MPOWER Financing Announces Carmen Kienow as Director of University Relations for the Western Half of the U.S.

by MPOWER Financing | In Press Releases | 31 May 2017 | Updated on: July 22nd, 2020

Higher Education Veteran Brings Deep Experience in University Administration and Student Support Sides of the Market


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 31, 2017— MPOWER Financing, a public benefit corporation whose mission is to remove the financial barriers to higher education in the U.S., has appointed Carmen Kienow as its director of university relations for the western half of the U.S.

Kienow, who has more than 30 years of experience in the higher education market in both university administration and student support roles, will be responsible for building relationships and awareness of MPOWER Financing among higher education institutions. A key aspect of her position will be to work with universities to help identify and resolve the financial needs of their international student populations that enhance their campuses as well as their financial well-being.

MPOWER Financing currently works with 223 universities across the nation, funding low-income domestic students, DACA students and international students who are excluded by the current student loan system.

Previously, Kienow held business development executive positions at two student aid service organizations, Cegment and American Student Assistance (ASA). Earlier in her career, she was the senior vice president of College Loan Corporation (CLC), and worked with several other organizations in the education and student aid markets, including Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TGSLC), Bank One and Collegiate Funding Services. She has also recently volunteered as a mentor at CollegeBound, where she developed curriculum to help students navigate their preparation for college.

Kienow started her career in the financial aid office of United States International University (now Alliant University), where she helped students from Micronesia obtain Pell grants so they could complete their degrees.

“Carmen has a great depth of experience working not only alongside financial aid officers, but as a financial aid officer herself. This is exactly the type of experience we need, as we work with university staff to support the financial needs of their international student communities,” said Manu Smadja, CEO and co-founder of MPOWER Financing. “She will be responsible for deepening our relationships with great universities across the western part of the U.S., in states like Texas and California, where there is a clear need for MPOWER to support both international students and DACA/Dream students with a supplemental financing source that isn’t dependent on a U.S. co-signer or an established credit score.”

“It is a major goal of MPOWER Financing to keep international students from having their education in the U.S. interrupted or derailed by a financial shortfall,” said Kienow. “I embrace the opportunity to work with our growing network of colleges and universities to assist them in keeping their culturally-diverse communities vibrant and thriving.”

About MPOWER Financing

As a Public Benefit Corporation, MPOWER removes financial barriers to higher education in the U.S. by working with investors and universities to lend to high-potential students who are left out by traditional banks. In addition to providing students with access to the financial resources necessary to attend and complete college, MPOWER builds students’ credit histories, provides them with personal finance education, and offers gateway financial products to prepare them for life after college. For more information, visit, or follow MPOWER on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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