Exit Counseling: A Student Aid Learning Module

Reminder: The Exit Counseling Module is a supplemental tool and should not be used to replace required federal Exit Counseling.

It is your school's responsibility to ensure that all students receiving federal financial aid complete required federal exit counseling at the appropriate time. Exit counseling is often the last contact that your Financial Aid Office has with your student borrowers before they leave school. Therefore, to better assist you and your students, you can now utilize this module as a supplemental tool alongside required federal exit counseling to prepare your students for the responsibility of paying back their loans.

Some Quick Tips

Make sure your students know about all of the loan counseling available to them.

Exit counseling may be overwhelming to students who haven't thought about their loans since the day they signed the MPN (Master Promissory Note). You can prepare students for all the loan counseling programs available to them such as:

  • Entrance counseling
  • Exit counseling
  • Financial awareness

by introducing and explaining the information they will find online.

Make sure your students know who their loan servicers are.

Help your students get the most out of exit counseling by giving them a convenient location to record the information they learn. Students can complete this worksheet as they review their loan portfolio, so they'll know how to contact their servicers even when the internet is not at their fingertips.

Distribute our Before You Go worksheet.

Identify the consequences for students who don't complete required federal exit counseling.

Exit counseling is a federal requirement, and it is your responsibility to make sure your student borrowers complete exit counseling, even if they leave school unexpectedly. Develop a written policy in which you clearly state the importance for students to fulfill this obligation.

Provide individual exit counseling if you want to lower your default rates.

Research has shown that "in-person" exit counseling can lower default rates by as much as 10%. If your school can accommodate it, you may want to offer in-person exit counseling, which allows students to ask questions if they are confused. This may be particularly beneficial for students with significant loan balances.

Your Exit Counseling Toolkit

Get started on your campus using the free resources we offer…

Exit Counseling: Who Needs It?

Not all loans require exit counseling. Students need to know if their loans do.

Tips!:

  • Distribute this link during entrance counseling, to make students aware that more counseling will occur at the end of school.
  • Use this link to occasionally remind students that they will need to participate in exit counseling if their enrollment status changes.

Get Ready for Exit Counseling: A Checklist

Students need to have these few key pieces of information on hand to complete exit counseling.

Tip!:

  • Give this worksheet to any student who needs to complete exit counseling within the next few weeks.

What Do You Know Today? A Repayment Q&A

Give your students a sneak peek of what's to come during exit counseling.

Tip!:

  • Add a link to this interactive tool from the sections of your school website that talk about financial aid and graduation.

Know Where to Go… A Repayment Cheat Sheet

Students can use this list of "go-to" resources if they have any questions about their loans or budgeting after they leave campus.

Tips!:

  • Give this worksheet to students when they leave campus.
  • It's not a bad idea to give this to new students as well, to introduce them to different loan and budgeting options.

Repayment Plan Estimator

Our repayment plan estimator can help students determine what repayment plan may best fit their needs.

Tip!:

  • Keep a link to this tool on the section of your website that talks about graduation and leaving school.

Budget Builder

Our budget builder tool can show your students how to make better financial decisions when their budget is limited.

Tips!:

  • "Assign" this interactive tool when you notify seniors about exit counseling.
  • Keep a link to this tool on the section of your website that talks about graduation and leaving school.

Your Financial Aid Office as Command Central

It's important that students be able to rely on you for answers to their questions.

Tips!:

  • Use this information to create worksheets, online tools, and seminars that your staff can use to better educate students about their aid.
  • Explore the logistics in your office to make sure you're meeting the federal requirements in the most efficient way possible.

Web Banners

Send the message to students: Exit Counseling, Don't Leave Campus Without it.

Tip!:

  • Add one of our banner ads to your school's website as a quick link for students to learn more about exit counseling and repayment of their loans.

Article for Publication

Give a preview of exit counseling to your students, so they understand the importance of this learning opportunity.

Tip!:

  • Customize this article and publish in your school newspaper or post on the web about 6 to 8 weeks before graduation.

Tell Us About Exit Counseling at Your School

When and how do you introduce exit counseling to your students?