George Covino, USA Funds Vice President, Consulting
George Covino, USA Funds Vice President, Consulting
Rising student debt and lack of financial literacy among college students are issues of growing concern to higher ed leaders, particularly those focused on non-academic drivers of student success. In this web seminar, presenters discussed the findings of a major national study conducted by Everfi Inc. and sponsored by Higher One Inc., Money Matters on Campus: How Early Attitudes and Behaviors Affect the Financial Decisions of First-Year College Students. The study surveyed 65,000 first-time college students across the U.S. to gain a better understanding of the significant predictors of both positive and negative financial behaviors among young, college-bound adults.
USA Funds and Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada have partnered to promote a holistic approach to student loan debt management. The partnership has included implementing a financial literacy curriculum and peer counselors for TMCC students, communicating to student loan borrowers to promote successful loan repayment, applying analytics to better target outreach to borrowers, and launching an institution-wide “college completion” summit. Attendees in this web seminar heard from a leader at TMCC and an industry expert about the keys to developing a holistic approach to student loan debt management at any institution.
Kris Alban, Vice President of iGrad
What trends related to financial literacy are emerging?
Financial literacy will likely become a mandatory initiative for colleges in the near future. We expect the next higher ed reauthorization to require financial literacy initiatives for student loan borrowers. Many students taking out loans right now don’t understand enough about what they’re getting into. They often borrow amounts that far exceed the earning potential for their chosen field of study.
Along with minimal fees, students want a variety of options for receiving refunds from their higher ed institution. More stringent regulations and public scrutiny are also prompting institution leaders to look at the adequacy of their refund options. This web seminar, originally broadcast on October 10, 2013, addressed the long term trends that are changing the landscape of student refunds, and presenters discussed a new refund disbursement method available from Nelnet Business Solutions that benefits both students and institutions.
The pressure institutions are facing from the growing student loan debt crisis is felt by all departments, from financial aid to admissions. Schools are struggling to justify tuition costs to prospective students, as well as to ensure recent alumni leave pleased with the institution, despite having student loan debt. In this web seminar, originally broadcast on November 13, 2012, representatives from American Student Assistance (ASA), St. Petersburg College, and Emerson College discussed strategies that will help students understand their finances and debt, and how teaching students fiscal knowledge will benefit both the student and the institution.
The issues of affordability and retention challenge colleges to develop sustainable tuition policies that address the current economic climate yet educate students on the importance of paying their tuition bills on a timely basis. This web seminar, originally broadcast on October 16, 2012, discussed how Nelnet’s solutions, combined with tighter school fiscal policy, can help students meet their tuition obligations even if they do not receive all the financial aid they anticipated. Michigan’s Kellogg Community College explained how they use Nelnet’s Pending Aid plan to decrease outstanding student receivables even when faced with increasing enrollment and rising tuition costs.
California State University, Fresno, takes pride in its reputation as one of the leading public universities in the state, but last year the business staff discovered that Fresno State was lagging in one noteworthy area: the percentage of students electing to receive financial aid refunds electronically.
"We took a hard look at our refund disbursement trends and saw that we were sending paper checks to 40 percent of our students,” says Anthony Forestiere, university controller at Fresno State. “We contacted other schools in the Cal State system and found they were sending refunds by check to only 5 to 15 percent of their students.”
In the world of federal student loan repayment, graduates have the upper hand. So do young adults well-schooled in the ways of money management.
Tusculum College in Tennessee understands that, particularly since working with the experts at Inceptia—leaders in financial education, default aversion and financial aid management services. Inceptia’s mission is to increase the financial aptitude of students, improve graduation rates and provide financial education and financial aid management services. Inceptia’s goal: 100 percent repayment of federal student loans.
Jack Gochenaur was hearing scary stories around campus. Some financial aid students didn't know whether they'd received loans or grants to pay for their education. Many had no idea what they'd need to earn to meet their monthly loan payments.
"I have students who reach their senior year and during exit counseling, it's the first time they know how much money they owe," said Gochenaur, Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer of Manchester College, a 1,300-student liberal arts college in North Manchester, Indiana.
Something, he realized, had to change.
Financial aid officer Valerie Patnaude was so dedicated to teaching her Rivier College students how to manage money that she posted financial literacy newsletters in campus bathroom stalls. When the posters started to disappear, she knew the students were desperate for information.
“They may not be getting help at home to learn about credit scores and debt management, or they’re not listening to their parents,” said Patnaude of the students at her Nashua, New Hampshire, liberal arts college. “They leave college not only with high loan debt, but high credit card debt, too.”
What is SALTSM?
The student aid industry is diverse - with many loan programs offering their own combination of upfront and repayment benefits. American Education Services (AES) and our network of servicing partners has a unique relationship with Upromise, allowing buyers to automatically link their savings to their AES-serviced loan balance.
When Vincennes University introduced the Blazer OneCard on its three Indiana campuses a year ago, students and parents were skeptical. Why, they wanted to know, was the university asking students to carry a MasterCard?
But as university officials found out, a little education goes a long way, and the skepticism was quickly replaced with a high degree of satisfaction. The idea for the Blazer OneCard emerged from the university’s decision to streamline the cumbersome process of issuing financial aid refunds so students could get their money more quickly and safely, according to Vincennes University Bursar Lori Hostetler.