TASFAA Community Blog!

  • 17 Sep 2013 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    Beginning in May 2013, FedLoan Servicing held an At-Risk Delinquency Resolution Contest for schools.  Participating schools were provided with a listing of delinquent borrowers, serviced by FedLoan Servicing, who would impact their 2011 or 2012 Cohort Default Rate, if their delinquency was not resolved.  The contest ended on August 28, 2013.  Here are some highlights:

    • •·         350 Schools Participated (6 Tennessee schools)
    • •·         7,356 Cured Delinquencies (28 from Tennessee schools)

    Congratulations to all participating schools in the winning region – WASFAA! Schools within the Western region cured 31% of their loan delinquencies.

    FedLoan Servicing extends a special thank you to all participating schools for the assistance provided to your alumni! Winning schools were provided a customized poster, congratulatory letter, and the option to participate in our FedLoan Servicing FiveStar Training webinar on default prevention or a spotlight in an upcoming FedLoan Servicing Quarterly Bulletin.

    Congratulations to the winners!!!!

    Tiers

    Winning School

    Sector

    % of cures

    NATIONAL WINNERS

    < 50 borrowers

    Bryan College (CA)

    Plaza College (NY)

    Proprietary

    100%

    51 – 250 borrowers

    Howard Community College (MD)

    Public

    53%

    > 250 borrowers

    Herzing University (WI)

    Proprietary

    37%

    PUBLIC SECTOR WINNERS

    < 50 borrowers

    City College of Chicago (IL)

    Public

    80%

    51 – 250 borrowers

    Howard Community College (MD)

    Public

    53%

    > 250 borrowers

    University of North Texas (TX)

    Public

    31%

    PRIVATE SECTOR WINNERS

    < 50 borrowers

    Resurrection University (IL)

    Sharon Regional Health System (PA)

    Private

    100%

    51 – 250 borrowers

    Robert Morris University (IL)

    Private

    45%

    > 250 borrowers

    Keiser University (FL)

    Private

    29%

    PROPRIETARY SECTOR WINNERS

    < 50 borrowers

    Bryan College (CA)

    Plaza College (NY)

    Proprietary

    100%

    51 – 250 borrowers

    Vista College (TX)

    Proprietary

    43%

    > 250 borrowers

    Herzing University (WI)

    Proprietary

    37%

    GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SECTOR WINNERS

    < 50 borrowers

    Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (MO)

    Eastern Virginia Medical School (VA)

    Graduate

    100%

  • 10 Sep 2013 4:49 PM | Anonymous
    Nelnet has put together a PDF file to reference all the 2013-2014 Interest Rates for student loans signed into law by the president. Feel to read more about it or take a look at their chart.


  • 06 Sep 2013 4:52 PM | Anonymous

    Submitted by Dave Bowman, Regional Marketing Director
    Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates

    We’re partners in helping students borrow responsibly, complete their education, and find repayment solutions that work for them. Providing loan servicers with valid contact information for your students is a vital step in making sure your students receive the assistance they need from their servicer throughout the life of their loans. 

    Communicating contact information that changes rapidly as students transition to a new phase in life is one of the best ways to help your students succeed in life beyond campus. When loan servicers can’t connect with your students, it’s difficult to help them. There are several ways you can help. 

    • •·         Encourage your students to stay in contact with you to provide their current contact information, as well as their enrollment status, as necessary. If you have current contact information, you should share it with loan servicers, which can usually be done easily online.
    • •·         Encourage your students to sign up for an account on their loan servicer’s website, where they can access important account informationundefinedand many other useful resourcesundefinedand easily make updates to their contact information to make sure it is current.
    • •·         Help students understand who their loan servicers are so that they can watch for and respond to important timely information they receive about their loan obligations and options. Students are often inundated with information and may not know how to differentiate their loan servicer from other organizations and companies.  

    Whether it’s the spring graduates entering repayment in the next few months or the new students enrolling this fall, make sure you’re connecting them with the help they need. While we can’t always control the obstacles students face, solid relationships and clear communication provide the pathway to success.

    Dave Bowman is Regional Marketing Director with Great Lakes, serving schools in Kentucky and Tennessee. You can reach Dave at (888)685-1604, or by e-mail at dbowman@glhec.org. Additional information about Great Lakes can be found online at www.mygreatlakes.org/web/FAP

     

  • 30 Aug 2013 2:36 PM | Anonymous
    Advising Your Students About Debt Management
    Sonja McMullen, Senior Account Executive, Sallie Mae 


    One of the most valuable services you can provide for students is guidance on how to manage debt. That’s because the actions students take now can set a pattern for a solid financial future. Use these tips to advise your students as they begin to manage credit and debt.

