Tom Melecki is the founder and sole employee of College Affordability Solutions. He created it in 2015 after retiring from a 39 year career in postsecondary education.
His work in college affordability began at The University of Texas Austin (UT), where he served for 10 years in the financial aid office, including seven years as its director. Tom also spent 26 years student loans. There his efforts focused on student aid and student loan policy, research, and education — including leadership of the nation’s broadest personal money management education programs for college students.
Tom co-authored College “Credit”: Reducing Unmanageable Student Debt and Maximizing Return on Education. He also developed presentations such as Deciphering the Mysteries of the FAFSA; Sending Johnny to (and Keeping Him In) College: The Role of Financial Counseling, Planning, and Education; and Seven Ways to Minimize Student Debt.
Throughout his career Tom held leadership positions with the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators, National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Financial Aid Advisory Committee, and the Nebraska, Rocky Mountain, and Texas Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Tom also serve on the UT System Student Debt Reduction Task Force, College Board Southwest Regional Council, and Consumer Information and Research Committees of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
He was twice a member of teams that negotiated with the U.S. Department of Education about new and revised student aid rules. He also helped initiate, develop, and manage The Common Manual, the nation’s single most comprehensive set of student loan policies.
Tom and his wife Sherry put two now-grown daughters through college. He worked and borrowed to finance his doctorate in higher education administration from UT and he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees by working his way through Bowling Green State University in Ohio.