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Help More Students Graduate with Less Debt

Episode 37

December 1, 2020 34 minutes


EAB’s Christina Hubbard and Ed Venit address the single biggest threat to student success: money problems. Despite studies showing that nearly 40 percent of students who stop out of college do so for financial reasons, the financial aid office on most college campuses remains more focused on completing transactions than offering advice.

Ed and Christina offer tips on ways to incorporate financial discussions into a more cohesive and coordinated suite of student advisory services. Their advice includes using peer advisors to help educate students on basic financial literacy as well as training staff within the financial aid office to help students make better choices in terms of applying for applicable scholarships instead of, or in addition to, taking out loans.

In addition, they discuss the role that student success technology can play in prompting advisors to reach out to students when class absences or poor academic performance may threaten their financial aid eligibility.



0:00:12.9 Matt Pellish: From EAB, I’m Matt Pellish and this is Office Hours. Every year for decades, thousands of college students drop out of college without completing their degree. Why? Very often, it’s money. Studies will tell you about 40% of stop-outs do so for financial reasons. But despite that fact, most financial aid offices on campus, they remain a lot more focused on transactions than offering financial advice. On today’s episode, we welcome back a pair of EAB Student Success experts, Christina Hubbard and Ed Venit, to talk about integrating financial discussions into a much more coordinated suite of advisory services for students. They’ll talk through using peer advisors to help educate students on things like basic financial literacy, even training financial aid staff to help students make better choices about applying to things like scholarships instead of, or maybe in addition to, taking out loans. Finally, they dive into the role that technology can play in prompting advisors to reach out to students when they’re missing a class or they’re getting poor grades, the red flags that might threaten their financial aid eligibility. Thanks for listening and welcome to Office Hours with EAB.


0:01:20.5 Ed Venit: Hello, everyone. Welcome to EAB’s Office Hours. My name is Ed Venit. I lead the student success research here at EAB and I’m glad to be joining the podcast once again. I’m also joined by my colleague, Christina Hubbard.

0:01:32.9 Christina Hubbard: Hi, it’s a pleasure to be here again.

0:01:35.5 EV: And we’re gonna talk to you today a little bit about some of the work that she’s been doing on our team around the integration of the Financial Aid office and student financials in general into the student success story. This is obviously a huge issue. It’s one that we probably should have been working on for years but for a variety of different reasons, schools maybe haven’t done as much work on in regards to student success. We’ll get into what some of those reasons might be. We certainly also wanna talk about how there is a before and after with the pandemic. Financials were a huge part of the student success story prior to 2020 and now, of course, an even bigger part as well. So we’re hoping to get into some these topics with you over the course of the next 30 minutes or so. Christina, if you wouldn’t mind just starting us off, give us a lay of the land. Even prior to the pandemic, what were things looking like financially for students across the board? Because it may be a little bit different than many of the listeners on this podcast experienced when they were in school and also, of course, it varies tremendously from school to school, so for listeners who work at one place or another, they see different kinds of students.

0:02:37.0 CH: Right. This is an area that I’m really passionate about, as you know well. In my pre-EAB work, I managed a college access and success program over at a local community college, and one of the things that we saw every day was just how important that financial aid piece was in the persistence of our students. The fact of the matter is that higher education has never been more expensive than it is today and so it’s a real struggle for students who are trying to balance all of their professional and academic and personal demands, and still be able to afford higher education. Even before the pandemic, there was a huge need for addressing basic needs, whether we’re talking about food insecurity or housing insecurity, the costs of college have just been enormous. Right now, about $9314 is the average unmet need for students at a four-year institution regardless of their income level. So again, when you think about huge numbers like that, it’s easy to understand what a struggle it might be for students to be able to figure out how to pay for college. Right now, six in 10 students are struggling to pay for school and we’re seeing the cost of textbooks alone increase by 88% across the past decade. So it’s just higher education is more expensive than it’s ever been and so we really need to make sure that we are integrating more of the conversation around finances into our support of students.

