Early Awareness and Outreach Committee


The purpose of the Early Awareness and Outreach Committee is to be engaged with financial aid administrators in the state to promote early college planning initiatives at the middle school and high school levels with the knowledge that the cost of college is the greatest challenge for underrepresented and low-income populations. We also act as an early awareness and financial aid resource for MASFAA members as well as high school and college preparation counselors so that they may remain educated, engaged, and effective as professionals.


1. Expanding the partnership with the State’s GEAR UP programs, guidance communities, and institution presidents.

2. Developing and implementing two annual MASFAA Carnival of Learning for approximately 120 middle-school students which are hosted at different middle schools throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one event held in the fall and the other in the spring.

3. Providing training and presentation materials to MASFAA members for outreach and working with MASFAA committees to achieve these goals.

2015-2016 Objectives

1. To create new and strengthen current MASFAA partnerships with community leaders, officials and citizens which serve the communities of Massachusetts.

2. To continue and improve our efforts at collaborating with Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Gear Up, American Student Assistance, MEFA, and the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Aid to promote early awareness of financial aid and college access.

3. To increase our involvement in the National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM), an annual training program designed to provide counselors and mentors with professional resources that will help them more effectively advise high school students and families about how to prepare financially for college, to engage with MASCA.

4. To continue to develop a pilot program that will:
a. Provide financial literacy and awareness of the financial aid process to High School College Preparation counselor(s) and students through presentation/workshops.
b. Establish direct line of communication with High School College Preparation/Guidance counselor(s) with specific low income area high schools.

5. To continue to develop, improve and implement two annual Carnival of Learning events serving an approximate total of 120-140 Middle School students in different communities around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by offering high quality early awareness programs.

6. To increase financial literacy and financial aid awareness to the parents of the middle school students who participate in the Carnival of Learning event by creating a complementary financial literacy workshop.

7. To encourage MASFAA members to volunteer at the Carnival of Learning Events without active commitment to the committee.

8. To increase the presence of MASFAA and the EA&O Committee across all of Massachusetts.

9. To improve the quality and content of our EA&O webpage.


Our Committee has plenty of online resources for students and family, please click here.

Annual Committee Reports

2015-2016 Early Awareness and Outreach Committee Reports

2014-2015 Early Awareness and Outreach Committee Reports

2013-2014 Early Awareness and Outreach Committee Reports

2012-2013 Early Awareness and Outreach Committee Reports

2011-2012 Early Awareness and Outreach Committee Reports

2010-2011 Early Awareness and Outreach Committee Reports


Christa M. Gilmore
College of the Holy Cross
Co Chair
Ashley Norwood
American Student Assistance
Co Chair
Jean Berg : Hampshire College Katie Kelsall : Harvard Extension School
Tonya Brito : University of Massachusetts Lowell


Jill Marr : American Student Assistance

Ericka Callahan : Norther Essex Community College Jenary Merced : Springfield Technical Community College
Krista Callinan  : Office of Student Financial Assistance Wenimo Poweigha : Tufts University
Robert Dais : GEAR UP Massachusetts Danielle Reis : Regis College
 Longino Alex Gonzalez : University of Massachusetts Lowell