Insight Newsletter
July 1, 2020
Re-preparing for Student Loan Repayment

Earlier this year, COVID-19 awakened us to a massive change for students, parents, and schools. Changes that have been different from anything we’ve seen before and frightening because of not only the size but also the pace with which it took place. And then there’s student loan debt.

On March 27 President Trump signed the $2 trillion stimulus CARES Act. The unprecedented change came with unparalleled relief efforts which were in part designed to help students. Payments on Federally held student loans were halted and a zero interest rate placed on these loans from March 13 through September 30, 2020.

We share a responsibility with you to ensure that while our student borrowers are social distancing from friends and others, they stay connected to their student loan responsibility as we ease back into the new normal including repayment.

Inceptia can help with Return to Repayment, proactive outreach to borrowers to remind them of resuming repayments. Determining if there are any additional challenges now will help them make the adjustments necessary to put them on the right track to successfully fulfilling their repayment obligations without falling behind. Learn more.

We are also offering a webinar on July 14, “Return to Repayment: The relief, the precautions, and the preparation.” to talk through the changing landscape of repayment and some recommendations on steps you can take in preparation to ease the strain.

Professional Judgements on the Rise

Studies are indicating students want to come back to school and many will need a change in their financial aid to do so. Ninety percent of NASFAA contacts surveyed agree that PJs are on the rise and the current process is daunting and could be the difference in a student deciding if they will enroll or return to school. PJ Advisor, our virtual professional judgement platform can streamline the PJ process for your students and your school. Developed with the student and administrator in mind, PJ Advisor is easy to use, streamlines the entire process, and is available on any device, wherever and whenever it is needed. Learn more.

Seamlessly Manage the Potential Increase of SAP Appeals

The continued changes from COVID-19 will likely increase satisfactory academic progress appeals (SAP). Section 3509 of the CARES Act also added additional flexibilities to institutions regarding the calculation of SAP. SAP Advisor is a fully automated online solution that provides students and the financial aid staff with the automated tools to effectively manage the Satisfactory Academic Progress process and SAP appeals – quickly and seamlessly. Learn more.

Loan Summary Continues to Educate and Empower Students, Addresses COVID-19 and CARES Act

Over the past few years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of schools utilizing debt letters to educate and inform students regarding loan management. And for good reason!

Our Loan Summary program has been so well-received by students and highly sought by college administrators for a number of reasons:

  • The effectiveness of Loan Summary is in the work we do on behalf of the students to curate the information and provide it at timely interventions.
  • Instead of presenting this critical information as part of a front-loaded enrollment process, Loan Summary allows schools to customize a communication schedule. You have the autonomy to gauge when your students may have fewer demands on their time or mental bandwidth, allowing them space to better process and act upon loan information.
  • The Loan Summary site contains a broad range of financial education information, calculators, budgets and other tools to supplement our letters. When paired with our online financial education program, Financial Avenue, your financial wellness efforts can have even more impact.
  • Finally, the ability to upload private/institutional loan information means that our Loan Summary letters are truly comprehensive and more accurate than other sites that may only provide federal loan information.

Additionally, we have recently updated our Loan Summary student emails to address financial hardships related to COVID-19. These messages convey our support and understanding, while encouraging students to weather uncertain financial times by proactively managing student borrowing and repayment options. We also provide students with information regarding the CARES Act and invite them to speak with one of our Inceptia student loan experts regarding their CARES questions.

Click Loan Summary to learn more or contact your business development representative.

Nevada State College: Verification Gateway Makes Life Easier for Staff and Students

Despite an internal technology solution that solved some verification problems, Jenna Eastman, the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Nevada State College, knew they needed to lessen the amount of time it took to process verifications so they could increase time counseling students on other financial aid matters.

Verification Gateway, Inceptia's virtual verification platform, uses over 500 rules and smart technology for more efficient verification processing to allow staff more time to counsel students on non-verification items. The Nevada State College team also experienced lower call volume, which was a much-needed relief from the already small staff size.

Read more about Nevada State College and how they leveraged Verification Gateway and more Inceptia Success Stories.

What's top-of-mind for Financial Aid professionals?

Listen to these on-demand webinars to hear from industry leaders about challenges, upcoming plans, and solutions that can be leveraged to ease necessary processes for the upcoming semesters.

It’s a Hot Time to Address Student Melt

You’ve probably heard of Summer Melt: when high school students take all the steps necessary to begin college in the fall and then disappear over the summer. But what about Verification Melt? Or PJ Melt?

New students aren’t the only ones who can fall victim to enrollment barriers. As we see with verification melt, up to 25% of continuing students may drop out of the financial aid process altogether as a result of this cumbersome task. And while we can’t yet know how the effects of COVID-19 will fully play out in terms of adjusted award packages, schools are already anticipating an increase in professional judgement requests for the 2020-21 academic year.

Do you have a plan in place to prepare for and address these matriculation hurdles?

Read more about the data surrounding student melt and strategies for mitigating melt losses with Inceptia’s research brief "Missed Opportunities and Abandoned Ambitions: Understanding and Combating Student Melt".

Examining the Racial Wealth Divide

As educators seeking to empower all students, we sometimes view education as a panacea to level the playing field for all. Yet, there is a silent and often overlooked factor that heavily influences the student experience and ability to persist and thrive in college: the racial wealth divide.

At a time when black families hold only $5.04 in wealth for every $100 held by white families, with household wealth for minorities on a 50-75% decline since 1983, it is imperative to examine how this gap plays out across academics and how we can take steps to broaden the discussion on our campuses.

This webinar combines thought-provoking research and practice to examine how minority students struggle against systemic economic disparity. With expert speakers from Prosperity Now, the University of Michigan, and the University of Minnesota – Duluth, attendees will learn about:

  • Data surrounding the current realities of how people of color are impacted by racial wealth inequality, and practical solutions on how practitioners can better serve students to improve their financial stability.
  • How to introduce all students to the topic via course integration.
  • How to provide peer mentor training that incorporates awareness of and reflection on economic inequality.

Upcoming Webinars
Wed, July 8 · 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. CT
This one-hour replay combines thought-provoking research and practice to examine how minority students struggle against systemic economic disparity.
Tues, July l4 · 1:00 - 1:40 p.m. CT
In this express session, we will talk about the challenges the CARES Act presents for students and schools along with recommendations on how to ease the strain.
Wed, July 22 · 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. CT
In this replay our guest speaker Daren Larson educated us on mindfulness, its benefits and how we can apply it effectively.
Wed, July 29 · 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. CT
Specifically designed for students, this webinar will cover the basics of student loan repayment to help them make smart choices and avoid costly mistakes.