Monroe College Selected for Federal Student Loan Counseling Study
Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, today announced it was one of 51 institutions across the country selected by the federal Department of Education to participate in a study on the effectiveness of additional loan counseling for student loan borrowers.
Known as the Experimental Sites Initiative, the Department of Education study seeks to test whether requiring student borrowers to undergo loan counseling more frequently than the current requirements can help them better manage their loan obligations and improve overall repayment outcomes. Presently, borrowers are only required to attend a one-time counseling session when a loan is first taken out and again at the completion of their studies, typically graduation.
As an experimental site, Monroe will require a cohort of student borrowers to participate in additional mandatory loan counseling based on their degree program. Students pursuing an Associate degree will be required to attend an additional session at the start of their sophomore year, and those in a Bachelor’s program will be required to participate in additional counseling at the start of their sophomore, junior, and senior years.
“We thank the Department for inviting Monroe to participate in this important national experiment to test the impact of different types of loan counseling strategies and tools,” said Dan Sharon, Executive Director of Student Financial Services at Monroe College. “We have a robust financial literacy program in place to help students make informed borrowing decisions and better manage their loan obligations, and we see our work in this experiment as a strong complement to those efforts.”
Participating institutions will deploy differing counseling tools and approaches to help the Department assess which ones have the most meaningful impact. At Monroe, the additional loan counseling will be delivered to select student borrowers via an online portal developed in collaboration with the College’s financial literacy vendor, iGrad. Counseling would be delivered via 90-minute online modules tailored to meet the federal study’s learning goals. Participating student borrowers will be able to complete the counseling session within one sitting, which will continuously reinforce core learning goals in a progressive manner as students advance through the series of modules.
The College anticipates requiring the additional loan counseling to begin in the Spring semester, which starts in late April