Financial Education Resources for Community Colleges Webinar — consumerfinance.gov

Financial Education Resources for Community Colleges Webinar — consumerfinance.gov

October 25, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Welcome and thank you for standing by. At this time all participants are in a listen-only
mode until the question-and-answer session of today’s call. At that time if you would like to ask a question,
please press Star 1. Today’s conference is being recorded. If you have any objections please disconnect
at this time. I would now like to turn the meeting over
to Kristen Evans. You may begin. Hello. I would like to thank you all for joining
us today for our first webinar in our Community College Webinar Series hosted by the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau. My name is Kristen Evans and I’m the Acting
Section Chief for Students and Young Consumers at the CFPB. I am joined by two wonderful speakers. Amy Conrad from the National Endowment for
Financial Education and Sharon Wurm from the Truckee Meadows Community College. We’ve put together a webinar for community
college staff, librarians and other professionals in the higher education field. So our topic today is about general financial
education resources. So I’m going to kick off the webinar to
talk a little bit about the financial education resources that we have available at the CFPB. But first I have to do our standard legal
disclaimer as a government employee that what I’m saying does not constitute legal interpretation,
guidance or advice and any opinions stated by the presenters are the presenter’s own
and may not represent the bureau’s views. And also with our guest speakers we are not
affiliated and do not endorse any speakers or entities participating in this presentation. Okay so with that we’ll move on. I’m going to briefly give an overview of
the CFPB. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or
CFPB was created following the financial crisis and so we are fairly new. We’re about seven years old now. And we’re a federal agency that works to
empower, enforce and educate consumers. We help consumer finance markets work by making
rules and enforcing those rules. We also educate by creating tools, answering
common questions and provide tips that help consumers navigate their financial choices. So I’m from a division that focuses on educating
and engaging consumers so they can make more informed financial decisions. The vision also focuses on several specific
populations including service members and veterans, those who are economically disadvantaged
as well as older Americans. So I’m from a section for students and young
consumers that focuses on that specific population which could include young adults who are thinking
about attending post-secondary education or those who have already attended or graduated
or entering payment status on their student loan. We help students and young adults to manage
their money, build credit, save and pay for college and repay student debt. So I wanted to kickoff this webinar by giving
a bit of background into the specific population of students and young adults. More parents and young adults are beginning
to save for college. And recent studies have shown that the percentage
of Americans saving for college have increased considerably since 2009. But it still means that less than half or
about 41% are setting aside money for their children’s education. Plus only a small fraction of students receive
a sizable amount of scholarship money. This means that we can expect a sizable share
of students will need to consider financing their degree. And in that same study they found that 45%
of young adults have a student loan. And on average they graduate with $30,000
in student loan debt. So students and other young adults are at
this stage of their life when they’re entering the financial marketplace for the first time. They are starting to use or think about financial
products and services and maybe building credit. But young adults continue to struggle to meet
their current financial obligations. And about 1/3 of young adults receive financial
help from a family member and have very little savings or no savings at all. This leads to about a half of student loan
borrowers that feel financially constrained and stressed when it comes to repaying their
student loans. This stress may also be exacerbated by the
fact that many students may not know the difference between federal and private student loans
or how to calculate their monthly payment before they begin repaying. This fear and stress has led to regret for
some student loan borrowers. And more than half that they would change
their choice about taking out student loans. This is where financial education could assist
student loan borrowers and young adults to have the confidence to act on their own financial
situation. Financial education experts say that providing
consumers with information is only part of the solution. Being able to manage their own financial life
requires a combination of knowledge and skills. Consumers need to be able to analyze the costs,
risks and consequences of particular financial products or services. And they also need to know where to go for
help. So we’ve heard from student loan borrowers
that student debt can impact their personal lives. For instance they may delay getting married
or forming a family, buying a house or even saving for retirement. Student loan debt may also have an impact
on their job choices after graduation. They may be less likely to start a business
due to the strain of a student loan payment. So with that in mind I’m going to talk about
the financial education resources that we have available to help students and young
adults. The NEFE provides a series of web tools to
help them plan for their financial lives. These web tools focus on big financial decisions
but also those smaller life decisions that can have a big impact. So on the next slide you will see a screen