0:04:13.2 EV: Yeah, and I think we should also talk just a little bit about what a driver this is for student attrition. We do a lot of surveying of students when they try to depart, asking them why did they leave. And you showed me some data recently that points out that it’s a pretty big deal. This is an important part of the story when we’re looking to address retention and graduation rates, maybe you could say a little bit more there.

0:04:37.5 CH: Yeah, exactly. One of the surveys that I saw actually indicated about 38% of students who end up stopping out, stop out because of the financial pressure of trying to pursue higher education. So it outmatched academic disqualification, social fit, family support, a lot of those other issues that we’ve been focused so much on for our students. We’ve made incredible strides in trying to address those needs and yet somehow some of the financial pressures haven’t really been addressed by student success yet.

0:05:09.6 EV: And I’m struck not just by the fact that college is really expensive. We know, there’s some data from organizations like The Institute for College Access and Success, or TICAS, that has looked at the amount of debt that a student has upon graduation and it’s nowhere near the enormous numbers that you might hear about in the media, a student having $200,000 in debt. Certainly, that happens, but they are more the exceptions to the rule. But the reality is itself pretty stark. Typically speaking, a student’s graduating with about $30,000 in debt, regardless if they go to a public institution or a private institution. Obviously, this is for a four-year institution, it’s gonna be less for two-year colleges, but at least those students have degrees. And while the cost of a nice new car, essentially that’s what you’re taking out in the form of a student loan with about that amount of money, is something you could pay off across the course of your lifetime or across the course of a couple decades if you have the added conferral of a job that brings with it extra earning potential that goes along with a college degree. I think a lot about the students who didn’t get that degree, ’cause they also have debt. And in the past, when a student may have come to school, taken out a small loan, not really made it through their first year, the damage might have been kinda minimal.

0:06:24.6 EV: And the… That student, they gave it a try, they’ve still got to pay it back, but it’s… We’re talking about 100 bucks, a few thousand bucks, and it can be done. But nowadays, with the cost of college being what it is, there’s actually a much greater risk to that because you’re not taking out a couple hundred dollars in loan. And what TICAS will tell you is that the average student leaving a four-year public institution, leaves with about $9,300 in debt. Think about that. That’s almost 10 grand. And for a private institution, it’s slightly over 10 grand. For a two-year institution, I believe it’s close to six grand, and yet they leave with no degree, which means they don’t really have the earning potential that comes along with the extra piece of paper. Still got the debt though. And roughly one in five Americans has some college and no degree. So we’re looking at a tremendous part of the country that now is saddled with debt and really nothing to show for it in terms of the boost that you might get. And while default rates on loans for college graduates are usually around 3%, somewhere in that neighborhood, it happens, but it’s not terribly common, default rates for college dropouts are something more like 17%, roughly one in six students.

0:07:36.9 EV: This is a bad scene, because if you default on your loans, you can’t get the credits you earned, you might have your wages garnished, you might run in a foul of the IRS, you have dramatically reduced ability to get additional loans, your credit score suffers. And as a result, you’re pretty much closing off some doors to yourself that are normally open to other people to expand their own wealth. So we have a situation right here where students can go into debt, not have much to show for it, and actually condemn themselves to sort of a more… The cycle of poverty, if you will, because they can’t take the next step up in buying a house or moving on in their life, or whatever it might be, because of the debt that they accrued in college. I think that’s a huge tragedy, something we as a country need to be addressing, and it doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. We see these scary one point, whatever it is, trillion dollars in student debt right now, but we forget that, for the students who didn’t get degrees in the first place, that this is a really, really big problem.

