Press Releases

TERI Leader Ann Coles Receives ‘Making A Difference Award’ From American Student Assistance

Dr. Ann S. Coles, Senior Vice President of TERI’s College Access Programs is one of this year’s recipients of the ‘Making a Difference Award’ from American Student Assistance (ASA).

Dr. Coles is being honored for her 35 years of work to ensure access to postsecondary education for lower income students and underrepresented individuals of all ages. Since 1984, she has developed and overseen all of TERI’s College Access Programs, and she provides leadership to the Pathways to College Network, an alliance of 40 national organizations and funders working collaboratively to improve college access and success for underserved students.

“We are especially grateful to Dr. Coles for her role in helping to establish the Higher Education Information Center at the Boston Public Library, which ASA and TERI have expanded in recent years to BPL branches throughout inner Boston,” said Shelley Saunders, Vice President, Strategic Services at American Student Assistance. “In Ann, the community has a dedicated advocate for equal opportunity higher education access.”

Also honored during American Student Assistance’s annual symposium on student debt were: Debra Wiley, accepting on behalf of the office of Ombudsman for Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education; Dr. Arnold Mitchem, president and CEO of the Council for Opportunity in Education; and Natala ‘Tally’ Hart, director of student financial aid at The Ohio State University.

“All of the award recipients have made significant contributions to our profession,” said Paul Combe, ASA President and CEO. “Each individual has made a difference in the lives of college students and their families in their own unique way, but they all have one thing in common: a true passion for making higher education attainable and worthwhile for people from all backgrounds.”


TERI (The Education Resources Institute), a nonprofit organization in Boston, Massachusetts, promotes educational opportunities for all through its College Access and Loan Guarantee Programs.

TERI manages college access programs that target low-income individuals and those who are the first generation in their families to attend college. These programs raise student and adult aspirations to include college and other post-secondary education, provide guidance and information directly to students and their families on planning and paying for college, and support increased student achievement in middle and high schools. TERI is also a national leader in promoting strategies for improving college access.

TERI’s Loan Guarantee programs help students close the gap between education costs and their other resources such as financial aid, savings and family support. As the largest and oldest guarantor of private (non-government) student loans with more than $9 billion in outstanding guarantees, TERI brings together lenders, schools, students and families to make available low-cost, high quality financing for postsecondary education. The organization also works in a very successful strategic alliance with First Marblehead Corporation in this effort.

TERI is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 corporation. For additional information, visit or