grab of our paying for college tool. For many how to pay for college is one of
the first major financial decisions they will make. So to assist these potential students our
paying for college tool helps students make more informed decisions about financing their
college education and repaying their loan. It also helps prospective borrowers walk through
some important questions to navigate paying and financing college. This tool could be used by community colleges
working with students as they prepare to take out student loans and even prepare for the
upcoming semester. As we’ll get to in later slides the tool
also helps students make comparisons between financial aid offers. It provides information and advice for optimizing
how to repay their loans and student financial guide on choosing a loan and managing their
money. So the first guide in our paying for college
tool is a guide on how to pay for college into the loan. The toolbox through some key questions when
you’re starting to think about taking out a loan such as the different types of loan
options from federal loans to private loans. It provides tips on how to fill out the FAFSA
form. It also reminds people to exhaust federal
student loan option before turning to private student loans. It also goes into detail and to other topics
such as things to consider when determining how much to borrow or information on alternatives
to private student loans. We also offer a comparison tool that allows
students to compare the cost of college and financial aid offers from different higher
education institutions. This would be a great tool for community colleges
to recommend to students who may be exploring to further their education beyond community
college. It allows students to input costs of attendance
and financial aid packages including their federal student aid, their private funding
sources and scholarships. And we can do that for up to three schools
and allow students to compare costs of each of those programs. So even before students apply to go to college
they can use this tool to help them decide which schools will be the best fit for them
financially. Students can adjust how much financial aid
they expect to get from a school or compare how much their dream school would cost if
they got no financial aid at all. This allows students to have a better overall
picture of their future financial burden when deciding which schools to actually apply. And may actually help students choose a school
that allows them to take on less student loan debt. So this slide walks through our repay student
tool. Repay student debt provides information to
students to understand what they need to do to repay their loans and how to do it. This tool will be particularly helpful for
students who are just about to graduate or those who are already in repayment. So Web site provides what they can and cannot
do while they’re repaying their loans especially if their struggling. This tool also allows borrowers to consider
their options by selecting different repayment scenarios that match their situation. This can be a benefit for student loan borrowers
by providing advice related to their specific type of loan, like, whether they’re federal
or private and their general situation. It provides information on all the different
repayment plans available to student loan borrowers. It also gives them options to postpone payments
if they are financially struggling and options to get out of default and dealing with debt
collectors. It also provides information for those who
may not be struggling such as how to consolidate your loans, protection for service members
who are deployed and helpful advice to maintain repayment such as setting up a direct debit
or making extra payments toward their balance. Also within this suite of tools we offer resources
to young adults as they begin to explore opening up their first bank account. An important issue for young people is how
to best manage their money while they’re still in school. As I mentioned earlier college students arrive
on campus. They may be exploring financial products for
the first time. And they may need information on how to open
up their first banking account. They may need information on how to shop for
a banking account what fees they should expect or should avoid and how to get their financial
aid reimbursement into their new bank account if that applies to them. So this tool actually sets up a series of
guided questions which allows students to browse the information necessary to plan and
act on opening up a new bank account. So the next resource I will talk about is
Ask CFPB. This is a digital resource that provides consumers
with answers to common money questions and provides information on how to guides on specific
money topics such as auto loans, credit reports and scores, debt collection and mortgages. It has questions specifically for students. And you can sort by population such as student
or even by product, like, student loans. Community colleges and other professionals
should feel free to send students to this page if they have a particular question. It’s a great resource. And you can find it on our Web site consumerfinance.gov. However if you have a student that’s not
really sure what questions to ask or how to get started, we have a page – we’ve put
together a landing page for most of what the need to know questions related to student
loans and borrowing student loans. The goal of this page is to provide the most
critical information a student would need to know about paying for college or repaying
student debt. Overall the page can be used as a beginning
place for financial newcomers and a place to quickly learn about the actions available
to fix any issues they are facing. The page itself is broken down into two segments. One for students who are looking to take out
student loans and another for students who already have student loans. This serves as a resource for student loan
