SHU Joins SALT to Help Students Learn Financial Skills
Sacred Heart University has teamed up with SALT™, a financial education resource created by the nonprofit American Student Assistance® (ASA). SALT, available online at saltmoney.org, is a dynamic multichannel service that teaches students and alumni how to borrow less for college, borrow the right types of loans, make repayment stress-free and build money knowledge for college—and beyond.
Morgan Kelly, associate director of Student Financial Assistance, was one of the staff members who helped bring this project to life. While she was working on her MBA in 2011, she did research on the need for financial literacy. “There are far too many students, at SHU and nationwide, who have no understanding of personal finance, and our goal is to change that here at SHU,” she says.
While a college degree has never been more valuable than in today’s global economy, student debt is a trillion-dollar issue that is slowing our nation’s economic recovery. Approximately 12 million students borrow for college each year, but many borrow more than they need, choose loans that don’t offer the best consumer protections or fail to take advantage of the many available programs to make repayment more manageable. As a result, as much as one-third of the nation’s 41 million student loan borrowers are delinquent on payment 90 days or more—unable to buy homes, cars or any other consumer purchases typically associated with starting out in life.
As a public purpose nonprofit organization, ASA is committed to offering SALT services free of charge to students and alumni whose higher education institutions participate in the program. To do so, ASA has established a contribution-based model whereby multiple stakeholders interested in student success—including federal and state governments, colleges and universities, foundations or other nonprofit organizations and corporate sponsors—all contribute to the overall cost of delivering the service.
SALT is meant to not only help students manage their student loans, but to help them develop a comprehensive understanding of personal finance. All current students, as well as alumni, will be offered access to the website, and all students will be able to call and speak with a neutral, unbiased adviser to discuss student loan questions.
Sacred Heart joins a growing number of higher education institutions nationwide—from four-year private institutions to public institutions and community colleges—that have already signed on with SALT. SALT schools’ students and alumni automatically become members and gain full access to the program’s services.