Armani Jackson, Managing Editor
Pierce College provided students with a link through their student email to activate a service called SALT, a financial education program created by American Student Assistance, a nonprofit
organization. Their goal is to “open the gateway to opportunity by revolutionizing the way students approach, finance and repay their higher education,” according to the ASA website.
ASA achieves this by providing free resources to educate students on loans ,giving financial guidance, motivation, neutral advice and web-based tools such as SALT to college students and alumni.
Pierce is one of over 259 schools participating in this program. Lessons are catered to the students’ point of view, keeping in mind their program type, making the courses different for each active user.
Ultimately, the service’s resources help locate scholarships, internships and jobs, show options for choosing the right loans and personalize a student loan repayment plan.
The name SALT was chosen because of the importance the current-day seasoning has held throughout history. In ancient times, salt was a form of universal currency. It was used in bartering as
well as preserving food items before refrigeration was invented. Salt’s historical importance is why, according to their website, SALT “goes back to basics to give (students) universal info and smart strategies to help (them) take control of (their) money.”
Students with a SALT account can access advice and information about money along with interactive lessons to help gain knowledge not only about college finances but after graduation as well. The purpose is so students will be able to “confidently approach, manage and pay back their student loans while gaining financial skills for life,” according to the ASA website. The information
is presented in articles categorized as subtopics under the four main headings: “My Money 101,” “Goals,” “Loan help” and “Resources.”
Some lessons include: “How does your cash flow?”, “Own your student loans” and “Master your plastic.” Before lessons are started, there’s a clock so students know the average amount of time it’ll take to complete the entire lesson. For example, the first unique step of five to completing the lesson on cash flow is determining how much an individual is planning to spend on a big ticket purchase and creating a tangible goal for saving enough money to buy the item.
If a user needs help navigating the site or has general questions about the program, two options are available to provide assistance. Students can chat with SALT representatives live for immediate help or check the community forum labeled “SALT Central,” which has blog posts relating to topics on the main site where students can discuss the resources or have questions answered by other users or a SALT expert.
To access more personalized assistance, students must answer a few questions found on their profile page. The questions relate to personal, financial and school information and the answers provided tailors the resources available to best fit the student accessing them. Financial Aid will be generating an official marketing campaign soon.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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