SCU Selects American Student Assistance as SALT Program Partner to Address College Affordabilty, Student Debt

Tim Goral's picture
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU), the nation's leading post-graduate college for Chiropractic, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, Ayurveda and Massage, has announced its partnership with American Student Assistance (ASA) on a movement to address the college affordability issue by revolutionizing how students and alumni finance and repay their higher education costs.

SCU joins a growing number of higher education institutions nationwide – from four-year private institutions to public institutions and community colleges – that have already signed on with the SALT movement. SALT schools' students and alumni automatically become SALT members and gain full access to the program's services. Multiple administrative offices at SCU, including financial aid, the bursar, student affairs, alumni, and development, will actively work with ASA to drive SALT awareness and engagement among on-campus students and alumni.

As a public-purpose nonprofit organization, ASA is committed to offering SALT services free of charge to all SCU students and alumni. To accomplish its mission, ASA has established a contribution-based model whereby multiple stakeholders interested in student success, including federal or state government entities, colleges and universities, foundations or other non-profit organizations, and corporate sponsors, contribute to the overall cost of delivering the program to member institutions.

Providing the best educational experience is always a priority and SCU is committed to providing the resources and support necessary to help students navigate a successful career path. Achieving a rewarding career in healthcare also means developing personal financial skills which is an integral part of a well‐rounded education.

What is SALT?

SALT was created by American Student Assistance, a nonprofit organization, to help current SCU students become more financially savvy. As an educational resource, it provides financial education and empowerment to students to help address the issues of college affordability and student debt. This program rewards students for making smart money decisions and all services – including program membership – are provided free of charge.

Features of the SALT program at SCU include:

  • Meaningful benefits and incentives that lower the total cost of college attendance such as scholarship services, job/internship searches, and discounts on discretionary items
  • Highly interactive web-based financial education curriculum and other educational content that develops student financial competencies
  • Multiple self-serve web tools and calculators to assist with budgeting
  • Personalized online dashboard to track all federal and private student loans in one place and compare payment options
  • One-on-one repayment counseling with student loan experts
  • Advocacy and assistance with resolving complex student loan related problems
  • Proactive communication about student loan repayment options
  • Tools to prepare students and alumni with practical money skills for life

"At SCU, understanding financial aid and its responsibilities are equally important as selecting the right university and program, and we are committed to providing access to important educational financial management tools and resources to our students and alumni," says SCU President Dr. John Scaringe. "SCU recognizes the strong academic, financial, and emotional commitment our students, and millions more like them, make every year in the pursuit of a quality higher education and we are honored to partner with American Student Assistance on the SALT program to educate borrowers and arm them with critical financial decision-making skills. We look forward to working with ASA to share the many features and benefits of the SALT program with our students and alumni."

While a graduate or post graduate degree has never been more valuable than in today's global economy, many students and families remain unsure of how to successfully pay for higher education. Approximately 12 million students borrow for college and post graduate programs each year, but many make uninformed decisions, either borrowing more than they need or failing to take advantage of available loans that offer the lowest rates and flexible payment options. A record 1-in-5 U.S. households now owe student loan debt; 5 million Americans are behind on student loan payments; more than 13 percent of student borrowers default within the first three years. Struggling student loan borrowers often delay purchasing homes, cars, and other consumer goods, with dire consequences on the wider U.S. economy.

SALT was created by American Student Assistance, a 56-year-old nonprofit that empowers college students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their student loan debt. Previous ASA programs have demonstrated that students provided with proactive, customized, and targeted communication are 50 percent less likely to fail in loan repayment. For more information, please visit: American Student Assistance.