borrowers as they go through the complete financial lifecycle of student loans from
borrowing to repayment. This wraps up the section on web tools for
students and young adults. But I wanted to briefly cover some other resources
that we have available. So the next resource I wanted to highlight
will help students who may be thinking of taking a job in public service. There are a number of special repayment programs
and forgiveness programs particularly for student loan borrowers working for non-profit,
federal or state government and in education. These resources would be beneficial for students
who are thinking of taking a job in public service. But these resources may also be helpful for
employees at community colleges as many may qualify for these forgiveness programs. We offer a series of guides tailored to a
specific population including service members, teachers and first responders. These guides will walk through the requirements
and criteria to qualify and apply for these forgiveness programs. These guides are also available on our Web
site. I also wanted to highlight that the bureau
offers blogs and other consumer advisories and a series of topics on our Web site. I provided a select few of the blogs in consumer
advisory related to students but there are many more available on our Web site. I should also mention that many of our resources
are available for free either for print, download or bulk ordering. Some are offered in other languages. While not all publications are available in
every language you should take a look because you can browse our publications. You can do that by visiting the government
printing office link on this slide. Last but not least I want to tell you about
our Financial Education Exchange Program or as we call it FinEx for short. So FinEx is a way for the bureau to share
its tools and resources with others and learn from you all about what you’re learning
in your work. People can sign up on the Web site on this
slide or you can send us an email. So if you would like to receive additional
information on our work, I would urge you to either visit this page to sign up or you
can send us an email to cfpb_finex which is [email protected] So this concludes my portion of today’s
webinar. Next I’m going to hand it over to Amy Conrad
to talk more about work at the National Endowment for Financial Education. Take it away Amy. Thanks Kristen. Well hello everyone. Thank you so much for having me today. My name is Amy (Marty) Conrad and I am the
Managing Director of the Cash Course Program at the National Endowment for Financial Education. I’m calling today from the NEFE office in
Denver, Colorado. And I’m here to talk to you about the tools,
resources and research that NEFE provides that may be of use to you in your work. So as I said I work for NEFE – the National
Endowment for Financial Education. We are a non-profit 501C3 private operating
foundation based in Denver. And we are dedicated to improving the financial
wellbeing of all Americans. So NEFE is a private foundation and is in
a really special place because we don’t rely on public funds or any commercial donors
or ties to do our work. So that means that everything that we do and
all of the resources and research that we produce is completely independent commercially
and ideologically. NEFE started as the college for financial
planning. So if you’re familiar with the certified
financial planner designation the College of Financial Planning started that program. And NEFE was created as its own foundation
in 1992 and spun off as an independent organization in 1997. One of the things that we do we partner with
non-profit organizations and government entities to provide financial resources to the people
that they serve. As I said we’re completely independent financially. So we don’t have affiliation with student
loan companies or lenders or any kind of financial institutions. And our focus is on three things – educational
programs, research and consumer awareness. Next slide. So as educators or volunteers of professionals
you have a desire to serve your audience with good information. But we know that you have limited time and
resources. So NEFE has created out of the box non-commercial
programs and resources for high schoolers all the way through retirement age people
that you can use within your programming picking and choosing what fits best for your audience
and customizing things to work for the amount of time you have or the context in which the
education is being delivered. So I just want to go through a couple of our
programs today. This is not everything that we offer but I
felt that these were the most relevant to you as a community college professional. The first one we have is Cash Course – the
cashcourse.org. This is our resource for colleges and universities. Cash Course has two focuses – self-guided
learning for students and educator materials. So our Web site offers quizzes, course modules,
budgeting tools students can log onto and complete on their own. Whether or not they have some kind of assignment
or requirement for school they could go to Cash Course and learn anything they need to
about their financial questions. And then our educator materials are designed
for you as a staff person or faculty member. We have an assignment’s feature where you
can select modules that you’d like your students to complete as part of a class or
a workshop. And then you can log in and check their scores
to see how they performed on those modules. We also have workshop kits and marketing materials
available for download. So if you’re trying to get the word out
about your programming or the things that you offer, we’ve made that very easy and
simple to do with our ready-made materials. And our workshop kits are out of the box so
you don’t have to spend a lot of time to find the information yourself. If you want to do it in person, activity or
webinar you could just download that kit and you’re ready to get started. We also offer a campus planning workbook. So if you are brand new to the field of personal
