The Higher Education Assistance Group, Inc. (HEAG) provides financial aid consulting services to colleges, universities and proprietary institutions throughout the country. Our financial higher education and financial aid consultants have spent decades in the field working in all aspects of financial aid and higher education assessment and administration.
For more information on how HEAG’s higher education and financial aid consultants can assist your school with compliance, file review and verification, temporary financial aid staffing, organizational structure or other special projects, please contact Colleen King at email@example.com, 617.928.1975 or 508.864.4896.
Our Executive Staff:
Milton L. Kerstein
Milton Kerstein has extensive credentials in the field of Financial Aid. He has more than 30 years experience in financial aid where he held several positions within the Massachusetts’ university and post-secondary system. In 1989, he founded The Higher Education Assistance Group, Inc. and is President. In addition, he is a member of several professional organizations such as the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA). Mr. Kerstein has been an invited presenter at many professional conferences dealing with higher education.
Vice President of Compliance and Quality Assurance
Karyn Wright-Moore’s career spans more than 25 years as a Higher Education Professional, with expertise in areas affecting the compliant delivery of Federal Student Aid Programs. Karyn started her career in Higher Education in 1985 as an Entry Level Financial Aid Counselor while attending college in Los Angeles, CA. After earning her degree (with help from a part-time job in Financial Aid) and working in Financial Aid for 12 years, she married and moved to New Jersey to continue her career. Karyn has successfully served as Director of Financial Aid, Campus Executive Director, Compliance Officer, Vice Presidents of Financial Aid and Operations and finally, Higher Education Consultant.
Colleen M. King
Colleen became the Executive Director for HEAG in 2013. She previously served as a consultant with HEAG and has more than thirteen years of extensive experience within a financial aid office. She was formerly the Director of Financial Aid at Anna Maria College, Assistant Director of Financial Aid/Financial Aid Counselor at Nichols College and, more recently, the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Assumption College. She is skilled within a number of financial aid management and reporting systems, but most notably Ellucian’s Datatel. She has assisted schools with various aid issues including maintaining Title IV compliance, creating a formal policies and procedures manual and streamlining business and communication processes. Colleen holds a B.S. in Business Administration and a Masters in Business Administration, both from Nichols College in Dudley, MA.
Joshua Bordis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Political Science with a minor in Economics from Boston University (BU). He began his higher education career in 2007 as a member of the BU Financial Assistance team. Joshua worked with the school’s Veterans, served as a member of the Quality Assurance Team, and counselled students and families.
Joshua left BU and joined Northern Essex Community College (NECC) in 2009. Joshua held the titles of Technical Operations Coordinator for Enrollment Services and Associate Director of Financial Aid at NECC. Joshua developed and managed a strategic communication plan for new and returning students, maintained all day-to-day enrollment services functions, and was the lead Banner integration team member responsible for ensuring that all processes were streamlined and in compliance with federal guidelines and institutional policies. Joshua has acted as liaison between financial aid and the IT department bringing together both offices to work on automation of time consuming financial aid tasks and creating more efficient processes within the framework of existing technological capabilities. He has an expertise in Banner, PowerFAIDs, Excel, Access report writing, Argos reporting software including datablock design, SQL programming language, and all federal financial aid software tools. Joshua serves HEAG as a full-time senior financial aid consultant and technical analyst.
Jane has been working in financial aid since 1987. She started out at the New England Institute of Art, formerly known as the Northeast Broadcasting School, in Boston, MA as Financial Aid Officer. She quickly worked her way up to Director and remained so for 10 years. Jane joined The Group in 1999. Administration from Bay State College.
She has since consulted for a wide range of institutions of higher education including colleges, universities, proprietary schools, graduate schools, and guarantee agencies. Jane has a degree in Business Administration from Bay State College.
Dorothy Gilliard is the Principal Consultant for FASNA LLC – Financial Aid Service and Need Analysis. FASNA LLC provides services to postsecondary institutions and individual families navigating through the college financial aid process. Previously she was employed for 20 years as the Vice President of Student Financial Services for the Lincoln Education Group, a National Education company that operated 43 trade and technical schools throughout the U.S. Prior to that she was Vice President of Education Finance for First Fidelity Bank, now known as Wells Fargo Bank.
