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State requires debt notice for student loans

Denise+Welch%2C+Kasi+Broussard+and+Mandy+Harris+assist+students+with+Financial+Aid+at+Panola+College.
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State requires debt notice for student loans

Denise Welch, Kasi Broussard and Mandy Harris assist students with Financial Aid at Panola College.

Denise Welch, Kasi Broussard and Mandy Harris assist students with Financial Aid at Panola College.

Denise Welch, Kasi Broussard and Mandy Harris assist students with Financial Aid at Panola College.

Denise Welch, Kasi Broussard and Mandy Harris assist students with Financial Aid at Panola College.

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Students at colleges and universities throughout Texas will receive in the spring email letters notifying them of their current student debt load, according to Denise Welch, Financial Aid Director at Panola College.

“The emails will require no action by the students or their families. They are strictly for notification purposes,” Welch said.

Mandated by Texas Senate Bill 0887, the notification letters will advise current students at any college or university of their current debt load, whether it is federal or state.

“We plan to send our emails out in the spring. Students who complete their studies at Panola College in December 2018 will not receive notification from us. But any current students in spring 2019 will get a letter with updated information regarding any student loans they have incurred, even if their loans were from another college or university,” she said.

Panola College has contracted with Inceptia, a financial aid management firm, to process the loan information and generate the emails to current students, via their Panola College email accounts. It’s important for our students to check their campus emails, even if they use their personal emails for most communication. Panola College uses the students’ official campus emails for all important information.

The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 0887 in 2017, requiring colleges and universities that participate in state financial aid programs administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. These include grants and loans. The email correspondence will notify students of the amount of the education loan borrowed to date, including accrued interest, and estimates of future payments. The information will also include an estimate of total payoff amount, along with an estimate of the monthly repayment amount that the student may incur, including principal and interest.

“It’s important for students and parents to be aware that the amount in the email will be based on current data, and will not estimate future loans the students may incur at other colleges and universities once they leave Panola,” Welch said.

The estimates will not include information from private loans because the higher education institution does not collect that information.

“The email will tell the students how much debt they have right now. The idea is to help students and their families keep tabs on student loan information and encourage students to stay on track with completing their degrees. We encourage students to maintain adequate records about their student loans and other financial aid documents,” Welch said.

Staying on top of deadlines, and maintaining careful documentation about accrued debt can help families navigate the financial aid process for students.

“Right now, students may begin filing their FAFSA forms for the 2019-2020 academic year. The form available online right now is for fall 2019. FAFSA forms are in place for upcoming spring 2019,” Welch said.

 

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State requires debt notice for student loans