finance or financial education, NEFE has compiled our recommendations for effective models in
doing campus financial literacy. Things, like, setting goals, selecting what
kinds of materials to use, marketing to students and then evaluation. Cash Course covers the student experience
beyond just borrowing. So we know that the student financial life
is much more complex than just deciding how to pay for school. In many cases for community college students
they are also working or they have families, they have other commitments they’re balancing
their academic experience with. So our content is very comprehensive. We cover six key areas aligned to the mymoney.gov
standards. And then with an additional sixth one earn,
spend, save, protect, borrow and pay for education. So one of the things that’s nice about Cash
Course is that we spend a lot of time advising educators and consulting with them for free
to do their work a little bit more effectively or to just enhance what they’re already
doing. We for example right now are offering a scholarship
for professionals to pursue the accredited financial counselor certification with the
Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. So if you’re already working in the field
of financial literacy and you’re looking to take your professional expertise to the
next level, NEFE has put aside some funding to help do continuing education for professionals
in the field. Our next slide has our Smart About Money resource
– smartaboutmoney.org. This may be one that you’re familiar with. This is our online resource for consumers
for working adults or heads of households. Really anyone who just wants to go online
on their own and get a personal financial education. This resource offers complete e-learning courses
for adults on different financial topics. For example career planning, saving for emergencies,
creating a housing and transportation plan and much more. We actually have one on healthcare that will
be coming out in a couple months. And these are great. You can log onto SAM, start the case, save
your progress, learn more about any number of topics by digging down into our in-depth
articles. And Smart About Money actually has an existing
partnership with the financial literacy interest group at the American Library Association. So through that partnership Smart About Money
has been providing additional continuing education funding, scholarships for certification, a
little bit of program funding for Money Smart Week or Financial Literacy Month. There is a page on Smart About Money specifically
for librarians. So if you work at a library you can visit
smartaboutmoney.org/librarian to learn more about those resources. One thing I like to point out about SAM as
we call it – Smart About Money is that it’s really a great tool for people working in
the field as well as consumers. So if you are walking into a workshop or you
want to, you know, take a quick five-minute lesson and you yourself need a little refresher
on the topic of the subject matter, SAM is a really great place for you to go and get
that information for yourself or for your family. Our next slide features financial workshop
kits. This is a resource for community educators. And it goes into some specialty topics in
personal finance. So financial workshop kits have a great database
of in the box kits that you can download with a power point presentation, a guide for the
speaker and activities and evaluations so that you can take this workshop, walk right
in and be ready to go to spend your time interacting with your audience or your students. It takes a lot of time off your plate so you
have more time to do the work that’s important to you. So some of the examples of things that we’ve
covered on the financial workshop kits and there’s over 40 kits available. So this clearly is comprehensive. We have a kit on problem gambling. We have one geared towards former inmates,
one on preventing foreclosure and recovering financially from domestic violence. NEFE has a partnership with the National Coalition
Against Domestic Violence and their advocates and practitioners have used financial workshop
kits with their audiences. So hopefully there’s something there that
could be helpful to you. Next slide. And I briefly wanted to mention our high school
resource. I know that community colleges reach a really
wide audience. Some of you may have some sort of bridge students
or dual enrolled students that this may be a good resource for. This is our Turnkey Financial Literacy Program
for Teens. It’s designed to taught in the classroom
with a facilitator, trained educator, either a workshop or a high school classroom. Students learn by doing in order to form positive
financial behaviors. So we have competency based educational modules
here. And then the sixth topic areas are aligned
with personal financial literacy standards – different state standards as well as national
standards. The high school financial planning program’s
Web site has just been relaunched. Just a great experience. You can go on there and get all of the learning
materials and the teaching materials including lesson plans all for free either online or
you can order print materials for free as well. Next slide. So the next thing I want to go into is NEFE’s
work in research and in advancing the field of financial literacy, we do more than just
programs. We also are focused on advancing the field
and advancing what we know about how people spend money, how money affects their lives
and different intellectual topics, like, that. Next. At the National Endowment for Financial Education
we have sort of a birds eye view of the field where connected to a lot of different organizations
and different practitioners. So we’re able to bring together people working
in the field to help advance the conversation and see where we have gaps in our knowledge