    Create a budget and stick to it. One of the basic tenets of smart financial management is to create a budget and live within your means. Advise your students to develop a budget that ensures that debt and other payments are made on time each month.

    Many financial literacy sites offer interactive budgets to make the process easy. The budget should be revisited and adjusted periodically as various income and expense items change.

    Pay credit cards in full each month. It’s easy to run up big debt by paying just the minimum on credit card balances. Encourage your students to charge only what they can afford to pay off infull each month.

    Request a copy of your credit report annually and check it for errors. Most credit reports are accurate, but sometimes mistakes happen. By checking their credit report annually, your students can spot errors and avoid possible damage to their credit rating.

    Make sure your student loan servicer knows how to contact you. Students should always contact their loan servicer whenever they change their street address, email address, or telephone number. By doing so, students will be alerted to changes to their loan (for example, an adjustment to the interest rate) or to their account (e.g., a fee charged for a late payment).

    Understand the consequences of default. Make sure your students understand that default has serious consequences. For example, it can damage their credit rating and make it difficult toborrow in the future.

    Select a student loan repayment plan that’s right for you. Some students want to pay off their loans as quickly as possible. Others may want to stretch the payments out so they’re more affordable. Advise your students to model their repayment options using an online calculator. For federal loans, students may want to consider an income-related repayment plan as a means of keeping their payments manageable.

    Start out on the right foot with on-time payments. Making on-time payments on student loans and other debt can help students build and maintain a good credit rating. Get your students off on the right foot by emphasizing the importance of making on-time payments.

    Sign up for automatic debit. One way to help ensure student loan and other debt payments are made on time is to sign up for automatic debit. Some lenders offer an interest rate reduction for making payments by automatic debit.

    Manage your account online. Encourage your students to take control of their debt by managing their account online. Most student lenders offer easy-to-use systems that allow students to review their payment history, change repayment plans, make payments, update contact information, and more with a few clicks of a mouse.

    Make interest payments while in school. Students can help avoid capitalized interest by making interest payments on their loans while they’re in school.

    Consider paying a little extra each month on your debt. Paying just a few extra dollars of principal each month can go a long way toward helping students pay off their loans faster. Urge your students to make extra payments whenever possible.

    Seek help at the first sign of difficulty making payments. Financial problems have a tendency to worsen if they’re not addressed promptly. Students should call their lender or servicer immediately if they are having trouble making payments.

    Use deferment and forbearance as a last resort. Postponing payments can cost borrowers extra if unpaid interest is added to the loan balance. Before applying for deferment or forbearance, borrowers should work closely with their lender or servicer and consider alternatives such as switching repayment plans or consolidating their loans.

    By following these tips, your students can lay the foundation for a bright financial future. And you can build a closer relationship with your students as a trusted advisor for financial literacyand debt management.



    Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for its 25 millioncustomers. With products and services that include college savings programs, scholarship search tools, education loans, insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college.Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiariesare not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
  • 29 Aug 2013 2:49 PM | Anonymous
    New TSAA awards for 2013-2014

    With the revisions and certification rosters submitted to date, TSAC is able to make awards to an approximately 1,900 students. This means the Completion Date has been extended to February 11th. You may view the new students on your Activity Report by selecting Grant-Eligible Students Report and then selecting Chronological by Eligibility Change Date. Your new recipients will be at the end of your report with the date of 08-26-2013.

    If you have not yet completed your fall certification roster please do so by October 31st so the funding level may be reviewed again. In order to utilize all TSAA funding, it is very important to complete certification of the fall term as soon as possible.

    As in the past, letters will not be mailed to students. Therefore, we encourage your students to create an account on the TSAC Student Financial Aid Portal on TSAC’s web site to view their awards.

    If you have any questions please contact Naomi Derryberry at (615) 253-7478 or Naomi.derryberry@tn.gov.
  • 28 Aug 2013 10:08 AM | Anonymous
    I hope everyone has a great start to the fall 2013 semester! The 2013-2014 SASFAA Executive Board and Conference Committee met recently August 2-5 in Jacksonville, Florida to start planning for the upcoming SASFAA 2014 Conference. I wanted to provide you with some information to help you in your planning for the conference including a list of tentative session topics, the conference rate, and the hotel rate. Conference registration and hotel reservations are not open yet. We will provide you with an update as to when this will be available.

