Engaging Financial Literacy Program is Game Changer
GradReady Lets Schools Assess Program’s Impact on Financial Knowledge and Behavior
Eagan, Minn.—NorthStar Education Services (NorthStar), a subsidiary of Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc., (Great Lakes) introduces GradReady, a financial literacy program specifically designed to help colleges offer their students personalized, engaging, behavior-changing money management education.
This interactive, school-branded website helps students learn how to plan for debt, make financially sound decisions during and after college, and successfully navigate student loan repayment as part of their overall financial health. The curriculum includes a wide span of college-relevant financial topics, with a strong emphasis on student loan counseling. Using videos, calculators and responsive tools to inform, the site lets users enter their own data to see personalized results, to improve decision-making and achieve positive long-term outcomes.
From a default management perspective, GradReady is an excellent proactive solution; it lays a strong foundation for improving student persistence and repayment success. In particular, students can easily import their loan data from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for timely tracking of their loan obligations while enrolled, and customize repayment plan selection after graduation.
With baseline, interim, and final exams, GradReady tracks student usage and performance. Through reporting, schools gain valuable program effectiveness data that indicates improved comprehension or where more support may be needed. Use of the website’s tools, like the Financing Plan, an interactive cost-of-education worksheet, and the Debt-O-Meter, a debt-to-income calculator, are also recorded and communicated through reporting. GradReady’s assessment capabilities let schools set an expectation of use and then track engagement, making it an excellent component for the federal TRIO program, as part of a SAP appeal process, or within a campus-wide initiative.
Brian Parker, NorthStar’s Senior Vice President noted, “With GradReady, schools get a cost- effective, easily implemented solution to help assist their students in becoming better financial aid consumers, savvy money managers, and more successful student loan payers.”
To learn more about GradReady or NorthStar’s other financial literacy and default management products, visit their website at nseds.com. Schools may also contact their Great Lakes representative or visit Great Lakes’ website to find more information about their comprehensive suite of default management tools and solutions.
Founded in 1991 as a guarantor, NorthStar has held multiple roles over the years, including lender and service provider to schools and national banks. In these roles, they used analytical data to drive operations and improve student repayment performance. In 2010, the organization decided to bring its deep student loan knowledge, superior technology, and creative business applications to the marketplace. Now, in collaboration with Great Lakes, NorthStar provides a suite of products and services to help schools, lenders, loan servicers, and other organizations better serve their students in higher education.
About Great Lakes
Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates work with schools, lenders, and community organizations to change lives for the better through higher education. Great Lakes supports these partners with philanthropic, educational, and operational resources that help students and families pay for college and build brighter futures. As a leading guarantor and servicer of student loans for over forty- seven years, Great Lakes serves the U.S. Department of Education and over 6,000 schools and 1,100 lenders across the nation. One of the nation’s largest integrated providers of student loan services, Great Lakes services $177 billion in student loans for 10.3 million borrower accounts and holds guarantees on over $35 billion in FFELP loans. Great Lakes member corporations serve as the designated guarantor for Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands under the Higher Education Act. Great Lakes is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, with operating centers in Eagan, Minnesota; Aberdeen, South Dakota; Plano, Texas and Boscobel, Eau Claire and Stevens Point, Wisconsin. For additional information, visit mygreatlakes.org.
NorthStar Education Services