Leadership

Meet the FA Solutions leadership team.

Brenda Wright

Chief Operating Officer

Brenda is the Founder and Chief Operating Officer at FA Solutions LLC. She is a well-respected industry expert in financial aid operations who has more than 20 years of experience in executive roles at major colleges and universities. Brenda is responsible for leading the overall operations strategy and oversight of Financial Aid Processing, Technology, Consulting, Audit, and the Student Experience Center.

Just prior to forming FA Solutions LLC, Brenda was COO at University Financial Aid Solutions. She also served as the Assistant Vice President of Student Financial Services at Saint Leo University, and the Director of Student Financial Services at the State University of New York at Albany. Brenda’s core strengths in Financial Aid include compliance, process automation, and leadership.

Brenda holds bachelor’s degree in both Accounting as well as Economics from Mansfield University (NY) and a master’s degree in Management from St. John Fisher College (NY).

Brenda loves training for and running marathons. She is also a foodie at heart and enjoys both cooking in and dining out. Brenda loves to vacation including cruising, the beach, and Napa Valley.

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Bridget McGuire

Bridget McGuire

Vice President of Operations

Bridget is Vice President, Financial Aid Operations at FA Solutions LLC. In her role, Bridget ensures the teams deliver a quality, accurate financial aid solution including processing and customer service. She works with the internal and external teams to determine and document efficient solutions.

Previously, Bridget served as VP of Financial Aid at 3 large institutions for 20 years, managing the day to day financial processes for multi-site/state locations. Bridget had worked in financial aid since graduating from college.  She is versed in a variety of financial aid delivery systems along with various funding sources and structures for awarding. “I enjoy taking the complicated financial aid process and making it easy to understand for schools and students.” says, Bridget

Bridget holds the master’s degree in Enrolment Management from Capella University.

Bridget enjoys spending time with family, binge watching Netflix and occasionally reading a good mystery/ thriller book.

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Michael Holmes

Vice President – Technology & Compliance

Michael is Vice President, Technology and Compliance. He is responsible for creating and leading the company’s technology vision and strategy; for the research and development, innovation, product design and rollout of solutions that deliver exceptional internal and external customer experiences; Title IV compliance; and business security.

Michael held varying executive roles in both campus and corporate capacities in the 27 years prior to joining FA Solutions. Over the years he has worked in every aspect of Financial Aid. Most recently, he oversaw the Operations, Title IV accounting, SFA compliance, Regulatory Reporting, FA Technologies, Training, and Support divisions while consistently developing and implementing on-going business process improvements in support of cross-functional initiatives. “I started out in Financial Aid as a work study in college and have loved it ever since.” says, Michael.

Michael has a BS in Business Administration from National American University and an MBA from Regis University.

Michael enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, riding his motorcycle, and binge watching an array of series across multiple streaming services.

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Rob Wright

Co-Founder and Managing Member

Rob is the Co-Founder and Managing Member of FA Solutions. As a well-respected industry expert with nearly three decades of experience in finance and small business leadership, Rob is responsible for leading the company’s financial operations and growth strategy.

A passionate and enthusiastic entrepreneur, Rob has been a successful business owner and financial services professional, providing financial servicing to families, small businesses and educational institutions nationwide.

Rob loves boating and fishing, camping, cooking and grilling, traveling and sight-seeing. He particularly enjoys EXCELLENT restaurant experiences.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions are not answered here, please contact us.

Answer: You can’t!

Ok, that was our attempt at humor and why not have a little fun?

The truth of the matter is that it’s not as simple as “just signing up”, and you can’t just compare prices of one service over another, since business models can differ significantly. As you know, the world of financial aid is more complicated than ever and we should get to know a bit about each other before engaging. We’ve shared some information about us, and the next step would be to share some information specifically about your institution’s challenges, and of course its goals as it relates to a financial aid partnership. Just as it’s important for a school to be selective about the servicer they chose, we also believe FA Solutions should use care in selecting future school partners that we will support. We want to engage in relationships that are a genuine good fit, and have a great probability for success. Relationships are important to us, and we prefer to have a genuine partnership instead of just a vendor-client engagement. We’ll take a long term, enjoyable relationship over a quick sale any day.