    If you have any questions, please let me know!

    Happy 51st Anniversary SASFAA!

    Amy Berrier
    2014 SASFAA Conference Chair
    alberrie@uncg.edu
    (336) 334-3372




    2013-2014 Conference Committee:

    Alabama – Sharon Williams

    Florida – Diane Reitz

    Georgia – Pennie Strong

    Kentucky – Heather Boutell

    Mississippi – Cindy May

    North Carolina – Christy Chesnut

    South Carolina – Ken Cole

    Tennessee – Aaron White

    Virginia – Brenda Burke

    Local Arrangements Chair – Kristi Jones

    Electronic Services Chair (Ex-Officio) – Angie Black

    Global Issues Chair (Ex-Officio) – Michael O’Grady

    Vendor/Sponsor Chair (Ex-Officio) – Brett Barefoot

    President (Ex-Officio) – Zita Barree

    Treasurer (Ex-Officio) – Amy Moser



    Notes about the Conference:

    1) Conference registration fee will be $275.00
    2) Hotel room rate is $159 a night plus applicable state and local taxes (currently at 14.13%). The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Florida. The hotel room block will be open at a later date and a hotel reservation link will be posted on the website. More information will be made available soon!
    3) Complimentary in-room internet will be available for all hotel guests
    4) Self-parking is available at $10 a day, Valet at $20 a day
    5) The opening session will begin on Sunday, February 16th at 3:30 p.m.
    6) More information about possible pre-conference workshops will be made available at a later date
    7) Vendor/Sponsor information will be made available by Brett Barefoot, Vendor/Sponsor Chair
    8) The Conference Charity will be the WHAS Crusade for Children – http://crusadeforchildren.org. A prior Executive Board voted to assign different states to each conference for the next upcoming years. Since we are no longer rotating around currently to all 9 states, the prior board wanted to give each state an opportunity to have a charity represented. More information will be forthcoming from the Conference Committee about the charity and how you can participate!
    9) Patrick House, Season 10 winner of the Biggest Loser, will be our keynote speaker.
    10) Justin Draeger (NASFAA President), Amanda Sharp (NASFAA Trainer and former SASFAA member), and Craig Munier (NASFAA Chair) will be joining us for part of the conference
    11) The Conference Committee has communicated with the Department of Education about their representation at the conference in Jacksonville. We will provide more information at a later date.
    Tentative Agenda:



    Date/Time
    Event
    Notes






    Sunday - 2/16/14





    8 - 9 am
    Breakfast
    Executive Board & Conference Committee
    8 - 11 am
    Vendor Set-Up

    8 - 3:45 pm
    Registration

    9 am - 12 noon
    Executive Board Meeting
    Executive Board
    11 am - 3:30 pm
    Vendor Area Open

    12 - 1 pm
    Lunch
    Board/Conference/President Elects/NAOW
    9 am - 3 pm
    President Elects Workshop
    TBA
    9 am - 3 pm
    Pre-Conference Workshop
    TBA
    4 - 5:30 pm
    Opening Session
    Everyone
    5:30 - 7 pm
    President's Reception
    Everyone



    Monday - 2/17/14





    7/7:30 - 8:30 am
    Continental Breakfast
    Everyone
    8:30 - 12:15 pm
    Vendor Area Open

    8:30 - 9:30 am
    General Session (Washington Update)
    Everyone
    9:30 - 9:45 am
    Transition Break
    Everyone
    9:45 - 11:00 am
    Concurrent Session Block #1
    Everyone
    11:00 - 11:15 am
    Transition Break
    Everyone
    11:15 - 12:15 pm
    State Meetings
    Everyone
    12:30 - 2:00 pm
    Luncheon
    Everyone
    2:00 - 5:00 pm
    Vendor Area Open

    2:15 - 3:30 pm
    Concurrent Session Block #2
    Everyone
    3:30 - 3:45 pm
    Transition Break
    Everyone
    3:45 - 5:00 pm
    Concurrent Session Block #3
    Everyone
    8 - 11 pm
    Bingo/Networking
    Everyone



    Tuesday - 2/18/14





    7/7:30 - 8:30 am
    Continental Breakfast
    Everyone
    8:30 am - 4:00 pm
    Vendor Area Open