0:08:40.3 CH: Really, it’s easy to understand how this happens. When we think about the student experience and what they face, I think one of the things that I used to find such a struggle when I was working with students was that a lot of the time, we weren’t even provided the opportunity to intervene when students were facing some kind of a challenge. And that’s what leads to this kind of result. Too often what happens is that a student starts to face some kind of a crisis, they don’t know where to turn, or for whatever reason, they don’t turn to the institution, and they just vanish from our rosters. And so we never get that opportunity to try to provide the support that they need. The alternative that happens is that they do actually turn to our institutions, but unfortunately, they turn to the wrong person, and that person isn’t able to help them, so they try to provide the best support they can, and then the student is sent to another office, and another office, and another office, over and over they’re telling stories repeatedly. And again, like I said, these students are in crisis. They just need the situation resolved so that they can go and turn their attention to what is the most pressing need at that time. So it’s a frustrating thing. But I know that you did some research in this area last year, I don’t know if you wanna share some of that, about how student success orgs are structured and why this might be causing some of these challenges.

0:09:57.5 EV: Yeah. We’re not talking about anything here that people don’t know. I think it’s important to point out as well that we were just quoting a lot of numbers from the before times, prior to the pandemic. Now we’re in a situation where we’ve got massive unemployment, our students themselves are struggling financially, and when they’re leaving school, they’re leaving so in part because they can’t pay for it. In fact, that’s a top, top reason right now. Even more so than it was before. So there’s never been a better time than now to be focused on these issues, because it is so acute for so many of our students. And in our exploration of this, we think that we’ve come to some of the root causes about why we’re not talking about this more. And there’s a pretty good reason… Well, I don’t know if it’s a good reason, but it’s an understandable reason why something so blatantly obvious as the cost of college is not being talked about to the degree that it should be, when we are talking about student attrition. Certainly, there are a lot of folks that are out there talking about it, but there seems to be a general assumption by a lot of folks that we gave out all the financial aid money we can. What more can we do here? Yes, college is expensive. That’s just the lay of the land. And as a result, maybe we chip off other parts of the problem that seem a little bit more addressable. And financially, it kind of gets ignored, despite its weight.

0:11:17.0 EV: And I think you and I have done enough work now that we don’t really believe that anymore. Yes, there is a limited amount of money that can be given out, but there’s definitely room to be working with here. There are opportunities to coach students on what’s a good loan to take and not. How much do you need? There are also plenty of opportunities to work with students on missing paperwork or just logistical details that result in being dropped for a scholarship or whatever it might be. And that’s not to mention things like running out of financial aid because you run afoul of the satisfactory academic progress guidelines or simply take too long to get your degree.

0:11:52.3 EV: So why aren’t we talking more about these things? And there certainly are schools out there that are doing that, but not nearly to the degree that we think we should. And I think one of the reasons has to do with the organizational structures of schools. If you think about it… Look at this last year. If you think about where schools put their student support offices, almost all of them are in either Academic Affairs or Student Affairs, and there certainly has been a trend over the last few years to consolidate them even further under a single person. Maybe they’ve got something like AVP of Student Success is their title, along those lines. And they might have in their portfolio advising in the career center, some of the more specialized advising offices like Trio or Veterans, the Academic Support Offices. But in our work last summer, we found that almost none of them had financial aid in their portfolio, unless they were incredibly senior.

0:12:40.8 EV: And that’s because Financial Aid just lives in an entirely different part of the organizational structure at most schools. Either it lives in the Business Affairs silo, or the Enrolment Management silo, far away from many of the other Student Success Services, and as a result, the connections between these offices and the rest of the Success infrastructure just isn’t there. The Financial Aid office at some schools may not even really think of themselves as a Student Success office. They’re more of a transactional office or an accounting office. They process paperwork and get students connected with money but keeping them in school is someone else’s job. And I think it has a lot to do with the fact of this disparate org structure. Wonder if you could talk just a little bit more about some of the consequences of having an office outside of the orbit of where a lot of the other success activity is happening.