base. We do things, like, research forums and convenings. And once we have those we disseminate talking
points or videos from those events so that you can get to know what’s going on and
the national conversation around financial literacy. We’ve also published things, like, the 5P
Sector for Effective Financial Education. You can learn more about this on our Web site. And now I just have a couple of minutes so
I don’t want to go too far in depth on this. But we spent a lot of time building and connecting
the works of professionals and organizations in this field because we know that we really
don’t have competitors in this space. We’re all working together towards the common
goal of helping Americans lead more fulfilling financial lives. And on my last slide here I just want to briefly
mention our primary research. NEFE provides research funding for exploratory
projects on personal finance and financial behavior. So we give grants to major academic research
institution to explore topics, like, the social influence on financial decision making or
how financially fragile Americans are. We have several projects we published this
year. But we have at least a couple every single
year that come out. And for every single one, every single grant
that is completed and every study that is published, we put together a very easy to
read executive summary around that topic so that you as a practitioner can learn from
that research and enfold it into your work. So it’s not reading a complete research
paper start to finish although those are available to you if you’d like to read those. But the executive summary really gets at the
heart of the research and its findings and why that matters to you as a practitioner
in this space. Next slide. So that’s everything I have for you today. I have a couple of links here and I know that
these materials will go out to you as well. My contact information is on this slide and
I’m happy to speak with you about questions you have or anything that you want to know
more about what NEFE provides. And now I’d like to pass it onto Sharon
Wurm. Great thank you so much Amy. So we’re going to now switch to sort of
a campus level view. I do want to add that we do use all of the
resources that our colleagues have just presented mostly in our curriculum that we provide to
our students. But before I do that my name’s Sharon Wurm. I’m the Executive Director of Financial
Aid and Student Success. I’m in my 30th year of providing financial
aid assistance to students. And at TMCC we’ve had a pretty robust financial
literacy program that we’ve been developing since 2013. Next slide. I should have mentioned it’s called the
Financial Literacy and Money Education by Students Program. It was named by our students when they first
created it. So just, you know, here’s where Nevada kind
of follows in the financial literacy crisis. In early 2018 while having ranked all of the
U.S. states and they have different metrics that they rank them on and they use these
three categories. They have an online test called Wallet Literacy
that assesses individual literacy which is very interesting for folks to use. They also assess based on financial and planning
habits, financial knowledge and education. Obviously it’s not a perfect science but
it is a way where they put everybody on the same level playing field in terms of where
they seem to stand in these areas. So next slide. So Nevada ranked 39th with a score of 58.57. And we actually were 49th in 2016 so in two
years we did come up quite a bit which is really exciting. And New Hampshire ranked number one in the
United States with a score of 70.28. So obviously we have a lot of work to do as
a state. And, you know, we’re trying to do as much
as we can for our students at Truckee Meadows Community College. Next slide. So a little bit about our cohort default rates. It’s kind of confusing the way the cohort
default rate works because they use a federal fiscal year. So I kind of – this is all layman terms here
that we’ve put down. But you can see that from our 15, 16 reporting
year which was actually from 2010, ’11. So the students enrolled eight years ago after
they went into repayment on their loans four years we hit an all-time high of 25.3% default
rate which just about made me fall out of my chair that day. And the federal limit is 30%. So we worked close to the federal limit and
its 30% default rate over three years. Then they impose sanctions. But it was high enough – it was the highest
it had ever been and it was higher than the national average for two-year public schools. So we were very concerned. And in 2017, ’18 or in in 2012, ’13 we
actually created or in ’13, ’14 excuse me we created our Flames Program. And you can see just since then our student
borrowers – our default rate just came out this fall and it was 14.3%. So to go down 11% over four years is – I’ve
never seen it before. So we’re very proud of that and we’re
very excited about it. So we created our financial literacy program
FLAMES in response to this growing concern about the increasing student debt which some
of my colleagues have talked about. As well we had a very large outstanding account
receivables from students not paying their tuition. So students that were not on financial aid. Obviously we saw a great need to educate not
just our financial aid in our loan students but all the students on campus. We’re really lucky to get started. We had initial fundings from United Student
Aid Funds from a capacity grant. And we actually got $100,000 each year for
three years. USA funds are no longer in existence. They’ve morphed into and were purchased
by Loan Science. But they still have a program that I’ll
talk about called Student Connections that we really – borrow connect that we really
use. After our grant went away we were temporarily
funded by the college for two years. So we sort of limped along on a budget that
we were funded at was about $42,000 a year. So, you know, we sort of looked long. And then just this year we attained permanent