    8:30 - 9:30 am
    General Sessions 1 & 2 & 3
    Everyone
    9:30 - 9:45 am
    Transition Break
    Everyone
    9:45 - 11:00 am
    Concurrent Session Block #1
    Everyone
    11:00 - 11:15 am
    Transition Break
    Everyone
    11:15 - 12:30 pm
    Concurrent Session Block #2
    Everyone
    12:30 - 2:30 pm
    Lunch on your own
    Everyone
    12:30 - 2:30 pm
    Past Presidents Luncheon
    Past Presidents, President Barree, President-Elect
    2:30 - 3:45 pm
    Concurrent Session Block #3
    Everyone
    3:45 - 4:00 pm
    Transition Break
    Everyone
    4:00 - until
    Vendor Breakdown
    Vendors
    4:00 - 5:15 pm
    Concurrent Session Block #4
    Everyone
    6:00 - 7:00 pm
    Happy Hour
    Everyone
    7:00 - 8:30 pm
    Banquet
    Everyone
    8:30 - 12:00 am
    Evening Event
    Everyone



    Wednesday - 2/19/14





    8 - 9 am
    Breakfast
    Everyone
    9 - 11 am
    Federal Update / Closing Session
    Everyone
    Noon
    Transition Lunch
    1314 & 1415 Conference Committee


    Tentative Session Topics at SASFAA 2014:

    Veteran’s Nuts and Bolts

    Veterans Special Issues

    Ask a Fed

    Professional Judgment

    EFC Hand Calculation

    NASFAA Tools

    2014-2015 Verification

    Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery

    Athletic Aid

    Satisfactory Academic Progress

    150% Rule

    PELL LEU

    R2T4 Modules

    Graduate/Professional Hot Topics

    Access and Affordability

    Audit/Compliance Issues

    Unusual Enrollment History/SAP

    Enrollment Management

    At Risk Students

    How to Stay Healthy In Financial Aid

    Selective Service Issues

    Becoming a Financial Aid Administrator

    Global Issues/Diversity

    Nuts and Bolts on Access and Retention

    Financial Literacy

    Repayment Plans

    Exit Counseling and Default Prevention

    Counseling Families on Education Financing

    Customer Service

    Director Round Table

    How to be a Financial Aid Director

    Fraud/Abuse Tips

    Consumer Information and Disclosures

    Gainful Employment

    Financial Stress and Wellness

    CDR/Default Management

    COD

    NSLDS

    How to Talk to People not in Financial Aid

    Safety and Security

    New Aid Officer Update

    Work Study

    SASFAA 101

  • 17 Aug 2013 11:44 AM | Anonymous
    Now that Congress has passed and President Obama has signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, the law amends the Direct Loan interest rate section of the Higher Education Act of 1965. New interest rates for student loans begin for loans disbursed after July 1.



    Want a handy document that has the new interest rates on a one page word document? Click here.
  • 22 Jul 2013 5:55 PM | Anonymous
    A bipartisan group of Senators has reached an agreement that would cut the interest rate for 9 million undergraduates this year from 6.8% to 3.86%. Under the "Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act,” the interest rate for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students disbursed during any 12-month period beginning on July 1 shall be fixed at the rate to the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the final auction prior to the preceding June 1 plus 2.05%, capped at 8.25%; the interest rate for Unsubsidized Stafford loans to graduate or professional students disbursed during any 12-month period beginning on July 1 shall be fixed at the rate to the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the final auction prior to the preceding June 1 plus 3.6%, capped at 9.5%; and the interest rate for Direct PLUS loans (including GradPLUS) disbursed during any 12-month period beginning on July 1 shall be fixed at the rate to the high yield of the 10-year Treasury note auctioned at the final auction prior to the preceding June 1 plus 4.6, capped at 10.5%. Direct Consolidation loans shall bear interest at the weighted average of the interest rate of loans consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent.

    These rates would apply retroactively to students who were impacted by the rate increase on July 1. The new rates are expected to produce an estimated savings of $715 million to go toward deficit reduction. In addition, the legislation calls for the GAO to undertake a complete study of the actual cost to the Federal Government of carrying out the Federal student loan programs authorized under Title IV of the HEA.
  • 22 Jul 2013 5:27 PM | Anonymous
    Welcome to a new year in TASFAA! 

    Your 2013-14 TASFAA Executive Board officially began its service on behalf of the Membership July 1 and they are already hard at work to make this a great year. Visit the TASFAA website throughout the year to keep up-to-date on all of the great training events being planned and see what they are planning. 