0:13:29.1 CH: Yeah, absolutely. We know that one of the biggest problems in higher education is the world of silos, that we all only feel like we have the influence over what we have direct control over. And so, even though we know financial aid plays such an important role in the success of our students, if it’s not within our purview, then it’s not really something that we feel like we can influence, and so what happens is that you end up with sort of a scattershot experience for students, where they are bouncing from office to office in order to get the answers that they need. It actually calls anybody else out on what that student experience looks like, and unfortunately, we are losing our students because this process is just too cumbersome, it’s just too difficult to navigate.

0:14:17.6 EV: Now, not everybody is gonna be able to change the organization design of their school unless you happen to be that boss. So I know that you’ve done a lot of work over the course of the summer and fall looking at different ways that schools are bridging the divide between their financial units and the rest of their student support units in ways that are more process-related, or an absence of actually changing the organizational chart. Wonder if you could share with us a couple of those ideas, maybe along the lines of some simple easy first steps all the way up to some of the more advanced things that schools are doing out there.

0:14:53.5 CH: Oh yeah, absolutely. So I think that sort of the no brainer activity is let’s at least get everybody talking. So there was an example from one institution where everybody that was connected to Student Affairs, or all the leadership from the Student Affairs team got together once every two weeks in order to share more about what they were doing with the student experience. And they go into these meetings with an eye toward how they can actually loop in other parts of the Student Affairs leadership team. So for example, if you have Financial Aid doing a FAFSA renewal event, they might be able to piggyback one of the events that the multicultural team is doing, or engage with some of the advisors, or things of that nature.

0:15:38.0 CH: So I think that can be a really helpful starting point is actually bringing everybody together to try to start better understanding what the student experience looks like today. We’ve also seen a lot of institutions that actually brought these organizations together physically and co-located them. That definitely simplifies the student experience. If they do have a question with Academic Advising, but they’ve been meeting with the Financial Aid department, crossing the hall is a whole lot easier than crossing the campus.

0:16:05.9 CH: But I think that one of the things that I’ve seen too frequently is that many institutions stop there. We need to actually fix some of the workflow issues so that the student isn’t necessarily going from office to office to office, but instead we’re actually using technology to better support the student as they navigate some of these complexities, whether we’re talking about the SAP appeal or something like that. Maybe we can dig into that a little bit more in the next few minutes. But I do think that those are a really great starting point. And then we’ve seen institutions that have kind of scaled this to a much… There are some where students know that they go to one specific place on campus. There are other institutions, like public community college, where students have one single advisor that is going to provide them the support for all things.

0:17:00.0 CH: So whether it is navigating the onboarding process when they first start at the institution, or they’ve begun their courses and they need to better explore some of the academic requirements, or the student runs into some kind of a financial aid issue. They’ve actually gone so far… They’re now beginning to explore how they can use analytics to anticipate when a student might be starting to struggle academically, which as we all know is going to lead to challenges with satisfactory academic progress. So again, being able to use that data to intervene with students. I think this coaching model is really, really powerful as we start to think about how we can make it clearer to students where to go for some of these answers and support.

0:17:45.0 EV: Yeah, some really interesting points when you’re talking about that, ’cause reading between the lines there, you mentioned a few financial problems that are not… Like the FAFSA. Most of us don’t really understand the financial aid process, it’s pretty complex and detailed, but there are a lot of different failure points along the way. You might get flagged for verification; you might not sign something important like the promissory note. But then there are other financial challenges out there that, even if financial aid, the process is working perfectly, students can still use advice on. So I’ll just bring up a quick one for you. I might owe the school money. I have a student account threshold. Student Accounts is not Financial Aid, but the student doesn’t really understand that distinction, do they? I owe you money. It’s the money people, right, but they could actually be totally different offices.

