PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Services recently received a $10,000 grant from Sallie Mae to increase its resources available to students.
The office will use the grant to develop debt-management workshops and student-specific borrower updates. The updates would include an annual indebtedness letter and a current job prospectus. The office also will purchase more computers and create a computer workstation where students can file Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms and perform scholarship searches.
Debt workshops will start in February, with four planned each semester. Industry experts and professionals will lead the workshops covering such topics as consumer debt, budgeting skills and student loan indebtedness. Borrower updates will be introduced in March or April.
The main goal of the changes is to help students fully understand their borrowing patterns and repayment responsibilities, according to the office’s grant proposal. Financial Aid staff report that the plans will help reduce loan defaults as well as increase the flow of information to students.
“Currently, WSU’s default rate is 5.1 percent, which is lower than the national rate of 6.9 percent,” said Kim Holapa, client services coordinator in the Student Financial Aid office. The 1998 figures are the most current available for all financial aid offices nationwide.