The Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators empowers its members to be educated, engaged, and effective professionals.


To be recognized as a model for leadership in financial aid.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan seeks to address the needs of the Association so that MASFAA can empower its members to be educated, engaged, and effective professionals and be recognized as a model for leadership and innovation in financial aid.

The 2017-2020 MASFAA Strategic Plan states that the direction for the next three years should focus on identifying how the organization can increase membership, and improve diversity and engagement, while using technology to enhance communication with its members and provide more frequent training opportunities that meet a variety of needs.  The Plan also affirms that MASFAA should continue its state and federal legislative advocacy on behalf of its members and use its healthy financial reserves to support innovative capital investments in the organization’s future.

President’s Welcome

I hope all of you had a successful start to the academic year! Fall is such a magical season full of change and new beginnings. As much as I have personally loved the fall, I cannot help but feel I am not ready for more change. Professionally, we have all experienced a lot of change: the changing nature of our work/campuses in the face of an ongoing pandemic, federal regulatory and policy changes (HEERF, FAFSA overhaul, verification waiver), and dealing within person/hybrid/fully online work situations. In higher education, financial aid and its associated problems are often not understood by institutional colleagues. It can often provide a sense of isolation especially when there are increasing changes leading to more oversight by federal and state agencies. In the face of all this change, I find myself gravitating towards a sanctuary or bedrock to be my calm within the storm. For me, that retreat is MASFAA. MASFAA provides a rich vibrant community of diverse talented individuals with a shared experience of being financial aid and associate member professionals. We are the human element that is the bridge making higher education a reality for millions of students every day. If you have felt like a wayward ship being tossed around in a sea of uncertainty, I encourage all of you to embrace and connect with your community. MASFAA is about to embark on a new and exciting year full of insightful programming and trainings. Our Sailing Ahead conference will be in person allowing some in person connectivity after 18 months of zoom rooms and online offerings. We know time is at a premium but I hope that everyone reading this will consider volunteering on one of our many committees. Volunteering is such a rewarding experience that provides an easy way to develop professionally and make connections with other institutions.

Best of luck to you all and have a safe new academic year! You got this, and when you feel you don’t, we got you!


Ebony Marsala
MASFAA president

Statement of Ethical Principles

The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational goals through financial support and resources. To this end, this Statement provides the Financial Aid Professional with a set of principles that serves as a common foundation for accepted standards of conduct.

The Financial Aid Professional shall:
Advocate for students
  • Remain aware of issues affecting students and continually advocate for their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
  • Support federal, state and institutional efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
Manifest the highest level of integrity
  • Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
  • Deal with others honestly and fairly, abiding by our commitments and always acting in a manner that merits the trust and confidence others have placed in us.
  • Protect the privacy of individual student financial records.
  • Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
Support student access and success
  • Commit to removing financial barriers for those who want to pursue postsecondary learning and support each student admitted to our institution.
  • Without charge, assist students in applying for financial aid funds.
  • Provide services and apply principles that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
  • Understand the need for financial education and commit to educate students and families on how to responsibly manage expenses and debt.
Comply with federal and state laws
  • Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs.
  • Actively participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education programs to ensure ample understanding of statutes, regulations, and best practices governing the financial aid programs.
  • Encourage colleagues to participate in the financial aid professional associations available to them at the state, regional, or national level and offer assistance to other aid professionals as needed.
Strive for transparency and clarity
  • Provide our students and parents with the information they need to make good decisions about attending and paying for college.
  • Educate students and families through quality information that is consumer-tested when possible. This includes (but is not limited to) transparency and full disclosure on award notices.
  • Ensure equity by applying all need-analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s full population of student financial aid applicants.
  • Inform institutions, students, and parents of any changes in financial aid programs that could affect their student aid eligibility.
  • Strive to ensure that cost of attendance components are developed using resources that represent realistic expenses.
Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants
  • Ensure that student and parent private information provided to the financial aid office by financial aid applicants is protected in accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations, including FERPA and the Higher Education Act, Section 483(a)(3)(E) (20 U.S.C. 1090).
  • Protect the information on the FAFSA from inappropriate use by ensuring that this information is only used for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions.

These guidelines last updated by NASFAA‘s Board of Directors 11/21/2017. Used by Permission.