funding from the college. So we were so excited because, you know, it
really reaffirmed the need for the program and ensured its stability which is really
important. You know it’s just hard to make future plans
when you’re not sure if you’re going to exist the next year. And what really helped that permanent funding
was our default rate going down so greatly that that kind of data always shows. It’s a real strong selling point for folks. Next slide. So who are the FLAMES and how did we fix this
problem? Here’s a picture of our current staff of
these wonderful student workers who it’s a peer led program – student led, student
driven program. And we have a wide variety of ages, ethnicities
and backgrounds. We have a veteran who works. We have students from the university who have
graduated from the community college and still work with us which then helps students prepare
for transfer. And, you know, we try to maintain between
8 and 10 student workers in the program at all times. Next slide. So we have our Web site which you’re welcome
to go explore. Again it’s a student led program. It is supervised and this is a long title. It’s the Nevada System of Higher Education
Specialist Ii.. So (unintelligible) Specialist Ii we call
it for default prevention and financial literacy. What we did after was a grant. So the grant paid for a graduate assistant
to help create the program. And we found this phenomenal woman who was
just unbelievable. So we were able to really do, you know, create
this strong foundation. And we had – and I’ll talk a little bit
about more of our loan debt for our students as we’ve increased our education of students,
the amount of loan dollars that they borrowed has decreased substantially. So our loan assistant – we have a loan coordinator,
we have a loan assistant. Really we didn’t need that position for
it to process loans anymore but in financial aid, you know, you always have more to do. So we actually restructured the assistant
position into this default prevention and financial literacy position. And she is in charge of maintaining an 18-page
default prevention and debt management plan for the college. And she also supervises our FLAMES Program. Like I said well six to eight peer mentors. Ten is our optimal number – our max number. And, like, I said a wide variety of ages,
ethnicities and backgrounds. And they plan the delivery mechanisms and
curriculums based on the needs of their peers. So if you were to first start I would definitely
say, you know, why we recreate the wheel. Use some of the tools that you’ve previously
heard about because they’re amazing tools. But we’ve been able to use those in our
curriculum. Our students kind of assess what their peers
are talking about. They do poll them, do surveys frequently. And every semester they’ve talked about
well what worked the last semester, what delivery was the best, where did we get the best students? And they go through and that has been really
one of the most powerful pieces of this program is that it’s students telling – number one
students telling other students which is always very well received. They hear it from their peers much more than
they hear from the older folks. And also that they, like, I said they assess
what the needs are and they know best how our students respond. Next slide. So here’s just an example. I won’t read through this. I can redo this. But this is the curriculum. It’s also on our Web site. And these are what we’re this year focusing
on our topics for our workshops and our different events that we do. Next slide. So last year in 2018 we hosted and participated
in 106 workshops, 14 tabling events, 18 outreach events, 159 one-on-one sessions because they
do one on one peer mentoring with students as well. And so were able to serve a total number of
10,477 students and just as a comparison we have 15,000 students – a little over 15,000
students who attend our college. So we were able to really hit a substantial
piece of the population. So we’re very excited about that. And then you see there’s a picture there. They’re being a little cheesy at tabling
one of these events in our student center. And the item on the right is a game that they
play. So they do, you know, they try to bring fun
into it. So they have games and prizes. And the prizes that they select every year
are kind of based on what students are really interested in. So for example this year one of the prizes
is a collapsible lunch container because, you know, students can bring their own lunch. They’ll save money if they have to go to
the café and spend, you know, $7 to $10 on a lunch. We also have an example of one of our flyers. Last November we did a money personality type
event and had students come in and, you know, they took a little quiz and they determined
what their money personality was. And the peer mentors then talked about how
to approach their finances based on their money personality. It’s pretty eye opening for many of our
students. Next slide. So here’s the different programs that we
offer. Like I said we have the on-campus events and
workshops, tabling, the one on one peer mentoring. One thing that we started about three years
ago is in person student loan entrance counseling workshops. So financial aid offices are only required
by the federal government to have students complete the federal government’s entrant’s
interview which is an online tool. And they have to do that for us as well. But we also say for all first-time borrowers
are supposed to go do this. So before they can get to that tool they have
to come to one of our workshops led by our peer mentors and go through – we explain everything. We explain repayment, we explain what they’re
getting into. Really make them think about what they’re
borrowing, only borrow what you need. And we also joined the Department of Experimental
Sites Program for loan counseling. So then a random sampling of subsequent borrowers. So students who borrow a second or third loan
