MU Financial Aid expands online exit counseling program
Graduating students at MU an now discuss their student loan debt with a financial aid counselor in one-on-one exit counseling. Federal law requires graduating students who have taken out loans to participate in online exit counseling, but MU Director of Financial Aid Nick Prewett says MU decided to expand the program.
"We tend to call it enhanced exit counseling, because we’re providing much more than what the federal government would require," said Prewett.
The Office of Financial Aid partnered with the Office of Financial Success to provide in-person counseling that teaches students how much they owe, their repayment options and how to budget for post-graduation plans.
"We really heard from our students that they were a little confused about loan repayment options, and how to pay back their loans after they graduated, so we started the pilot program in the fall and the response rate was so overwhelming and we realized we had to do something for our spring graduates as well," said Prewett.
So far, the program has seen a 25 percent response rate from graduating seniors.
Prewett says the average MU student graduates with just a little more than 19 thousand dollars in student loan debt. For students looking at a 10-year repayment plan, that ends up being slightly more than 200 dollars in monthly payments.