College Students and Grads to Benefit from Student Choice iGrad Partnership
Organizations broaden reach of college funding, financial literacy resources through online platform.
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Washington, D. C. (April 8, 2014) – Credit Union Student Choice, the foremost provider of higher education financing solutions to America’s credit unions, has announced a new partnership with iGrad, an award-winning source of financial literacy tools and resources. Together, the organizations will work to empower students and their families to make effective personal finance, student loan and career decisions.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, more than 20 million Americans attend college each year, 60 percent of whom borrow annually to help cover the costs. This fact speaks to the importance of the partnership, says Scott Patterson, President of Student Choice.
“As growing numbers of students and families seek assistance to help pay for higher education, Student Choice, our hundreds of partner credit unions, and iGrad will provide them with needed tools and innovative resources at one of the most critical financial stages of their lives,” said Patterson. “This partnership continues to drive home the fact that credit unions are best-practice lenders, providing not only fair-value loans but also the necessary information to help students make financial decisions that are in their best interest.”
Through the agreement, Student Choice will integrate iGrad’s standard platform into the cobranded websites of Student Choice credit union clients, with completion slated for early July. The platform – an online portal featuring financial literacy tools for college students and recent graduates – is designed to help before, during and after the college years. The portal provides resources and information on schools, career paths, budgeting, workplace expectations, and even an interactive job bank to help graduates find employment in cities across the country.
According to iGrad CEO Rob LaBreche, both organizations work to put students and their needs first. “There’s a natural synergy between our two organizations, and I’m excited for the opportunities that lie ahead,” he said. “We’ve implemented our financial education platform at more than 600 college campuses across the country, helping over a million students in the process. We’re thrilled to work with Student Choice and bring this innovative program to the credit union space.”
Student Choice will also work with iGrad to design and deploy two unique elements beyond the standard platform. The first is an interactive module that prospective borrowers may complete before a loan application is submitted. The module ensures that students and parents understand college and loans costs, as well as career salary expectations. A second module is designed to help borrowers effectively enter their loan-repayment cycles.
“These modules are another great way for credit unions to differentiate and showcase our values,” said Patterson. “Private student lenders historically haven’t provided a level of information—or provided it in an interactive manner that truly resonates—that will give borrowers a true understanding of the ramifications of their educating funding decisions. While education loans are one of the most empowering types of consumer loans a credit union can make for a member, no one benefits if the member has more debt than is manageable when they graduate. By implementing these new tools,
Student Choice and our partner credit unions are charting a new course in responsible lending.”
To learn more, visit www.studentchoice.org or www.igrad.com.
About Credit Union Student Choice
Credit Union Student Choice is a credit union service organization (CUSO) that positions credit unions as leaders in education finance by offering a comprehensive solution that helps them deliver fair-value private education loans and corresponding financial education to students and families. For more information, visit www.studentchoice.org.
Used by more than 600 institution and 1.2 million students, iGrad is the only online community providing a comprehensive and customized financial literacy program featuring career assistance for students and graduates, user-specific financial education courses, and video-based student loan entrance and exit counseling. For more information, visit www.igrad.com.
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