a portion of them also have to go through a second workshop which is basically kind
of an enhancement of the loan entrance counseling workshop because we found that the first time
somebody goes to a workshop many times they don’t really understand it and it doesn’t
always resonate with them. But then the second time that they go through
it really makes a bigger impact. And we really were, you know, not have it
because we knew it was the right thing to do to do this experimental site’s program. But we were really worried I guess that our
subsequent borrowers would be upset with us, you know, complain. We’ve not gotten one complaint about it. So because they come out of that workshop
really realizing what they didn’t know. And we do post pre-tests and post tests and
do a lot of assessment that way. And we also have a money booklet that we have
created. Our marketing communications department has
actually won awards for this money booklet. So if you’re interested there are contacts
on the last slide. You can always email us and we’ll send it
to you. It’s sent to new degree seeking students
in the fall. And it’s basically a roadmap for them with
information that they need to know about saving and planning for college and budgeting and
all of the information that we’ve already heard about. The next program that we offer is called the
Money Savvy Scholar’s Program. And it’s basically where students who agree
– they sign up for this program. And they have to meet with a peer mentor once
a month for a whole semester and also attend three of our events or workshops. And if they do that at the end of the semester
they’ll get a $100 grant. Not a lot of money but for the students that
go through it it’s, you know, they really appreciate it. Any money helps, you know, it’ll pay for
a book. We have an extra credit program where we work
with faculty to encourage them to offer extra credit for students who come to the FLAMES
event. We also have a class cancellation program
where we reach out to the faculty every year and say hey instead of cancelling your class
and having somebody post a piece of paper where the students come to class and they
haven’t found out that it’s canceled until they get to campus, why don’t you let us
come in and spend 15 minutes with them so it’s not a wasted trip for them. And we’ll just talk about what we do with
FLAMES and kind of answer any questions that they might have. So we do offer that as well. Next slide. We have our primary activity in social media
is the Facebook – our Facebook account. And also part of our programs that we do with
students is we give out a weekly – excuse me a monthly. We hold a random drawing where we give out
a prize to the most Facebook likes from a student for that month. And then they win a little packet of swag
from us to encourage them to just go online and keep reading and, you know, hopefully
that means that they’ll keep doing it after the prize. And then we also have a YouTube account in
process. And this is a link to one of our YouTube videos. And I won’t play this but I encourage you
to go online and look at it. It’s kind of – very humorous because it’s
created by our students. And so they really resonate. And then that picture you see we have the
cash man costume we call it where we have about five of these $100 bill outfits that
the students will where to some of the events that we have on campus. And that’s another way to get student’s
attention because they’re wondering why people are dressed the way they are. Next slide. So just a little bit about for those folks
who are curious and what else did we do to lower our default rate? So in 2012 we created our default prevention
debt management plan. Like I said it’s 18 pages. It’s pretty comprehensive. It’s got data and statistics and then it’s
got all of the steps that we have. And I have a little table at the end that
show kind of what things we put into place which year. We do require the in-person student loan entrance
counseling for first-time borrowers. We do participate in that experimental site’s
program that I talked about. We also – we begin contacting students about
their loan status by phone and email because all of the data shows that students that respond
to their school before they’ll respond to a servicer or the Department of Ed unfortunately. So they will pick up the phone if they know
that we’re calling. And by having our student workers call them
it’s again another contact peer to peer where they’re more likely to pay attention. We call students in their grace period. So those students that have either graduated
or fallen below six credits. They have a six-month grace period. And so we’ll call them and let them know
hey they’re going to hear from their servicer. But we let them k now you’re going to hear
from your servicer and you need to pay attention and you have this much time and then you’re
going to have to start repayment on your loan or go back to school and then here are the
steps that you need to take. We do call our delinquent borrowers monthly
and we do use Loan Science Borrower Connect. It’s a piece of software that we use that
helps us track our calling. And tells us how late are they and that will
kind of influence the information that we give them. But we call them monthly – our student works
call them. And that’s one of the metrics they’re
held to. And they, you know, have to report back on
that and we can actually track who does how many calls every month. Again we have our workshops and our events
that we talked about already. And we also connect with our faculty to offer
the opportunity to do in class presentations. And so a lot of our first year experience
faculty who teach that class will have us come in and some of our faculties, some of
our business faculty entrepreneurship, some of our other folks will have us come and do
in-class presentations. And we’ll do that at any time and try to
meet all of their needs. They do also assist students with filling
