Representative Mike Peifer, who represents parts of Pike and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania, is poised to become the next chairman of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), a state agency that provides higher education aid and services student loans for students in Pennsylvania and across the country, according to the Standard Speaker.

A member of the House since 2007, Peifer believes his experience as a Certified Public Accountant helped him secure the nomination. The agency has a huge economic impact through its reward of grants to students attending private colleges and universities, state-owned universities, and state-related universities. PHEAA is also one of the nation’s top administrators of student loans, conducting its loan servicing activities as American Education Services (AES) and FedLoan Servicing.

Created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the PHEAA is now one of the nation's leading student aid organizations. It’s a national provider of student financial aid services, supplying loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach, and other student aid programs. PHEAA can also offer help when it comes to filling out the mountain of paperwork needed to file for financial aid and student loans.

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The agency recently made headlines when two teachers filed a lawsuit against it for allegedly converting their federal grants into loans to raise revenue.

For his part, Peifer outlined how the PHEAA is supporting students in the 139th legislative district, with 975 students sharing nearly $2.9 million in Pennsylvania State Grants, 21 students sharing nearly $45,000 in financial assistance from the Distance Education Pilot Program and the Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program, and more than 1,700 sharing $35.7 million in FedLoan Servicing.

There will be a formal vote on the nomination next month, but Peifer’s nomination was unopposed at the last meeting. There are 20 board members, including Sen. Mario Scavello and Rep. Mike Carroll.

Photo Copyright © David Soete​