Once a gateway to affordable higher education and the chance at a brighter future, with the rising cost of college tuition, student loans have transformed into something much different. Counselors will gain an understanding of the history of financial aid in this country, and what student loan borrowers experience today.
With over two-thirds of students turning to student loans to pay for college, a college education has become synonymous with debt for most students. With the average borrower carrying almost $30,000 in student loans, counselors will learn how student loans have become a serious burden for today’s students and their families, and how growing student loan balances have impacted economic growth.
The rules and programs surrounding student loan borrowing have developed and changed significantly over the past few decades. Our Student Loan Certification Program will provide counselors with a comprehensive look at the various types of student loans and the programs designed to aid student loan borrowers. A thorough understanding of how the many federal student loan programs function is critical for counselors working with student loan borrowers. These programs include temporary postponement in payment, income-driven repayment plans, consolidation, loan cancellation and forgiveness, and resolving default.
Beyond providing counselors with the background needed to understand student loan programs, our Student Loan Certification Program prepares counselors for real-world situations. Because every student loan borrower is unique, with different loan types, different income levels, different employment, and different goals, there cannot be a “one size fits all” approach to counseling student loan borrowers.
Our program will teach counselors how to apply the various student loan programs depending on the unique circumstances of the individual borrower, in order to provide a personalized solution that best addresses the borrower’s needs. During the program, counselors will train with helpful “real-world” scenarios in order to prepare for realistic student loan borrower situations. Counselors will receive instruction on using federal program calculators and tools to determine the borrower’s best repayment options.
The final segment of our Student Loan Certification Program will train counselors on the various application processes necessary for enrollment in a number of federal student loan programs. Depending on the program, borrowers may be able to enroll over the phone, via a traditional paper application, or online. Upon completing our Student Loan Certification Program, counselors will able to guide borrowers through the often complex and overwhelming enrollment process for the major federal loan programs.