OCAP Investment in Borrower Engagement Benefits Students and Schools

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Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP)

  • Provides college access, aid awareness, financial literacy and student loan management programs and services that benefit students, parents, schools, and community partners.
  • Funds a partnership with Student Connections for default prevention counseling to 26 Oklahoma public institutions with defaults rates that exceed 10%.

 
Challenges

The mutual success of postsecondary institutions and the students they serve is threatened when borrowers don’t have access to the information that enables sound decisions about student loan management. Defaulting on student loans has costly consequences for both students and institutions. With damaged credit ratings and higher costs that can persist for decades, borrowers may be prevented from accessing the lifetime of opportunities promised by higher education. High default rates also threaten the finances and reputations of colleges and universities.

 
Goal

Help at-risk public institutions in Oklahoma, which have cohort default rates (CDR) greater than 10 percent, preserve the value proposition of higher education by minimizing CDRs and enabling student success in college and career through smart borrowing decisions and successful loan repayment.

 
Solutions

Provide these schools with a proactive borrower counseling solution that adapts to the individual circumstances of campus communities and students. Institutions and students have benefited from OCAP’s use of Student Connection’s customized outreach and support, which helps borrowers select the best repayment options for their unique needs. Student Connections experts counsel borrowers individually on selecting the repayment option most appropriate for their situation. This includes multi-channel communications campaigns that improve the relevancy and effectiveness of borrower engagement.

 
Results

OCAP’s use of Student Connections helped the 26 participating schools outperform both national and local CDR trends. OCAP’s CDR reduction was 8.0 points greater than the decline at U.S. public institutions with CDRs above 10% and 7.2 points greater than the CDR reduction at public institutions in nearby states (see graph). In FY2016, Student Connections activities resulted in 33,700 OCAP borrower cures accounting for approximately $272.8 million federal student loan dollars1.

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Grace counseling has been particularly effective for OCAP, which dramatically reduces the risk of borrowers entering delinquency and proactively decreases costs and complications by reducing the need for ongoing outreach and loan curing efforts. Of the borrowers that received counseling in the grace period, 19.4 percent were delinquent on their loans, compared to 33.1 percent of borrowers who did not receive grace period counseling.

1Based on estimated average outstanding principal balance.

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