After coming across this article in the Chronicle of Higher Education "To Get This Grant Students Have to Take Personal Finance 101", I reached out to Syracuse University to get some additional details about this innovative program. Here was a brief description from the Chronicle article:
Thanks to Kaye DeVesty, Director of Financial Aid and Scholarship programs, at Syracuse for answering my follow-up questions about their MAP program:
1. Can you talk about how this idea came about at Syracuse; what was the main driver? Was it concern about amount of private loans students were taking on?
This idea came up a few years ago and has been evolving ever since. It started as a debt initiative program where we identified students who had high loan debt and borrowed from more than one source. Our goal was to see students through to graduation and moderate their loan borrowing. While at this time we did not return private loans to lenders and replace it with institutional grant funds, we did award what we called a retention grant in hopes of reducing future borrowing and to help these students to stay in school. During this time we did require a commitment from students to be in touch with our office on a regular basis and we tried to help them live within a budget and discuss options to borrowing.
2. How much grant money has the school earmarked for the program?
Right now we have awarded approximately $572,000 for the 2009-10 year. We are watching the funding very closely.
3. How does the school determine which students were eligible for the program and how are they selected?
I have attached a couple of information
sheets for you that outline the program. Students in the program have borrowed
at least one alternative loan and we look at our Federal Pell Grant recipients initially. Here is an overview of the MAP program:
4. What advice would you give other schools considering a similar program?
Take a close look at your students who are borrowing to determine what the need is for your school. Of course, you have to look at your overall awarding strategies to see what can be done with funding the program. It was important for us to make sure we required a commitment from the students we wanted to help. They must sign an agreement and attend financial literacy workshops.
5. How is your financial literacy program being delivered? Are you
using a specific program or did you develop one?
Our MAP program financial literacy information is home grown after plenty of research.
- For additional details about the MAP curriculum: Download MAP Curriculum external
Have an innovative financial literacy program that you want to share with the financial aid community? Please contact me at email@example.com