A report released yesterday by TG, in collaboration with NASFAA, finds participants view exit counseling as theoretically important and potentially useful, but ultimately dispensable and therefore somewhat superfluous.
Data for “The Borrower Experience with Online Student Loan Exit Counseling” study was collected via 38 User Experience (UX) testing sessions, which were conducted with individual borrowers fulfilling their exit counseling requirements using an online module, across six institutions. Based on an analysis of these UX sessions researchers were able to draw several conclusions:
Based on these findings, TG developed a series of recommendations for higher education practitioners and policymakers as well as for the design of more effective exit counseling materials.
Policymakers (Revise counseling statutes through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to):
Lower the word density, word count, and required time through formatting, editing, and multimedia
This report, part of a multiphase research project, is the first in a series of reports by TG on student loan counseling in the United States. Forthcoming topics include: a literature review on loan counseling and financial education, combined with a history of legislation, regulations, and major government actions pertinent to federal student loan counseling; an interview and observation-based study on the borrower experience with online student loan entrance counseling; and a study of the promising practices in financial literacy training and student loan counseling currently employed at schools whose student loan borrowers outperform expectations. A final paper will synthesize the findings and implications of the four studies and offer broader conclusions on the policy and practice of student loan counseling.
“NASFAA applauds TG's commitment to improving the student loan counseling experience for students,” said NASFAA President & CEO Justin Draeger. "This work sheds an important light on how we can improve students’ loan counseling experience. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with TG on this important and timely issue.”
NASFAA will continue to share these studies in Today’s News as they are released throughout 2015.
Publication Date: 2/20/2015