Paul C. Combe is the President and CEO of American Student Assistance, a nonprofit aimed at empowering students before, during and after college to make better decisions around planning for, financing, and repaying higher education. Under Paul’s leadership, ASA has focused on helping students and alumni access and successfully complete a program of higher education financing and repayment, through direct counseling and an educational program called “SALT™”. ASA’s program uses student loans and the higher education financing experience as a series of teachable moments to develop financial competencies.
Since joining ASA® in 1996, Paul has led the organization through a process of strategic change and renewal that repurposed its focus from the traditional guarantor role to student loan "wellness" -- proactively engaging student loan borrowers to prevent repayment problems before they begin, thereby inspiring their long-term financial success and good credit standing. Through the successful implementation of its Wellness initiatives working under a special agreement with the Education Department, ASA helped borrowers avert over $120 million of loan defaults between 2001 and 2008; increased the number of loans in good standing in its portfolio; and consistently achieved delinquency and default rates lower than the national average. Throughout his tenure at ASA, Paul has advocated for the role of proactive, objective, nonprofit education debt management and borrower advocacy services in the federal student loan program.
Prior to joining ASA, Paul served as president and CEO of both Knight College Resource Group and the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. He also served as Director of Financial Aid at Boston College. Paul received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education Degrees from Framingham State College. He has spoken at numerous industry events and conferences, as well as before members of Congress on making student debt more manageable.