PHEAA Debuts New Podcast Series to Help Navigate the College-Planning Process; Free resource shares expertise and guidance

In honor of February’s observance of Financial Aid Awareness Month, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) invites students and their families to join them for a new, biweekly college-planning podcast.

The Higher Education Access Corner is hosted by PHEAA Higher Education Access Partners, Tiffanie DeVan and Diona Brown, providing candid conversations around access and affordability to postsecondary schools, including 4-year schools, community colleges, and technical and trade schools.

“In today’s world, it is critical that we engage with students and parents through every medium possible,” said Senator Wayne Fontana, Acting Chairman of the PHEAA Board of Directors. “We continue to look for new ways to engage with families to help them navigate affordable higher education.”

The podcast airs every other Wednesday, offering a variety of engaging discussion on topics including planning and paying for higher education, understanding student loans and PA 529 plans, and avoiding unnecessary debt.

“Our Higher Education Access Corner podcast was created for students, parents, and educators,” said James Steeley, PHEAA President & CEO. “At PHEAA, we are committed to our public service mission of creating affordable access to higher education. We’re proud to use a relatively new forum to reach more students and families and help them achieve their educational goals. We invite everyone to join us.”

Launched in September 2022, the podcast has featured a number of knowledgeable and well-respected guests from the higher education community, including PA State Treasurer Stacy Garrity and PA Department of Education’s Dr. Kimberly McCurdy, Bureau Director for Postsecondary and Adult Education, and Dr. Tanya Garcia, Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Postsecondary and Higher Education. An archive of past podcasts can be found at

As podcasts became more and more popular, I started to think about how much fun it would be to host a show,” host Tiffanie DeVan shared. “More importantly, it allows us to reach more people, using a different platform. We have so much valuable information to share regarding access to higher education and podcasts are a great way to reach a broader audience.”

During the upcoming February 8 episode, our hosts will meet with Dan Wray and Linda Pacewicz, student aid experts with the PA Forward Student Loan Program. This program offers a low-cost private loan option when all other opportunities for financial aid have been exhausted and a gap in funding stills exists.

The February 22 episode focuses on some of the hottest trending topics in the student aid industry, shared by podcast host DeVan and the Hot Topics segment co-host Brown who have a combined 56 years of experience in assisting students and their families in affording their dream of higher education.

The Higher Education Access Corner can be heard on Anchor, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and iHeartRadio.