0:18:33.9 EV: That’s why something like what you described about at Pueblo is really interesting to me because presumably that front line person is an expert on those sorts of things, and me as a student, I’m not. I’m just one person. The person I’m talking to deals with this thing multiple times a day, every day of the week. So they’re more of an expert at helping demystify this, and in a way, they’re a little bit like a financial planner. This is a really complex retirement portfolio that we’re putting together for you, except what we’re trying to do is get from here to graduation, and you have to navigate all the little interesting details. It’s good to have a Virgil along way as you navigate through these many circles of hell. So I really, literally love that idea of having someone who I’m already relating to, I’m already intersecting with, they understand my academic plans, and now they’re gonna be able to also help me figure out how I’m paying for this whole thing, or at least point out places where there could be failure points.

0:19:29.8 EV: Unfortunately, these people are relatively rare still, although we see them more and more each day, and potentially quite expensive, so are there less expensive options that schools can look at that might be able to provide a layer of support for students with basic financial questions that left unaddressed could become… Small things that become big things, or simply even the small thing precipitates a student to depart if they simply don’t understand how to fix that. What if you come across some of those in your work, and maybe you could describe them just a little bit.

0:20:01.3 CH: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the things that I find really interesting here is that there are schools that are running the full gamut. So you have Pueblo where students have this one individual person that serves all of their needs, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a school like University of District of Columbia. UDC flows much better off your tongue, than University of District of Columbia. Where they have actually made the investment in peer advisors and looking for a relatively low-cost solution to provide students with that kind of support that they need. There are so many transactional barriers that keep students from being successful. You can put that money into resources like peer advisors and be able to address a lot of the needs that students are facing. So I don’t know if you wanna share your experiences in that work Ed?

0:20:52.1 EV: Yeah, I’ve done a lot of work with UDC, they are our hometown institution here in Washington DC, and so we have a pretty tight relationship with them. I really love this group. Just to give you a little bit of a sense of what we’re talking about here, this is a 4,000-student institution. And they’ve got a team of roughly 10 peer advisors that work about 20 hours a week each during the school year. And like a lot of front desk type staff, they do that work for their advising offices during normal times when the campus is open and we don’t have a pandemic, but they also do a lot more than that. They do a lot of proactive outreach to students who have issues with registration. They can see who’s not registered and follow up with the student, and often times it’s a quick nudge, “Hey, get registered.” And other times students having a challenge that they simply don’t understand what’s being asked of them, what system to go into to pay this bill? What is a bursar? I don’t even know what that is. Answering questions along those lines. And so this group has been able to answer some very basic questions for these students and help draw more students back into campus, therefore recovering quite a bit of tuition money by the way. If they happen to find a more complex problem, they’ll escalate that to the people that can handle that and help those students, but at least they’ve found the problem.

0:22:10.0 EV: Another really interesting thing that these peer advisors have done, and I think this is a great part of the story, is kind of on their own, they decided that it would be useful for other students to see the information conveyed in new forms. So they’ve made videos that students can go in, download and see, “Oh, that’s how I’m supposed to navigate this particular system.” And a lot of it has to do with registration, things along those lines, but helping to explain and demystify what is a really complex process for students that really have very little experience with it is a hugely useful thing. At least, so they report at their school.

0:22:44.5 CH: I think you’re absolutely right, whenever we can demystify some of these financial aid elements, I think that we are doing a huge favor to our students. We also saw something really interesting in our research coming from Broward College, where again, they were just trying to get basic information out to students in a really easy to understand format. So they actually have just a simple Pell Grant calculator where a student puts in what their estimated family contribution is, and it’ll tell them based on what their enrollment is, how much Pell Grant they’re going to receive. So again, being able to see that difference between taking 11 credits and 12 credits, shifting from three quarters time enrollment to full-time enrollment, or from eight credits to nine credits, it makes a huge difference in the amount of aid that these students are going to receive. So this is a really simple tool that students can then use. The other thing that I really like about this is that even our academic advisors can use that and integrate it into the conversations that they’re having with students about how their Pell Grant and financial aid is going to change based on what their enrollment is.

