New program worth its salt?


William James
The Broadside

Students now have an interactive and easy way to manage their funds and student loans with a new program called SALT.
American Student Assistance, a non profit organization has partnered with Central Oregon Community College to bring students SALT, a free student membership program to manage financial aid. It is designed to make reading financial documents less complicated, according to ASA Director of Marketing Aimee O’Brien-Jeyarajan.
“We help people become money savvy by making loans and finances a practical and fun experience,” said O’Brien-Jeyarajan.
Students will be receiving a unique PIN number to activate their account. Upon activation, students will have access to all of the SALT tools, including a personal dashboard that allows students to look at a list of their student loans in one place.
The program also contains connections to jobs and scholarships.
SALT went live for COCC on Feb. 2, according to O’Brien-Jeyarajan, and in a few weeks students should expect to see their PIN numbers in their email accounts.
The program is still in the developmental stages according to Financial Aid director Kevin Multop.
“We had a visit from the representative in the summer to kind of explain what’s going on,” said Multop.  “Every time we see what they’re doing they always have something new to show us.”
For students looking to improve their financial knowledge, SALT provides a course called My Money 101. It is a self-paced online course that begins by teaching students how to understand credit scores and reports and how to spot identity theft scams. Students can expect ASA to be constantly monitoring and perfecting what they will be presenting.
In the future, SALT may be offering a reward program to benefit student users.
“SALT is working on ways to reward students,” said Multop. “For instance, I know they’re trying to get free mp3 downloads to students who work on their website and complete the application. It’s an incentive to be interactive.”
If students have not gotten their PIN in the coming weeks, the ASA can be reached at 855-469-2724 to get help from the Member Support Team. Students will also be able to keep their accounts indefinitely so that the resources will be available to them long after they graduate.



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