    Please remember that it is time to renew your TASFAA membership so you have continued access to the TASFAA listserv and other important information.
  • 14 Jul 2013 5:07 PM | Anonymous
    Money Mangement Tools for Students
    Doug Savage, TG Senior Regional Account Executive

    Technology keeps getting better and easier to use. The editing gear available for today’s high school film students is of a higher quality than the old-school equipment pros used not too long ago. New “smart” thermostats are saving energy and keeping homeowners cool. Camping out? You might consider taking along a lightweight solar panel to recharge your batteries.

    What’s true across in these contexts applies as well in managing finances. For adults, money management sites like Mint.com, software like Turbotax, and any number of personal finance apps have greatly simplified keeping track of money: how much comes in and when and where the funds are spent. In many cases, these are add-on services rather than products consumers must purchase. According to a 2012 U.S. News and World Report article, about one in four financial institutions make online tools available to customers. In short, consumers who used to dread the whole budgeting process are a few clicks away from colorful pie charts mapping spending categories, projections for the next month’s bills, and targeted savings accounts for fun things like vacations.  

    This boom in personal finance technology isn’t geared only at adults, either. There are many resources available for high school and college students, and these resources can help with learning about money management, clarifying the variables in key financial decisions, and better understanding the downstream consequences of upstream choices. Many of them, such as Budgetpulse, are free. Different sites offer different tools, and students may benefit from money management tools that help them make informed choices with regard to topics such as spending plans (budgeting), responsible use of consumer credit, understanding student loan repayment, and even how choice of academic major may affect future income.

    Budget Calculators

    The Department of Education’s website, like many student-oriented websites, offers a budget calculator. This tool allows the student to enter expenses by category and see how choices in one area affect resources in another. Watching the outcomes change as different values are entered may get students’ attention in a way that parents’ explanations sometimes fail to. Other sites, including www.bankrate.com, also offer budget calculators that students may find helpful.

    Credit Card Calculators

    You’ve no doubt seen the seductive approach of credit card offers geared to students who are all too often unable to understand the terms to which they’re agreeing. No interest for six months? Woo-hoo! Of course the interest may then skyrocket, meaning the effective rate on purchases made during the “free” period turns out to be quite high. Credit card calculators, like the ones available on Bankrate, may help students see through the monetary sleight-of-hand and make better decisions. Educational tools, such as Skills Builder on TG’s Adventures In Education (AIE™), add a fun game element to the student’s experience in learning the basics of how rolling over interest can lead to very expensive consumer goods.

    Student Loan Calculators

    By definition, student loans are a particularly important area of student financial decision making. Borrowing to pay for higher education is often a very good investment, leading students to high-earning careers and low unemployment. That’s a strong return on investment! Overborrowing, though, can lead to years of being burdened with debt, and a sense of bewilderment. “How did I get into this mess?” borrowers may wonder.

    Loan payment calculators, such as this one from FinAid!, help to reduce that confusion by giving students a better chance to understand the consequences of borrowing decisions. Similarly this calculator from AIE drills into the details of daily interest, so that students can see if it’s to their benefit to make payments early, and can see how much of a payment is applied to interest and how much to principal.

    A relatively new tool, based on TG’s research, even helps students to see how their choice of major and career affects the loan repayment affordability. The tool, Major Choices, is an online debt-to-income calculator in which students can get an estimate of potential median debt-to-income ratios for certain majors at many public college and proprietary institutions within Texas. The bottom line? More informed choices.

    "When students choose their college major, it usually corresponds to a career they have their heart set on," explained Jeff Webster, Assistant Vice President of Research and Analytical Services at TG. "We want to spotlight the importance of fully considering the way that federal student loans may take a significant bite out of potential future earnings, and educate students on how to balance that occupational choice with wise borrowing behavior."

    Whether it’s making a spending plan and adjusting a budget by categories, responsibly managing credit cards and steering away from bait-and-switch interest rates, or being smart about student loan debt and repayment (including thinking about one’s academic major and future career), students have a lot of financial choices to make. As technology continues to improve, tools like these will assist your students in finding their way to success.


    Doug Savage is a senior regional account executive with TG serving schools in TASFAA. You can reach Doug at (800) 252-9743, ext. 6711, or by email at doug.savage@tgslc.org. Additional information about TG can be found online at www.TG.org.
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