0:23:47.6 CH: The other piece that they’re starting to do down in Broward is to integrate more information about satisfactory academic progress. Again, like I said before, since finances are the main reason that students leave our institutions, and federal financial aid is the main way that students are using… Is the main source of funding that they’re using in order to stay enrolled in classes, it’s really important that they understand the fundamentals of satisfactory academic progress. So they actually have on their website a simple GPA calculator and pace calculator, helping students understand how time plays into their ability to retain their financial aid. So again, as these tools become not only more accessible to students, but also accessible to advisors, it allows us to provide a much more holistic answer to students as we try to support them.

0:24:39.4 EV: I think that’s a good transition to really the last big segment for our conversation today, which is looking more at what our own schools, the ones that we work with for Navigate have been doing around drawing the Financial Aid office into the coordinated care network. And the reason I wanna talk about this is that the sort of analyses you were just mentioning, the SAP analyses or just really anything else that has to do with proactively following up with the students to get things done really does make a difference. And if the financial offices aren’t able to do that because they lack the tools or training or the process or the people, and you can’t do it out of your advising offices either, it’s really not happening. So we talked a little bit about how schools are creating advisors that will do this work. I think it’s also interesting to see, have schools begun to try to encourage their Financial Aid offices to do this work as well? And the answer I think is yes. I hear a lot more of schools that have hired, not so much financial officers, but financial counselors, into their offices.

0:25:37.7 EV: And one example from last year, from Ohio State, they’ve got folks on their team who are in the Financial Aid office, and their entire job is to help students make better choices financially, even to the point of finding, “Hey, there’s a local scholarship that you weren’t aware of, apply for that instead of taking out this loan.” And the reason they’re able to do a lot of that work is that they’ve been wired up with Navigate and they have the same access to campaigns and advanced search and students profile, and all the things that our academic advisors use, they’re just applying them to financial problems. So it was really interesting for us to look at what happened during the pandemic, because we wanted to see, given all the financial concerns that are out there, are more schools setting up their Financial Aid offices in our system so that they can go and begin to chip away at these problems? And the answer is yes.

0:26:28.3 EV: So almost every school out there has an advising unit in their coordinated care network, we call these care units for those who are not familiar with our terminology. And they also have academic support, those are the sort of the two defaults. Number three in the list is financial aid. Prior to the pandemic, roughly 31-32% of schools had a Financial Aid care unit. Across the course of the six months from March 2020 to September 2020, we saw that number jump from 31 and a half to over 40%, so roughly one out of every 10 schools added financial aid into their coordinated care network, where it wasn’t before. Now, this is all relatively new stuff, we’re gonna have to keep an eye on what these schools are actually doing with this new ability. Often times you come up with really interesting use cases that we would never have thought of before. So please do, if you are one of these schools, experiment and if something works, let us know. But this is a really encouraging development because it’s now a technological bridge in that org chart issue that we talked about before. So if I’m able to build a bridge using technology rather than people that strengthens the overall situation.

0:27:43.6 EV: I know that you have a couple of other examples of schools that have been doing interesting stuff here with Navigate. And for those of who aren’t familiar, Navigate is our Student Success Platform, go on to our website and check it out if you have never been exposed to it before. I know a lot of you have probably either seen a demo or might be partners already yourselves, but if you’re wondering what we mention… What we’re talking about when we mention Navigate, go ahead on our website and check that out. But maybe you can tell us just a story or two more, Christina, about what you’ve seen schools doing with Navigate and these financial questions.

0:28:16.9 CH: Yeah, absolutely. So I think one example that I saw, we all know that in order to release financial aid funds, students not only need to be registered in their classes, but they actually need to be actively attending those classes, and so there’s something that… A process referred to as enrollment census that happens at any institution. And the way this is carried out is, it may vary by institution, but ultimately what has to happen is that Financial Aid has to confirm with faculty members, that students actually showed up to class. And if the student didn’t show up to class then the student needs to be removed from the roster so that no Title IV funding is actually released to that student. So one of the things that I was really interested with, in Wiregrass is that historically what they did was they would send an email out to their faculty members asking faculty members to flag non-attendees in the student information system. And then when the registrar received that information, the registrar would go ahead and dis-enroll the student.

