SALT and HACU join forces to raise awareness of effective student loan and financial management tools

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Monday, March 24, 2014

The nonprofit American Student Assistance® today announces a partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) to raise greater awareness of ASA’s SALT™ program, a financial education resource that helps students and alumni develop financial literacy skills and better manage student loan debt on a practical, day-to-day level.

“In line with our mission to champion Hispanic success in higher education, HACU looks forward to working with SALT to empower Hispanic students to take control of their finances, complete college and work towards a bright future long after graduation,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

As the youngest and fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, Hispanics will play an instrumental role in reaching President Obama’s goal of having the world's largest share of college graduates by 2020 and beyond. Yet many Latinos face financial pressures that threaten their ability to finish college and successfully retire their education debt. The college graduation rate for Latinos is less than half the national average, according to the College Board.

“Latinos are the future of the U.S. economy,” said Paul Combe, ASA® president and CEO. “It is imperative to our nation’s global competitiveness that Hispanic students not only gain access to postsecondary education, but also successfully complete their education and the student loan payback process, and thrive as consumers throughout their adult lives.”

SALT addresses the financial stress and escalating student debt that can derail Hispanic students’ higher education dreams and post-graduation success. SALT, so-named because salt was one of the world’s first forms of currency, is a dynamic, multichannel educational program that teaches students and alumni how to borrow less for college, borrow the right types of loans, facilitate repayment and build money skills for life. The collaboration will also allow the two organizations to share research and data to identify trends and measure success.

HACU members who sign on with SALT will have its full suite of services available to their students and alumni, including the program’s signature “My Money 101™” online personal finance curriculum (available in English and Spanish); all saltmoney.org features, including a Repayment Navigator to track loans and compare repayment plans, blogs, articles, videos, calculators, tools and search engines for scholarships and careers/internships; and access to one-on-one counseling with a loan specialist via phone, email and chat.

More than 250 higher education institutions nationwide have already signed on with SALT since its launch two years ago. As a public purpose nonprofit organization, ASA is committed to offering full SALT services free of charge to students and alumni whose higher education institutions participate in the program. In order to do so, ASA has established a contribution-based model whereby multiple stakeholders interested in student success—including federal or state government, colleges and universities, foundations or other nonprofit organizations, and corporate sponsors—can contribute to the overall cost of delivering the service. Under the HACU/SALT arrangement, all HACU member institutions will receive reduced pricing on their SALT sponsorship.

About SALT: SALT is a free educational resource that provides simple, smart, personalized ways for college students and recent graduates to take control of their student debt and manage their finances. With a combination of helpful tools, tailored information, and unbiased expertise, SALT helps young people borrow less, borrow smart and repay their loans in a way that works for them. SALT was created by American Student Assistance, a nonprofit organization with 50+ years’ experience helping people make better decisions about financing their education and repaying student loans. Visit www.saltmoney.org or call 617.728.4631 for more information.

About HACU: The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. For more information, visit www.hacu.net.