As an active member of both the New Jersey and National Associations of Financial Aid Administrators she has often served as a trainer and workshop leader at various venues throughout the Region. In addition, she works with the New Jersey Higher Education Assistance Authority (HESAA) to conduct financial aid and financial literacy workshops at NJ schools.
Dorothy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies and is a certified college planning specialist through the ACCFS (Association of Certified College Funding Specialists).
Judy began working in Financial Aid in 1999 for Computer Learning Centers and, in 2001, she joined Wentworth Institute of Technology. After leaving Wentworth, she was the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Dean College from 2003-2012. Judy’s experience includes all of the key areas of financial aid such as need analysis and verification, Direct Loan processing and reconciliation, Private and State Loans certification, professional judgment, appeals, work study program and satisfactory academic progress (SAP).
Judy is proficient within a variety of student information systems and other processing systems including Datatel, Banner, PowerFAIDS, COD, EdConnect and ELM. She currently works for HEAG on a part time basis. Judy received a degree in Business Administration from Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), Dominican Republic.
Originally from Philadelphia, Jim is a graduate of Penn State University and has been in higher education since 1997, where he got his start as a Financial Aid Counselor. Over the course of his 20 year career, Jim has served in a number of leadership roles, including Director of Financial Aid, Regional Director of Financial Aid and Academic Advising, and Campus President. Jim has a vast knowledge of Title IV compliance coupled with leadership and change management skills.
He has succeeded at increasing enrollments while reducing account receivables. Jim enjoys the complexity and challenges that the higher education field provides, commenting “when we say no two days are the same, it is very true in higher education.”
Jim currently resides in Sewell, NJ with his wife Christa and two children-Nicholas and Giuliana. He enjoys spending time with his family, especially summer weekends at the Jersey Shore, and coaching his son’s basketball team.
Dr. Erica Holmes
Erica began working in Financial Aid in 1994. She has held several executive level positions in higher education including Dean, Provost, and Vice President with oversight of financial aid, accreditation, admissions, registration, enrollment management, curriculum, and compliance. She has successfully led colleges through accreditation reaffirmations and compliance audits.
Erica has an EDD in Education Leadership, MSA in Information Systems, MA in Theology, BS in Organizational Management, and AAS in General Studies.
Jeff began working in financial aid in 1996 as a federal work study student while an undergraduate at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with a BA in Communications. He decided the field was actually a good fit for him so he moved to Boston, the higher education capital of the world to pursue his career. He worked at a handful of proprietary schools, working his way up from a Financial Aid Counselor to Director and then a regional, traveling Director. He has been with HEAG full-time since the summer of 2013.
Jeff’s strengths lie in technical staff training, superior customer service and proficiency with numerous financial aid software platforms such as PowerFAIDS, Populi, FAME and some Jenzabar/DataTel experience. He has been assigned to numerous campuses throughout New England, fulfilling needs such as Interim Director, Student Accounts representative and an auditor of student financial aid files. He has also assisted with the completion of A-133 audits and collection of documentation for accreditation visits. Jeff thrives on his ability to adapt to all different types of schools and situations, from large community colleges to small graduate programs.
F. Duane Quinn
F. Duane Quinn was most recently Special Assistant to the President for American Student Assistance (ASA®), a national guarantor of student loans located in Boston, MA. He previously held the position of Director of Wellness Outreach in which he promoted ASA’s “Student Success” activities which advance student financial literacy, retention, loan repayment and default prevention.
For the prior twenty three years, however, he was employed as a financial aid administrator at a variety of institutions, among them: Clark University; Brandeis University and Lesley University. He has been a resident staff member of the Harvard Institute on College Admissions since 1989. He also serves as a resident faculty member at the Summer Financial Aid Institute sponsored by the New England Regional office of The College Board. He has held a number of elected and appointed positions with both the Massachusetts and Eastern Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA / EASFAA), and has acted on the advisory boards of numerous organizations advocating student aid. He is the recipient of the Charles “Jack” Sheehan Distinguished Service Award (MASFAA) and the Mapping-Your Future Excellence Award.