0:29:13.9 CH: The challenge in the old process was that there was no way to actually verify that the faculty member had done the work, that they had actually updated their roster with the information. So in other words, the registrar didn’t know whether the faculty member just had everybody attending or whether the faculty member had never actually signed in to make those edits in the student information system. So what they did was they actually started using Navigate in order to address this issue, so now the registrar’s office sends an email to the faculty members with a direct link into their class roster, and the faculty member is then able to indicate non-attendance in a matter of just a few seconds. If that faculty member doesn’t reply, the registrar can then reach out to the faculty member with another prompt to complete that process. And then on the back side, the registrar is also reaching out to those students who have been flagged for non-attendance, letting them know that they have indeed been flagged for non-attendance and verifying that that is actually their intent. For those students who don’t respond, they’re then able to remove those students.

0:30:18.0 CH: But the thing I like about this practice is the fact that there’s that chance to re-engage those students. This is a process that’s happening during the first week of classes, there’s ample opportunity for students to get started in the class and to still be very, very successful. Wiregrass didn’t actually stop just at getting that enrollment census information, they also wanted to make sure that they were only releasing refund checks, financial aid refund checks to students who were actively enrolled in those classes. So a couple of weeks after they did that enrollment census, they would do another check with faculty members in order to make sure that students were still actively enrolled in those classes. When that happened, they could then issue another prompt to the students to make sure that the student… It wasn’t just a fluke that week, that the student wasn’t there, but that the student wasn’t planning to continue attending. So kind of two outcomes that could happen from that kind of outreach, either A, the student is re-engaged and continues the course and is incredibly successful, which is exactly what we all hope to see, or at least we weren’t releasing those refund checks to students who had stopped attending, because remember that when that funding goes to the student, that then gets added to the amount of debt that they have in their loan obligations.

0:31:39.6 CH: So they estimated that based on this information coming from faculty members just in fall of 2020, they had 87 students who were flagged as inactive, which meant about $70,000 of debt was not added to students’ loan debt amounts. So when I see things like this, I just… I think that it’s not only a good practice for the institution, but this is a good practice for students, and it gets me really excited about the potential that technology can play in providing this kind of support to students.

0:32:11.3 EV: Wow, Christina, that was a great story, thank you for sharing the great work that Wiregrass is doing, it’s also a pretty good place for us to wrap up this episode. For everybody who wants to learn more about these ideas, in one week’s time, we’re gonna be hosting our annual Student Success conference in the internet this year, as opposed to being in-person in DC as we’d normally do it. You’ve got a whole session where you’re gonna go through these ideas, and I encourage people to sign up for them, as well as to see all the different sessions that we have. So go onto our website and get registered for that conference if you haven’t already. If you’re a Navigate member, you should be able to do that. If you’re not a Navigate member, then reach out to your EAB contact, and perhaps you can get invited as well. So thank you very much everyone, we appreciate the amount of time that you spent with us today to learn about financial aid and the different things that you can be doing to support success, stay safe out there, and we hope to talk to you again soon.


0:33:07.7 MP: Thanks again for listening. Join us next week for a discussion between EAB’s Tom Sugar and Student Success guru Tim Renick, who’s just taken on a new role as Founding Executive Director of Georgia State’s new National Institute for Student Success. They’ll talk about Tim’s groundbreaking work at GSU and his involvement in the EAB’s recent Moonshot for Equity project. Until then, I’m Matt Pellish for Office Hours, with EAB. [music]

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Experts share what they’ve learned about helping students who are struggling academically turn things around and find the…