Reinventing Debt Management Regina Garner, Monterey Institute of International Studies Carlos Perez, Graduate Theological Union
What We Will Cover Today 1.Description of our schools and the context that we work in with our students. 2.Identification of the issues we faced that led us to do more with debt management. 3.A description of the measures originally taken with regard to debt management. 4.A description of the measures we each take now with debt management. 5.Samples of forms and worksheets we use. 6.Input from you (the audience)!
A description of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and its students MIIS and Its Students Approximately 800 students, almost all graduate students, with about 500 receiving financial aid. 2.75 FTE in FAO. Programs primarily focusing on advanced language study and international studies. Private school in high cost area = high COA. Average age of students in the late 20’s. Job placement primarily in non-profit and government, with modest salaries.
A description of the Graduate Theological Union and its students GTU and its Students Consortium of nine graduate theological schools with centralized FAO for processing. Approximately 1200 students with about 600 receiving financial aid. 2.5 FTE FAO staff. Private schools in high cost area = high COA. Average age of students in the late 30’s. Job placement primarily in churches, non- profits and academia, with modest salaries.
Why did we each decide to expand our debt management activities? What were the issues that we faced on our campuses? What are the issues you face? Identifying the Main Issues 1.Ignorance regarding lender(s). 2.Inaccurate estimates of current loan debt. 3.Short term view on borrowing with lack of perspective on eventual total borrowing. 4.Lack of understanding regarding repayment (lender, when). 5.Borrowing decisions often made haphazardly. 6.Students often shocked at ending debt totals. 7.Longer duration in program = greater debt. 8.Students feel overwhelmed by their debt, feel helpless. 9.Reluctance of students to engage in counseling due to personal nature of financial situation.
The Original Measures 1.Entrance Interviews: occur only once and at the beginning of the process. Standardized. 2.Exit Interviews: occur only once at the end of the process, too late to impact borrowing decisions. Standardized. 3.Occasional workshops: workshops often poorly attended, especially by those who could probably benefit the most. 4.One-on-one counseling: only when requested, often sought at a point of crisis. What were we doing at first and why those weren’t satisfactory
What additional measures did we introduce to address the identified issues? Raising the Bar at MIIS and GTU MIIS Instituted Mid-Year Loan Worksheet Expanded Entrance and Exit Interview materials, with individual Loan Summaries Refer students to ELM and NSLDS Created monthly newsletters Workshops each term GTU Required budget and loan information worksheets Push students to NSLDS Required workshop once student reaches $50,000 Special mailing (formerly counseling) when student reaches $75,000 Encourage timely completion of program Scholarship services
Assessing The New Initiatives How have the new measures worked? What challenges were faced in implementation and what challenges remain? How can the debt management process be improved further? What ideas are there for the future?
Questions and Comments? Contact information: Regina Garner: email@example.com@exchange.miis.edu Carlos Perez: firstname.lastname@example.org@gtu.edu