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ESF Recognized For Effective Financial Aid Counseling

National report notes college goes extra mile in student loan counseling
10/19/2015

ESF was highlighted in "Above and Beyond: What Eight Colleges Are Doing to Improve Student Loan Counseling." The report features practices used by postsecondary institutions around the country to promote better student loan outcomes.

The report was produced by TG, a non-profit organization that promotes educational access and success, and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The two organizations collaborated on a series of national studies on the efficacy of federal student loan counseling. The fourth paper in the series -Above and Beyond - looks at the promising practices of colleges that exceed the minimum requirements of federal law to make the loan counseling experience more enriching to students.

Paramount to ESF's success are exit interviews that take place during in-person and small group sessions.

"In-person loan counseling is done each semester with all graduating students who have borrowed while attending ESF," said Mark Hill, director of financial aid. The sessions include a full review of loan repayment options and each student's current loan debt.

"Guidance is provided to help the students take advantage of the numerous tools that will help them prevent loan repayment problems or even default," said Hill. "Staff from our office also travel to ESF's Ranger School (in Wanakena, New York) each year to offer the same level of service to our students there."

ESF was also recognized for its financial literacy education programming.

"The literacy component involves both on-campus workshops on numerous aspects including credit card and debt management, budgeting, identity protection and investment and online education," said Hill. The college uses the SmartTrack program through SUNY for its online, interactive literacy training.

According to Hill these programs are essential to future financial success for the students and the students "appreciate the hands-on, personal approach."

Other colleges included in the report are Baldwin Wallace University,

Ohio State University, Northern Virginia Community College, Broward College,

Western Technical College, El Paso Community College, and University of South Florida.