As part of my focus on lender lists recently, I came across these disclosures which increase transparency of the lender selection process or provide additional information that can be useful for students (please send me any additional ideas that you would like for me to post):
- Skidmore College provided the specific reasons that they selected individual lenders. Here is why they selected two of the lenders on their list:
Chase and PNC were added to Skidmore’s Preferred List for the 2008-2009 academic year due to two prior lenders suspending loan processing. Based on superior performance during the year, we will continue to include them on the list for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Chase and PNC are both financially stable lenders who offer a wide range of banking services. Each are ranked in the top fifteen of the largest education lenders in originators, holders and consolidators of the Federal Family Education Loan programs (represents 2007 data accurate as of March 28, 2008, source: finaid.org).
Chase and PNC are both members of ELM and the NDN which allows quick, efficient and accurate loan processing. Skidmore has found loan disbursements to arrive on time and refunds sent back to the lender through the NDN applied quickly to the lending institution.
Both Chase and PNC have proven that they are responsive to Skidmore families. The Student Aid Office has not received any complaints from borrowers in regards to service they have received from either lending institution.
- Both Chase and PNC student loan bank representatives have been readily available to the Office Student Aid & Family Finance and Skidmore families. The student loan bank representatives have been very responsive to any questions from the Student Aid Office. Both representatives reply to the Student Aid Office in a timely manner.
- Portland State University provided detail on the template used to evaluate lenders, which included this summary:
|ATTACHMENT 1: Preferred Lenders Response Format|
|Summary of Evaluation Criteria|
|Proposal Summary/Vendor Background:|| Points|
|Guarantee and Disbursement Processing:|| Points|
|Web-based Technologies:|| Points|
|Customer Service for Students and Parents:|| Points|
|Customer Service for Financial Aid Staff|| Points|
|Private Loan Programs|| Points|
|Default Prevention|| Points|
|Affiliate Companies|| Points|
|Total Points Available|| Points|
- Wesleyan University provided a private loan comparison table with four lenders and then provided information about state alternative loan programs also:
As a starting point for alternative loans, be sure to review your state’s higher education assistance program(s). Here are the most common state organizations for which we have processed applications:
MEFA for Massachusetts http://www.mefa.org/
HESAA for New Jersey www.hesaa.org
College Foundation of North Carolina http://www.cfnc.org/
RISLA for Rhode Island http://www.risla.com/index.aspx
FAME for Maine http://www.famemaine.com/
- Stanford University asks students to provide feedback on the preferred lender list:
"If you would like to provide feedback on our preferred lender list, we welcome you to contact us. You can send an email message to email@example.com, call us at (888) 326-3773, or stop by our office at Montag Hall, 355 Galvez St."