return to Title IV Professional. Master’s in Education, Leadership, and Policy Studies from Boston University. 2,000+ Financial Aid Applications Reviewed

 

Jess Klein is a financial aid professional with a combined 6 years of experience working directly with students on financial aid applications. Jess has extensive experience with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Collegeboard CSS Profile. From 2018-2022, Jess worked with Boston University’s Office of Financial Assistance, working with both prospective and continuing students in financial aid application completion, resolving FAFSA error codes, and working through the appeal for reconsideration process.

 

Jess has a strong understanding of both federal and institutional methodology for need-based aid applications, as well as student loans, merit aid, and outside scholarships. In addition to working directly with students, Jess has also presented financial aid training to various community-based organizations, as well as trained other staff members on financial aid processes. Jess holds a B.A. in Political Science and English, as well as an M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Boston University.

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Marissa Lespinasse

Assistant Director of Financial Aid
   Tulane University

4 years at Tulane University Health Sciences Financial Aid
5 years at Tulane University Undergraduate Financial Aid

 

Marissa earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University and her Master’s in Liberal Arts from Tulane University. As an Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Tulane University, Marissa administers all parts of the aid process as well as oversees the financial literacy and debt management program.

During her time in financial aid, she has guided students at all different levels of education, including undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. programs. Her experience gives her a comprehensive understanding of aid from the FAFSA application to loan repayment, and everything in between. 

She is passionate about her work and enjoys many aspects of the field, but her favorite part is helping students build a solid plan to finance their education and future.

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Christine Lipman

Associate Director of Financial Aid
   Tufts University
Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
   Harvard Kennedy School
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
   Tufts University
Assistant Director of Financial Aid
   Simmons University

6 Years in Financial Aid
5 Years in Nonprofit College Counseling

 

Christine earned her BA from Carleton College and MA in Diversity and Inclusion Leadership from Tufts University. She is passionate about helping families understand the financial aid application process, make financially informed college choices, and access the funds they need to send their child to college.

 

Christine’s extensive background in college counseling during her time at a Boston-area nonprofit has enabled her to have empathetic and practical conversations with families about their child’s financial options for college. She has extensive experience in evaluating undergraduate financial aid applications at full-need colleges and can help families navigate the aid applications, award letters, and appeal options. She is adept at evaluating tax returns and can help families understand the impact their income, businesses, and assets will have on the financial aid they will be offered by the top colleges in the nation.

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Dinah Maurelus

Former Assistant Director of Financial Aid

   Georgetown University

Former Financial Aid Officer

   Howard University

4+ Years in Financial Aid Management

10,000+ Applications awarded

Dinah earned her BS in Global Business from the University of Maryland University College and her MS in Higher Education Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

Dinah became a Financial Aid Officer at Howard University in 2010, where she spent three years overseeing financial aid programs for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students totaling approximately $320M annually. She ensured institutional compliance with rules, regulations, and academic policies. She consistently achieved unqualified audit opinions on the University’s annual A-133 and Financials Audits for the Student Financial Aid Cluster. At Georgetown, Dinah worked with the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs to award financial aid to first-generation college students and Veterans.

 

Dinah enjoys providing counseling to students and parents regarding Title IV federal funding. Outside of financial aid, she works with an international development firm to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by natural disasters.

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Marra Piazza Brass

Human Services Practitioner

   University of South Florida

Former Director of the Office of Accessibility

   Eckerd College

Former Financial Aid Counselor

   Le Moyne College

Former Assistant Director of Admission

& Former Financial Aid Counselor

   Cazenovia College

Former Director of Guidance

   Homer Central School District

Former High School Guidance Counselor

   Waterloo High School

2 years in Cazenovia College admissions and Financial Aid. 7 years in Le Moyne College Financial Aid. 6 years as High School Guidance Counselor/Director of Guidance. 4,000+ financial aid packages reviewed. 500+ admissions applications read and evaluated. Assisted 2,000+ students with preparing admissions and financial aid applications while working in high school guidance roles.

 

Marra has an extensive background in both secondary and higher education. Throughout her career spanning over two decades, she has focused on helping students find success, from middle school up through and including graduate school.

 

After graduating from Le Moyne College with a dual BA in Spanish and International Studies, Marra began her career as a Financial Aid and Admissions Counselor at Cazenovia College. During this time, she traveled throughout the Northeast and recruited students, advised families regarding the college admissions process, reviewed college applications, and provided education and counseling regarding financial aid. Marra later had the opportunity to return to her alma mater as a Financial Aid Counselor at Le Moyne College. In addition to reviewing financial aid requests and creating award packages, Marra guided students and their families through the financial aid process, including helping them complete the FAFSA and institutional forms in both English and Spanish.

 

After discovering her passion for guiding and counseling students beyond financial aid, Marra earned a Master's Degree in School Counseling from Syracuse University. She then took the role of Director of Guidance for a high school in Central New York. This allowed Marra the opportunity to help students in all aspects of their personal and educational lives. She not only helped students prepare for college and guided them throughout the college search process, but she utilized her admissions and financial aid experience to assist with college applications, review essays and personal statements, and advise on a variety of financial aid questions.

 

Marra recently returned to higher education and has worked with students with disabilities at both a small private college and a large public university to provide resources and services to ensure they find access while in college.

