Mission critical: Four ways to make loan counseling stick with students
By Rob Davenport, senior writer at TG’s HigherEDGE®
It’s a perennial challenge for schools: how do you deliver loan counseling so that students walk away ready to practice what they’ve learned about repayment. Think of entrance counseling, typically provided at school start when students are scrambling for classes, juggling assignments, and meeting dozens of classmates. The experience can be a recipe for cognitive overload and a barrier to a critical lesson for students — how to manage the debt they’re taking on, perhaps for the first time in their lives. Just one consequence of counseling’s failure could be loan default, which can harm a borrower’s financial well-being and, at high rates, jeopardize a school’s Title IV eligibility.
So, how can you engage students in loan counseling so that they’re more likely to live by what they learn? The key for many schools is to deliver the right message in the right way. Consider the strategies suggested below.
Help for improving your counseling game
If you’d like a refresher on counseling requirements, refer to the Federal Student Aid Handbook. Your school might also consider hiring a third-party servicer that offers on-site consulting on the best way to prepare borrowers for repayment while they’re still in school.
Rob Davenport has more than 10 years experience writing on higher education issues, including default management, financial literacy, and college outreach. As a writer for TG’s HigherEDGE Default Management Solutions, he focuses on how schools can build an effective default management program. In particular, he provides advice on enlisting campus support for the default prevention cause, educating students in debt management, and connecting borrowers with the right resources throughout repayment. Rob also works closely with other HigherEDGE staff. HigherEDGE offers a comprehensive default management service designed to help schools take control of default. Among other things, HigherEDGE provides schools with campus consulting, counseling for borrowers as they enter repayment, and outreach to borrowers with delinquent loans. You can contact Rob at (800) 252-9743, ext. 4846, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.