SALT to teach financial literacy

The SALT website provides financial literacy counseling and planning to students and alumni. Photo illustration by Brooke Marsh.

Hannah Khan
Contributing Writer

Students may now use an educational tool from the American Student Assistance to help increase their financial literacy.

Earlier this month, students received an email about SALT, an educational tool created by the nonprofit ASA to provide financial literacy counseling and planning to students and alumni. SALT is named after one of the ancient forms of currency – salt.

The Division of Strategic Enrollment Management at VCU began working with SALT in the last nine months of the planning stages of the new program.  The average college loan debt per student is now almost $30,000, creating a pressing need for student aid. Luke Schultheis, vice provost for Strategic Enrollment Management is aware of this problem. Schultheis thinks SALT will help address the problem.

“An important component of reducing student debt is providing resources which students can easily use to assist them with financial planning,” Schultheis said.

The SALT website provides participants with a number of resources including tutorials on money management, budgeting and loans.

The website also provides more complex tools, which allow participants to create annual budgets, monitor accrual and search for student loans.

The website also has scholarship searches, resources associated with career planning and articles and videos related to financial management for students.

Allesandra Lanza, director of public relations for the ASA, said SALT’s purpose is to provide assistance to college students and alumni.

“College graduates are delaying important life milestones, like starting businesses, buying homes and cars, and starting families. That hurts the U.S. economy,” Lanza said. “It’s in all of our best economic interest to have students understand how to take control of their student debt before it controls them. The SALT solution can show them how.”

SALT was designed to complement the personal counseling students can receive in the Office of Financial Aid.

The ASA will continue to promote SALT via electronic and social media campaigns as well as through various public relations channels and the SGA.

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