We also understand that it can take a significant amount of time to earn the complete trust of a potential school partner, and only a split second to lose it. For that reason, we believe that once we earn the trust of the school and we’re engaged in a supportive partnership that it’s in our best interest to always attempt to over deliver.

Answer: Almost exclusively W2 employees

We have a large staff of full-time W2 employees for all of our day-to-day operations, leadership, and consulting. Occasionally when we have some overflow work or a short term or specialized project, we are fortunate to have a great network of highly experienced independent financial aid consultants that provide support to us internally for these special engagements. All of our employees, as well as our independent consultants are covered under our corporate professional liability insurance program, and must adhere to the same culture of service as the rest of our organization.

Answer: FA Solutions can provide staffing for most any interim or long term financial aid position

From our perspective today, there is a severe shortage of qualified financial aid candidates throughout much of the country. We are seeing vacancies at even the most senior levels in financial aid departments. FA Solutions provides interim or long-term staffing in the following levels:

  • Financial Aid Director
  • Assistant director
  • Financial Aid Processor and or verification
  • R2T4 calculations
  • Reconciliation
  • Student support (inbound or outbound emails and or phone correspondence)

Furthermore, as a third-party servicing firm that has fully embraced technology, we are usually able to provide staffing remotely, which saves the college a significant amount of financial resources by not having to charge for travel, lodging, meals, and other miscellaneous expenses normally incurred when interim staffing is required to be done on site at the institution itself.

Answer: It depends on the institution that we’re serving.

For schools that do not have their own financial aid system, we typically use our system, Regent Award. This is offered to our servicing clients through a strategic relationship we have with Regent education, a financial aid software as a service (SaaS) solution provider. For these types of schools, the use of this financial aid technology is included in our servicing cost structure. It is a cloud-based system that allows the school to track their student financial aid progress in real time, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You’ll be able to view the student awards, as well as, see and upload any missing documents that may be needed for verification.

For our school partners that have their own financial aid system such as Campusvue, Powerfaids, Ellucian Systems, Empower, CAMS, etc., we can process financial aid for the school directly in the school’s financial aid system. This is typically the chosen method because of the ease of onboarding. Since there is no need for complicated data integration to an external system, we are typically able to onboard these types of institutions in a matter of one week or less, since there is much less setup and configuration needed.

Answer: This is a great question

These seem to be the two most common complaints we hear about other servicing organizations. Our answer is simple. Our processing turnaround time is typically less than 48 to 72 hours for a normal student file. A challenging verification student will take additional time. It is important that both the school and FA Solutions understand that we have the same goals in mind; efficient and accurate processing of student files. We have to work together to make sure that data and documents are received timely and accurately to ensure efficient processing in a compliant fashion.

We heavily staff each of the schools we serve, even the smallest of Institutions. If one of our staff is out sick or on vacation, we are fully aware that your school still needs to be supported. For that reason, multiple people are trained to support each school partner. It is a costly approach to running a company however, we have found that it provides the absolute best level of service and support to our school partners.

We also offer multiple platforms of communication between the school’s financial aid department and our FA Solutions team. You’ll be able to reach our team via phone, email, and YES, even instant chat for almost immediate communication when needed.

Answer: Absolutely!

We believe strongly in delivering superior results with excellent service and communication platforms. We’ve invested heavily in a team of top-tier financial aid leaders and yes, we are extremely competitive in our cost structure. We are not, by any means, a discount servicing organization, nor do we want to be viewed as such. We fully believe that you get what you pay for, however everyone deserves the right to be cost-sensitive and receive good value for resources spent.

Get In Touch With Us Today!

Have any questions? Give us a call.

  • 1-727-300-6336

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