Butler Community College has teamed up with American Student Assistance on a movement to address the college affordability issue by revolutionizing how students and alumni finance and repay their higher education. Through a free game-changing educational membership program called “SALT,” Butler and ASA are equipping students and alumni with money skills for life so they reduce their student loan debt, improve student loan repayment outcomes, and increase their overall financial empowerment.
While a college degree has never been more valuable than in today’s global economy, many students and families are unsure of how to successfully pay for higher education. Approximately 12 million students borrow for college each year but many make uninformed decisions, either borrowing more than they need or failing to take advantage of loans that offer the lowest rates and flexible payment options. Additionally, 37 million Americans already have existing college debt, with about one-quarter of these borrowers owing more than $28,000 and about 10 percent owing more than $54,000. More than 5 million Americans are behind on their student loan payments, with dire consequences on the U.S. economy as struggling student loan borrowers delay purchasing homes, cars and other consumer goods.
Activating your SALT membership allows you take advantage of members-only features, like:
- Interactive money management tools that show you how to take control of your finances.
- A personal dashboard that tracks all of your federal student loans from Saint Anselm in one place.
- Loan advice from SALT’s expert counselors.
- My Money 101—a self-paced, online resource that teaches you practical money management strategies for budgeting, credit cards, banking and more.
- Access to thousands of jobs and internships to jumpstart your career.
- Exclusive benefits that help you save and spend smart.
Butler and ASA are taking steps to address this higher education and economic crisis with SALT, a dynamic, multichannel educational program that combines online and offline interactions to deliver decision support, engaging content, and one-on-one loan repayment guidance in a simple, useful, and motivating experience.
SALT uses a variety of channels to meaningfully engage student and alumni members and positively influence behavior. Members receive proactive communication about student loan repayment options; one-on-one repayment counseling with student loan experts; a personalized online dashboard to track all their federal and private student loans in one place and compare payment options; a highly interactive Web financial education curriculum and other educational content; multiple “self-serve” web tools and calculators to assist with budgeting; in-person group financial education training at their higher education institution; advocacy and assistance with resolving complex student loan related problems; and meaningful benefits and incentives relevant to either the higher education experience or to the financial needs they face after completing college, such as assistance with job/internship and scholarship searches.
Butler joins a growing number of higher education institutions nationwide, from four-year private institutions to public institutions to community colleges, that have already signed on to the SALT movement. SALT schools’ students and alumni automatically become SALT members and gain full access to the program’s services. Multiple administrative offices on campus, from financial aid and the bursar to student affairs, alumni and development, will actively partner with ASA on a year-long “Get on the Money” campaign 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 student and alumni members whose higher education institutions participate in the program. In order to do so, ASA has established a contribution-based model whereby ASA seeks to engage multiple stakeholders interested in student success, including federal or state government entities, colleges and universities, foundations or other non-profit organizations and corporate sponsors, to contribute to the overall cost of delivering service.
“Butler is excited to join the SALT movement because we believe in the program’s principles of financial education and empowerment to help address the issues of college affordability and student debt,” said Butler Director of Financial Aid Susie Edwards. “Students and alumni deserve the proper support network to help them finance their education and manage any resulting debt. We are committed to playing our role in ensuring that students and alumni have access to these critical education debt management and financial education services.”