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Helping Alums Navigate Repayment Amidst Higher Education Challenges

Posted on Mar 8, 2024 9:24:43 AM | By The Attigo Team
A woman sits at a table in an office meeting in front of a computer leaning her chin on her folded hands looking concerned

Higher education institutions are facing a myriad of challenges, including enrollment issues, rising costs, declining public support, and increased public scrutiny. On top of that, there is an increasing call for schools to boost their efforts to help their alums avoid delinquency and default. 

Financial Aid Offices Under Pressure 

In a recent conversation, National Sales Director Roger Eldridge echoed the mounting obstacles schools are facing: "Financial Aid offices are facing many challenges in 2024. Not only are they dealing with the complexities of the new FAFSA, but supporting students and alums as they navigate the return to repayment has been equally challenging. Most schools don’t have the staffing bandwidth to make outbound calls to their alums, nor field inbound calls from confused and often frustrated borrowers."

Strategies for Success 

Fortunately, there are strategies schools can employ to proactively help alums who are struggling to navigate student loan repayment.

  • Identifying Borrowers in Need. Utilize data analytics to identify alums facing repayment challenges, allowing targeted outreach efforts.
  • Early and Consistent Outreach. Engage with borrowers at all stages of repayment, from pre-delinquency to default, offering resources and guidance.
  • Comprehensive Counseling. Provide access to qualified counselors who can address individual circumstances and answer repayment questions thoroughly.

By implementing these strategies, schools can fulfill their responsibility to their alums while contributing to a future with lower default rates and a more financially secure graduate population.

Tailored Support for Alum Success

While adding additional strategies to an already packed to-do list may seem daunting, you don’t have to do it alone — Ascendium’s student loan repayment support services can relieve some of the pressure. “Between our financial wellness resources and student loan counseling services, we have schools covered and can help make a very positive impact for their alums’ repayment success,” says Roger. 

We provide multiple repayment support solutions to meet the unique needs of schools and alums.

  • Data-Driven Outreach, Education, and Counseling: Built upon our experience helping millions of borrowers avoid default, our Cohort Catalyst® service utilizes data analytics for targeted outreach and personalized support.
    • Uses data we gather from the National Student Loan Data System to identify borrowers that need support.
    • School-branded outreach, from grace through default.
    • Skip trace research, a dedicated late-stage delinquency support team, and free access to Cohort Analyzer®, a tool that helps resolve cohort discrepancies.
  • Inbound Helpline: The Attigo Student Loan Success Center offers a toll-free phone number, email, and chat support so alums can get the help they need, when they need it.
    • Provides personalized counseling and valuable insight based on your alums’ unique situation, without long wait times.
    • Online self-help resources at your alums’ fingertips, including videos, articles, and guides to help them achieve their financial goals and navigate repayment.
    • Sophisticated technology provided by Savi detects eligibility for 150+ repayment and forgiveness programs, with a focus on savings and forgiveness.

Alum Support in Action

Recently, Kent Marshall, senior loan counselor at Miami University, reached out to share their experience with one of our repayment support solutions.

“We in the Office of Student Financial Assistance at Miami University are very pleased with the assistance and management of the loan default program Ascendium has provided our students to help them manage their loan debt and keep them out of a default situation. They have also been very helpful to us with the tools they have available, especially Cohort Catalyst®. This tool keeps us up to date on vital statistics on various avenues. Whenever I need detailed reports for use in presentations, Ascendium — and explicitly [Attigo Regional Sales Director] Carol Swenson — have graciously and swiftly worked to provide me with the valuable information needed by management and/or the other interested groups requesting the data. This service has been one of the best partnerships into which we have entered to keep our students well-informed, thus making my job in the loan arena much easier to navigate.”

Ready to get started? Learn more about the solutions we provide and how they can help you empower your alums to achieve student loan success. 

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