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New program at Western to help students manage debt
Most students go through school not realizing the magnitude of their student loans, and they aren't thinking about what the payment plan will eventually look like after school is over; Western now has a program that will help. The new program is called SALT and it is the latest brain-child of the respected American Student Assistance nonprofit and it is completely free for students to use. This program does everything from tracking students' debts and updating them constantly to help them manage those debts. It offers alternative suggestions to student loans and has scholarship and job search databases. SALT representatives are available to students 24 hours a day and seven days a week to help them budget almost everything financially-related to college. Western’s Senior Financial Aid Coordinator Tammy Allen explains why SALT is an important tool for students and who it is most helpful to on campus. “It’s an effort to help and it’s basically geared towards our student loan borrowers,” Allen said. “Of course, here at Western, we are wanting to do everything that we can to try and offer some assistance for our student loan borrowers from the time they get here until the time they graduate; trying to educate them into borrowing smartly.” Allen also believes that SALT will go far in preventing potential financial disasters after college and will help with the transition back into the working world. “It’s just that we want them to be constantly aware of how much they have borrowed so far, don’t borrow any more than you need to and what kind of payment you are looking at as you go along,” she said. “So that when you graduate you are not blind-sided with this six or seven hundred dollar payment that you could have maybe found other sources [to finance college] throughout your time at school.” Aside from programs like SALT, there are those out there who believe if students are willing to work hard enough and endure a little sacrifice students wouldn’t need student loans at all.