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Default Prevention Activities

Organization of Debt Prevention Activities

This document is organized using Valencia College's "Early Stages of Enrollment" approach, and describes the default prevention and debt management efforts of the Financial Aid Services Office at each stage of the borrower's loan:

  1. New Student Experience (NSE) and Student Life Skills (SLS) Courses
  2. Transfer Orientation
  3. Entrance Counseling
  4. Financial Literacy for Borrowers
  5. Communication across Campus
  6. Upon Graduation or Withdrawal
  7. Upon entering repayment
  8. During repayment
  9. Exit Counseling
  10. Nursing Information Sessions

 

Incoming first-year students will be given an overview of the financial aid process, student loan responsibilities, and basic money management skills, through New Student Experience (NSE) and Student Life Skills (SLS) courses.

 

A financial aid representative disseminate materials regarding the different types of student loan repayment plans, Managing Your Credit booklet, Managing Your Credit booklet, etc. Transfer students receive a personalized letter stating how much they have borrowed since the beginning of their educational career.

 

The current process for meeting the federal entrance counseling requirement is achieved by referring students to the following website: www.studentloans.gov where the student checks off that they have read and understand repayment obligations. We believe that students do not sufficiently comprehend their repayment obligations from simply going online and checking a box agreeing to repay the loan. And the cohort default rate increase over the last three years proves this.

 

Valencia College Financial Learning Ambassadors Peer Program promote financial literacy and responsible money management amongst their student peers by conducting skill shops, presenting in New Student Experience (NSE) (first year experience classes), collaborating with Wellness Ambassadors and other faculty members and Student Life offices at campus events. Many of the Ambassadors' presentations are with students enrolled in Valencia's Student Success courses. These are classes teaching strategies for success in life and college and providing the appropriate platform for introducing the topic of financial responsibility. In addition, Ambassadors' are partnering with faculty members who teach developmental math courses to promote financial literacy. Ambassadors also ensure they reach students outside of the Student Success courses by hosting information booths and distributing financial literacy material during campus events. Through these Ambassadors, students are empowered to make educated fiscal choices and take action to improve current and future financial security.

 

On October 2, 2014, we implemented our Default Management Committee to get the commitment from key individuals’ college wide to acknowledge and support default management and prevention. Since then, the name of the committee was changed to Default Prevention Advisory Committee. The reason for the name change, was to “prevent” the student from going into debt, not “manage” their debt. The Financial Aid Services Office along with the Financial Learning Ambassadors reached out to faculty and was able to get them to add USA Funds Life Skills workshops to NSE classes. We were also able to target graduating students and provide them with information and resources to help them regarding their student loans, and target at risk cohorts and provide face to face counseling and in classroom orientations.

 

Graduation: Valencia College Graduation Office sends a report to the Financial Aid Services Office of students who have applied for graduation. The Financial Aid Services Office contacts these students to notify them of the exit counseling requirement. These students have the option to complete exit counseling online as well as in-person at Grad Finale.

Withdrawal:Many borrowers who default on their loans are borrowers who withdrew from the college prior to completing their academic programs. Early identification and timely intervention improves student retention and reduces the number of defaulted loans. In addition to fulfilling the regulatory requirement to provide exit counseling to students, Valencia College is implementing the review of students who show up on the Return to Title IV (R2T4) reports who have student loans. These students will be contacted via phone to inform them of the effects of withdrawing and be provided with information regarding repayment options.
When contacting withdrawing students the following information will be provided,

  • An estimate of required monthly payments on the borrower's loan balance,
  • Loan servicer contact information,
  • Contact information for delinquency and default prevention assistance on campus,
  • Introduction to NSLDS for Students,
  • Repaying Your Student Loans publication.
 

Valencia College is currently using the USA Funds Borrower Connect software to communicate with borrowers as they enter and make their way through repayment. Letters and emails are sent monthly. Sedrick Brinson is the primary user of the software and is the students' contact throughout repayment.

 

Throughout repayment, Valencia College uses USA Funds Borrower Connect to send delinquency, deferment, grace, default and forbearance letters and emails to borrowers. This tool has been used since September 2013. This communication generally generates email conversation with the borrowers, and Sedrick Brinson is the primary owner of the activities managing this communication. Borrower detail reports are monitored.

 

On November 1-3, 2016, the Financial Aid Services Office held it's First Annual Exit Counseling Sessions. These sessions were held on the East, Osceola, and West campus with the help of the Financial Learning Ambassadors. Students received instructions on how to complete Exit Counseling and were able to ask questions regarding their account. Student were also entered a drawing to receive a $500 scholarship to go towards their loan repayment. These sessions will continue on a semester basis to ensure that our students are continuously receving accurate information about Exit Counseling.

 

In Spring 2016, the Financial Aid Services Office collaborated with the Nursing Department to present to the incoming Traditional and Advanced nursing students. The presentation outlined the different types of scholarships and financial aid available. Nursing students also receive a personalized letter stating how much they have borrowed since the beginning of their educational career.