 

Marra has consistently sought out roles in which she can get to know individual students, help them create a path to achieve their goals, and support them through the process.

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John Walker

Former Systems Manager

   Mercyhurst University

Former Student Accounts Administrator

   Mercyhurst University

12 years in Mercyhurst University Student Financial Services

10 years in Mercyhurst University Student Accounts

10,000+ Students Awarded

15,000+ FAFSAs Downloaded

 

John earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Mathematics with concentrations in Statistics and Physics from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

John has worked in higher education for over 22 years. This experience has allowed him to have a comprehensive understanding of the financial aid, student accounts and internal systems processes.

 

His portfolio included awarding financial aid to over thousands of students, and assisting in the management and reconciliation of Institutional, Federal and State financial aid. He also has helped setup and execute the processing of FAFSAs, cost of attendance budgets, billing of tuition/fees/room/board, and the transmitting of financial aid among others.

 

His strong commitment to higher education along with his excellent administrative, organizational and customer service skills has allowed him to help students navigate the complex world of college financial aid and all that it entails.

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Evelyn Wingard

Senior Assistant Director of Admission

   Indiana University Bloomington

Former Senior Admissions Officer & Financial Aid Counselor

   The University of Texas at Austin

Former Financial Aid Advisor

   Parker University

3 years The University of Texas at Austin Admissions

1 year The University of Texas at Austin Financial Aid

1 year Parker University Financial Aid

 

Evelyn earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, and a Master of Science in Leadership from Northeastern University. She has almost a decade of experience working in higher education, including positions in admissions, financial aid, and student affairs. She has worked with undergraduate and graduate students. Her experience as a first-generation college student motivates her to positively shape the attitudes students have about pursuing higher education and improve the experience they have in their pursuit.

 

She previously coordinated the admissions process for a highly competitive graduate program in the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin. She worked directly with the program’s director to make admissions and scholarship awarding decisions for approximately 1,200 applicants each cycle for a cohort of 110-120 students from across the world. Most recently, she served as a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Indiana University Bloomington, where she represented IU at recruitment events in her regional territory such as high school visits, college fairs, and information sessions. She also evaluated all applications from her regional territory.

 

Evelyn enjoys helping students present the strongest application possible so they can have full consideration for every admissions and financial aid opportunity available. She understands that all forms of financial aid (scholarships, grants, work study, and student loans) have become increasingly more important in the pursuit of higher education. She is experienced and skilled at helping students and parents understand eligibility criteria, how to apply for aid via the FAFSA and other applications, and how to look beyond the award amounts on an award letter to their actual impact on cost of attendance when comparing offers from different schools. Evelyn strives to educate, empower, and encourage every student she serves so they can achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals.

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Robin Mascharka

Former Administration at Gannon University
Former Director of Financial Aid 
Former Financial Aid Counselor at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM)
Former Financial Aid Counselor at Mercyhurst University

The financial aid experience held by Robin Mascharka, MS spans decades. Robin holds dual Bachelor's degrees in Business and Behavioral Science from Pennsylvania State University, as well as a Master of Science in Education from Mercyhurst University.


Robin excelled within numerous industries, most notably Higher Education and Entrepreneurship. While working in the field of Higher Education, Robin reconciled direct federal loans, alternative loans, and grants.  Robin has experience with undergraduate, graduate, and medical school financial aid. Robin’s years of financial aid work with students have helped them make the right decisions for meeting the cost of education.

Additionally, she has a wealth of experience in Communications, Project Management, and Direct Sales. As Financial Aid Consultant, Robin looks forward to assisting with your financial aid questions and concerns.

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Tamara South

Former Financial Aid Counselor 

   New York University

Former Financial Aid Counselor 

   Monroe College

4 years at New York University Financial Aid Office

4 years as Financial Aid Counselor at Monroe College

 

Offering more than 10 years of experience in financial aid counseling as well as with student accounts/bursar. Tamara’s passion is to help students receive the financial aid they deserve. Tamara is versed in completing the FAFSA and answering questions pertaining to their financial aid.

 

Tamara had a Bachelor's degree from Binghamton University and her Master’s degree from New York University.

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Carla Whittaker

Former Financial Aid Counselor

   American University, Washington, D.C.

Former Financial Aid Counselor

   Howard University, Washington, D.C.

3 Years in American University

1 Year at Howard University

10,000 + Applications Read and Evaluated

 

After Carla graduated with her B.S in Social Work from Bowie State University, she worked in the industry helping clients successfully meet their life goals. With her genuine desire to help others, she began working in the higher education industry.

 

Carla worked at Howard University for a year in the Financial Aid Office. During her tenure, she served incoming and continuing education students and families with financial aid assistance.

 

Laterally, she worked at American University for 3 years serving as a Financial Aid Counselor. She counseled students and parents on the various financial aid programs; Collected and analyzed financial data on students to determine aid eligibility. She interfaced with students, lenders, donors, employers, guarantee agencies, and other constituents of the University to resolve issues. While proudly counseling her students, she sought after and attained a master’s degree in Human Resources Analyst and Management.

 

Based on Carla’s work and personal experience, she has a comprehensive understanding of the assistance needed for college students to successfully exceed. She understands the FAFSA application process, the appeal process for additional aid, and avenues to obtain additional funding.