Publication Date: January 19, 2001
Author: COO | Chief Operating Officer of the Student Financial Assistance
Summary: Ensuring Student Loan Repayment
Posted on January 19, 2001
To: Financial Aid Community
From: Greg Woods, Chief Operating Officer
Subject: Ensuring Student Loan Repayment
I am pleased to present to you Ensuring Student Loan Repayment: A national Handbook of Best Practices. In October 2000, I welcomed the most experienced and knowledgeable representatives from the financial aid community to the Department's first Student Loan Repayment Symposium. I asked these experts to spend three days sharing their ideas for reducing student loan defaults. I called on them to become catalysts for change, to put everything up for consideration, and not to restrict their suggestions to current practice, law, or regulations.
The teamwork that resulted at the symposium and in producing this handbook is a model for SFA partnerships with the community. The assembled experts, including student representatives, responded with tremendous enthusiasm and commitment.
During the symposium presentations and the discussion sessions, writers were recording best practices and ideas for future improvements in the student loan programs. We compiled these best practices and ideas into a user friendly handbook. We have organized the chapters of this handbook in the same way that the symposium discussions occurred.
We begin by summarizing recent trends in student loan defaults and the general themes that emerged from the October symposium in Chapter 1. Chapters 2-4 capture the best practices and creative ideas discussed at the symposium. Chapter 2 focuses on the period before a student enrolls in college. Chapter 3 looks at the period between enrollment and repayment. Chapter 4 addresses loan repayment. Chapter 5 has a different purpose. Rather than focusing on current best practices, it presents the major symposium themes for substantially improving the student loan programs.
We have tried to make this handbook as user friendly as possible. We have highlighted innovative practices, programs and results from across the country with names and contact information. You can follow up on specific ideas by contacting the experts identified for each item.
My thanks go to the people who participated in our symposium and shared their ideas with us. Many participants worked long hours and donated their time to this project. With our partners and students, we have been able to develop a handbook that you can use to serve students better and prevent defaults.