Limestone First College in SC to Offer Powerful Financial Tool Program for Its Students & Alumni

SALTWith the launch of the 2013-2014 academic year in August, Limestone College students and alumni will have access to a powerful tool that will equip them with lifelong financial skills.

Limestone is the first college in South Carolina to offer the popular SALTTM program to its family through a partnership with the nonprofit organization American Student Assistance®.

With the possibility of interest rates at the national level for the fall term being nearly twice what they were in the spring, the availability of the SALT program is especially timely. The service is free to student and alumni participants thanks to a contribution-based model, whereby the sponsorship of Limestone, other parties and ASA's own capital cover program costs.

"Student debt has expanded to epic proportions," said Fidel Calero, Campus Consultant for the SALT program. "In fact, there are many students who do not know exactly how much they owe or how they will even begin to pay off their debt."

Through SALT, students and alumni will receive

• One-on-one counseling with student loan experts

• Multiple self-serve Web-based educational tools and calculators to assist with developing budgeting skills

• A personalized online dashboard to track all of their federal and private student loans in one place and compare payment options

• In-person group financial education training on the Limestone campus

• Assistance with job/internship and scholarship searches.

According to recent statistics, a record one-in-five households now owe student loan debt, as many as 30 percent of existing borrowers are behind on their student loan payments, and more than 13 percent of student borrowers default within the first three years. The U.S. economy is affected as the purchasing of homes, cars, and other consumer goods are delayed.

Bobby Greer, Director of Financial Aid at Limestone, sees the SALT program as a powerful tool to enable students and alumni to become more proactive in the financial aspect of their lives. "Approximately 12 million students borrow for college each year, but many make uninformed decisions such as borrowing more than they need or failing to take advantage of loans that offer the lowest rates and flexible payment options," he said. "SALT will empower students and alumni to take control of their money and make better decisions. It's a program that we at Limestone are proud to offer to our students and alumni at no cost to them."