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LRAP Blog

This Financial Literacy Month, Help Students Help Themselves

HigherEd Industry News April 21, 2016 - By Jennifer Trauman

April is financial literacy month, but unfortunately, it looks like financial education is arriving too little too late for millions of student loan borrowers.

According to recent figures, of the nearly 22 million Americans with federal student loans, 43% are in default or behind on their student loan payments, representing over $200 billion dollars at risk of never being repaid.

Improving financial literacy is essential for the success of the current (and subsequent) generation of student loan borrowers. And with May 1st National Decision Day — around the corner, college costs are certainly top-of-mind for many students and families right now. Students’ financial literacy affects not merely their decision of which college to attend, but also what they study, how they pay for it, and how they manage student loan debt after graduation.

LRAP does at least three things to help:

  • LRAP helps students think about the practicalities of paying back student (and parent) loans earlier—if not prior to enrolling, certainly well before graduation. We continually communicate with our students on campus and over email, helping to ensure they fully understand loan repayment & LRAP assistance processes.
  • LRAP help ease the minds of students and parents. Today, more than ever, students (and their parents) are inclined to weight cost / student debt into their college decision.  Many of these students may not end up going to the college that would’ve been the best fit for them. LRAP gives these students the peace of mind to enroll (and flourish) at their first-choice college.
  • Most importantly, LRAP provides real reimbursement of student (and parent) loan payments after graduation. Students may use this assistance in any way they wish, including ‘paying it forward’ on future payments. LRAP is a hand-up, not a hand-out.

Although costs increasingly play a major role in where students go to college, it would be short-sighted to base this decision purely on finances. At the end of the day, students should go to the college that’s the best fit — allowing them to graduate on-time with the skills necessary to find work in their chosen field after graduation.

LRAP helps simplify the college decision by providing a real and powerful safety net for student debt after graduation. And according to a recent survey of LRAP beneficiaries, 92% indicated being grateful to their alma mater for providing them LRAP.

As you consider the significance of Financial Literacy Month and the ways you can express concern for your students’ financial well-being, consider offering loan repayment assistance through LRAP. It’s a gift to your students and to your institution. Visit lrap.org to learn more.