Lisa Reichstein has over 28 years of financial aid experience. Lisa began her financial aid career at East Carolina University in 1987. In 1993 Lisa left ECU to work at Pitt Community College as the Financial Aid Officer. In the year 2000 Lisa was promoted to the position of Director of Financial Aid Services and served in that position until August 2015.
Lisa was a member of the NC Community College Financial Aid Pilot team, the College Foundation Advisor Committee, the NC Financial Aid Review team, and was chair of the NC Financial Aid Review team for several years. Lisa has extensive experience in Ellucian Colleague, Entrinsik Informer, Query builder, Communications Management, EdExpress, COD, FISAP, and R2T4 processing. Lisa assisted in training Phase 2 schools when colleague was implemented at Pitt Community College. She was also a member of the CCL and the AR/CR committee at the NC Community College system office. Lisa implemented autopackager and the CFI Grant interface at Pitt Community College enhancing the services for the college. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Retail Management at East Carolina University. Lisa retired from the State of North Carolina in August 2015 and serves as a part time Colleague and Financial Aid consultant. Lisa resides in Greenville, NC.
Jennifer Tonneson Sherman
Jennifer has 20 plus years experience in higher education at for-profit, non-profit and municipal colleges, ranging in budgets from $10 – $50+ million revenues. With extensive experience in budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting, strategic planning, cash management, reconciliation, Jennifer can bring assistance to long and short term operational projects.
With a broad background in management, union negotiation, and process improvement, Jennifer can look at mission-critical functions and departments and help institutions operate more effectively and efficiently, adding to their profitability and sustainability. In addition, as an experienced college professor (finance, accounting, management and economics), Jennifer can provide training for staff and board members. Jennifer holds a BA in accounting from Northeastern University, Masters in Finance from Suffolk University, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Organizational Development from Suffolk University and she is currently pursuing a PhD in Organizations and Management from Capella University.
Rhonda L. Smith
Rhonda has 23 years of experience in the higher education industry. She started her career as an academic advisor and moved into financial aid in 2003. Starting as a financial aid coordinator, Rhonda has served in many roles within financial aid offices, including Director of Financial Aid and Corporate Director of Student Finance. Rhonda’s experience spans all the key areas of financial aid such as disbursement and refund processing, various Title IV programs including:
Pell Grant, Direct Loan and Federal Work-Study, recertification, maintaining policies and procedures manuals, compliance, verification, professional judgment, Veterans benefits and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). She has worked closely with school presidents, registrars and deans of academic affairs to ensure consistency and compliance across academic and financial aid processes. Maintaining strong professional relationships is one of the keys to Rhonda’s success in the financial aid industry.
She is proficient in Ed Express, EdConnect, COD, G5, NSLDS, PeopleSoft, CampusVue, MVS – cicsprod, C2K and various other student database.
Rhonda has a B.S. in Business and M.A. in Communications both from Northern Illinois University. She lives in Chicago and enjoys cycling and kickboxing.
Eileen served 22 years at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She started out in a clerical position, worked her way through the ranks in various student service offices, and was a member of the Enrollment Management Team for 16 years (14 as the Director or Financial Assistance).
Her track record includes, student billing, Veteran’s administration, financial aid leveraging, ensuring a top student experience, full compliance with Title IV Regulations, and has initiated technical and process improvements. Eileen is proficient in Ellucian Banner as well as all Department of Education software systems. Finally, she graduated from Saint Joseph’s University, with a B.S. in Management, an M.B.A., and, most recently, a M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Development.
Chris Wilson comes to HEAG with 20 plus years of financial aid leadership and management experience. She worked for over 10 years as the Financial Planning Director at Cortiva Institute, formerly known as Muscular Therapy Institute (MTI).
Prior to Cortiva, Chris was the Director of Financial Aid at Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA, as well as Assistant Director at Fitchburg State College. Chris has a degree in Animal Science from The University of New Hampshire.