out their FAFSA. So we in the financial aid office have four
kiosks that we have available for students to fill out their financial aid application. And oftentimes it’s a little difficult to
work our front counter and answer phones and then run back and forth to someone who’s
sitting at the kiosk. So we have our FLAMES peer mentor – that’s
their primary responsibility. One of their primary responsibilities is to
help people with their FAFSAs. And that’s keeping them pretty busy this
month as you can imagine. And then again we provide resources to students
about financial aid scholarships and personal financial literacy. So at their desk, at the FLAMES desk where
they sit we have all kinds of flyers, information that we give out. And of course we give that out at all of our
table events and all of our other events. Next slide. So here’s our default timeline of when we
did what. So when our default rate hit so high from
that ’10, ’11 enrollment year, that was the year we had just went – we just converted
to People Soft which is a wonderful software program. And we tried as a college – we did automatic
roam packaging and that’s where someone applies for financial aid and you award them
a loan whether they ask for one or not because they don’t typically ask for one. And then students can click on the loan. They accept a loan and it directed them to
the Department of Education to do their loan, all of the steps with their documents – the
master promissory note and the online entrance counseling. And then once all that was completed we got
the information and then the loan was disbursed. It was very easy for students to borrow hundreds
– thousands of dollars, you know, sometimes money at that time – $9,000 a year. And sometimes they thought well I have to. They didn’t understand that it was an offer. They thought it was a requirement. So we stopped loan packaging and at the time
we didn’t know our default rate was going to go up right because our default rate went
up four years later. But our president at the time felt very strongly
about making sure that students understood what the ramifications were. And I know we’re running out of time so
I’m going to try to wrap this up. We created additional loan education steps. The next borrower – the next year I mean in
’12, ’13 we had them view financial literacy videos. The next year we contracted the Borrow Connect
to call the borrowers. The next year we implemented an online loan
request form which made it very easy for students to apply for loans and easier for us to help
give them more information. And then we started having Borrower Connect
call late stage delinquency students. And then we’ve continued to refine claims
and participate in an experimental site. So in addition to how our default rate lowered,
over the last five years our loan borrowing has gone down 63%. So in 2014 we had students borrow $10 million
in student loans and just this last year they borrowed $3.7 million. And no our enrollment did not drop in the
same corresponding fashion. It was really students only borrowing what
they needed. And really thinking about the things that
they wanted to do to borrow. Next slide. Did I lose you? Oh here we go. So what can you do? First look at your institutional data to determine
your needs, develop the recommended budget. We restructured an existing staff, hired peer
mentors, tried to make sure we had incentives. We created a proposal for the institutions. Again we identified the critical topics that
the students need help in. And then we also do a lot of training. All of our peer mentors watch a lot of webinars
and research all the programs online. Next slide. We attend any financial aid and financial
literacy conferences, visit other institutions. We welcome anybody to come visit us. We’re happy to host you for a day and show
you what we do so you can get more information. We can bring it to you. Create programming, like, I talked about,
what students will respond to. We house our program in a high traffic area
where there’s a lot of students that walk by and see them. We really have to track data and findings
so that we can determine what works best when we apply for outside grant funding which primarily
provides food and wage supplements for us. Next slide. So any questions? I have two contacts here of me. I’m on the bottom. But then the person on the top (Sherry Matissen)
is our specialist for default prevention and financial literacy so you’re welcome to
contact either of us if you have questions. And now I think it’s time for the overall
questions from the audience. Thank you Sharon and to Amy for providing
such helpful information. In a second I’m going to open it up for
questions but to start us off some of you may be wondering how you can get a copy of
the slides for this presentation. So as we mentioned earlier this webinar is
recorded and it’ll be made available on our Web site in the coming weeks. And you can find that at consumerfinance.gov. Also if you would like to receive additional
information about this presentation, you can always email the CFPB and that email address
is cfpb_finex which is [email protected] Okay (Allison) would you open up the line
for questions? Thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer
session. If you would like to ask a question please
press Star 1 and record your first and last name clearly when prompted. Your name is recorded to introduce your question
and to withdraw your question you may press Star 2. Once again if you would like to ask a question,
please press Star 1. One moment please for our first question. At this time I’m not showing any questions. Okay we don’t have any online either. So yet again if participants have any questions
feel free to email us or visit consumerfinance.gov. I would like to thank our presenters and those
of you who had listened to this webinar. We will now conclude the webinar. This now concludes today’s conference. All lines may disconnect at this time.