FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland, ME 6.19.15 – Under a new law, signed by Governor Paul LePage, the Maine Educational Loan Authority (MELA) will merge with the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME). The merger is expected to take effect in late September of 2015.
MELA currently has a contractual relationship with Maine Education Services (MES) for the administration of its programs and services. An independent, private non-profit organization, MES offers college planning resources and services to Maine students. MES notified MELA in late 2014 that they had decided not to pursue an extension of the administrative services agreement beyond the current expiration date of September 30, 2015. This decision by MES provided MELA with the opportunity to explore other options for administering its programs.
“MELA has had a long history of working with MES, and has been highly satisfied with their performance over the years,” stated MELA Executive Director Shirley Erickson. “MELA’s merger with FAME will build upon the successes of its education loan programs and will centralize all state-based higher education finance programs under one entity.”
Following a due diligence process it was determined that merging with FAME would yield cost savings and efficiencies in the administration of MELA’s loan programs due to FAME’s existing staff and other resources. Both MELA and FAME boards of directors supported the merger, and the two agencies have been working closely together to ensure a successful transition.
Maine students and families, as well as colleges and universities, should experience no interruption in the MELA loan application process for The Maine Loan® and The Maine Medical Loansm programs for the upcoming financing season. The MELA interest rates and program terms will remain the same as for the 2014-2015 academic year. No changes are anticipated regarding MELA’s web site, application process, or customer service until the transition of MES’ administration of MELA’s loan programs to FAME is completed. Once the merger takes effect, FAME will be administering The Maine Loan and The Maine Medical Loan programs. To learn more about FAME, visit www.famemaine.com.
The Maine Educational Loan Authority (MELA) was created and established by Maine legislation in 1988 to assist students and their families in achieving their higher education goals by providing a supplemental or alternative student loan program. A state-based lender with 27 years of experience providing alternative student loans, MELA has disbursed student loans totaling nearly $300 million and assisted thousands of Maine students and their families with their higher education financing needs.
MELA’s student loan programs help students bridge the gap between the full cost of a college education and traditional sources of financial aid. MELA’s alternative student loan programs consist of The Maine Loan® and The Maine Medical LoanSM. For more information about MELA, please visit www.mela.net or call 1-800-922-6352.
Shirley Erickson, Executive Director