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K-State Today

July 8, 2014



K-State to host SALT client forum July 9

By Jodi Kaus

Representatives from multiple higher education institutions in the local area will gather from noon to 4:30 p.m. July 9 at the K-State Alumni Center for the SALT client forum. Representatives will share strategies for empowering students and alumni to take control of education debt and build financial competencies for life.

SALT, a financial education program created by the nonprofit American Student Assistance, teaches students and alumni how to borrow less for college, borrow smarter and repay their student loans well. Approximately 260 higher education institutions nationwide currently partner with the nonprofit to promote SALT to more than 2.5 million students and alumni.

Students and alumni of schools participating in SALT are encouraged to sign up for a free membership to access the program's suite of educational services, including online educational content and self-help tools, articles and videos, SALT's signature financial education curriculum "My Money 101," social media and mobile apps, and one-on-one loan repayment counseling by phone and through live chat.

K-State partnered with SALT in 2013 and has seen great success with the program as a supplement to its existing Powercat Financial Counseling, or PFC. The program is a peer-to-peer counseling service where students studying financial planning or financial services offer free counseling to fellow students on budgeting, saving, credit, student loan repayment and transitioning to work. The program's services includes individual advising sessions, group presentations and online counseling.

"SALT has built upon the successful foundation of Powercat Financial Counseling, by taking our financial education offerings to the next level," said Jodi Kaus, director of Powercat Financial Counseling. "This past April, PFC achieved its spring semester goal of 3,000 SALT activations since our launch in January 2013. Only 11 other SALT-user institutions — three of them being public universities — have hit the 3,000 registration mark. K-State has activated 3,437."

SALT is most successful in engaging students and alumni and engendering positive financial behavior when higher education institutions take an active role in helping to promote the program. Several SALT schools have created cross-campus task forces dedicated to spreading the word about SALT at multiple student touch points, from financial aid to student services to faculty and alumni development. The SALT client forums provide an opportunity for SALT schools and partners to come together to hear the latest program updates and sneak-peeks at future enhancements, as well as share best practices in the development of engagement strategies and communications.

During the half-day event, a working session will provide a guided tour of SALT's comprehensive toolkit of engagement resources and tools for promoting the program to students, alumni and campus colleagues. SALT campus consultants will be on hand to help attendees create their own personal campus engagement plan for 2014-2015.

Registration for the SALT client forum is free via EventBrite or by sending an email to education@asa.org. Multiple attendees from across campus are encouraged. In addition to Kansas, SALT client forums also are being held this summer in Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, Oregon and California. To learn more about SALT, higher education institutions can visit schools.saltmoney.org. To learn more about Powercat Financial Counseling visit www.k-state.edu/pfc