FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) was named an experimental site for the Loan Counseling Initiative by the United States Department of Education on Thursday, December 15.
Fifty-one post-secondary institutions across the nation were invited to participate in the experiment, which rigorously tests the effectiveness of requiring loan counseling more often than the current statutorily required one-time entrance and one-time exit counseling, along with different counseling tools and approaches.
“We're looking forward to providing students information that will improve their understanding of their student loan debt,” said David Peterson, director of financial aid. “We see the Loan Counseling Initiative as another opportunity to educate our students on how to better manage their student loans.”
Across the nation, roughly 100,000 students will be participating in the study, with half assigned to a "treatment group" receiving additional loan counseling, and the remaining half assigned to a "control group" that will receive the currently required entrance and exit counseling. The study will continue for several years, according to the Department of Education, collecting data on important borrower outcomes in order to conduct a rigorous evaluation of the initiative's effectiveness.
The study will seek to determine whether the required additional loan counseling:
“It’s important for students to make good decisions about their student loan borrowing,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell in a statement. “Students at these institutions will receive proactive and ongoing counseling and they will gain tools to better understand and manage their own finances. This experiment will yield important information about whether additional counseling improves student outcomes, including program completion and loan repayment.”
The department is launching this experiment under the experimental sites authority of section 487A(b) of the Higher Education Act, which allows the department to test the effectiveness of statutory and regulatory flexibility for post-secondary institutions that participate in the federal financial aid.
For more information regarding IPFW's participation in this study, contact David Peterson, director of financial aid, at 260-481-6130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.