Gold Star Award

NASFAA's Gold Star Award recognizes innovative ideas in the financial aid arena at any level, targeted toward any constituency. This award is open to individuals working at NASFAA member institutions; member institutions; regional associations; and state associations. The Gold Star Award honors up to three ideas each year.

The NASFAA Awards Nomination process is now open for member nominations until February 11, 2022. Winners will be announced this summer at the NASFAA National Conference

2021 Gold Star Award Winner

West Governors UniversityWestern Governors University – Responsible Borrowing Initiatives

WGU's Responsible Borrowing Initiatives (RBI) have successfully lowered debt for students. Through a set of tools that provide students with a personalized look at their own debt outlook, RBI has empowered students to make data-driven decisions that substantially reduced student borrowing on both direct (tuition and fees) and indirect (living expenses) costs. In 2013, the year RBI launched, 65% of students accepted the lower loan levels recommended by their personalized loan calculator, with 3% borrowing even less than recommended and 10% declining loans altogether. That success has continued and has seen WGU's already-low borrowing and default rates fall dramatically-the most recent cohort default rate of 4.1% is less than half the national 9.7%, and debt at graduation among undergrads who borrow is only about $14,000, compared with about $30,000 nationally. With the launch of the Student Loan Scenario calculator in 2019, students know exactly what they need to do to successfully pay off their loans in a timely efficient manner. All these efforts-combined with low tuition to begin with and post-graduation salary outcomes that outpace the national average-bring success to students who can focus on the accomplishment of finishing a workforce-relevant degree rather than worry about the burden of loans it took them to achieve.

Past Gold Star Award Winners

Publication Date: 11/5/2021

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