SALT

Financial literacy to the rescue: Teaching students what they owe before they owe it

American Student Assistance’s SALT program helps Indiana students manage their debt.

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.

A desperate need for financial literacy

SALT provides the education needed to lower student debt loads

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.”

Providing money savvy for college and beyond

SALT, from American Student Assistance, is an empowerment program designed to help students and alumni go from “in debt” to “on the money.” It delivers the financial savvy they need by providing real-world money skills, practical and successful financial guidelines, tools for financial success, and expert counseling. In this interview, Paul Combe, president and CEO of American Student Assistance, tells the story behind SALT.

 

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