University of Delaware Participating in Student Loan Counseling Pilot Program

Pilot Program For Student Loan Counseling Being Tested At University Of Delaware

The United States Department of Education has chosen fifty-one American universities and colleges to participate in a pilot program to test student loan counseling. The program has been developed as an experiment to help students learn more about how to navigate the confusing and costly student loan systems.

What The Program Entails

The program is intended to help inform students about the ins and outs of the student loan system in America. Certain students who are loan borrowers at some of the participating universities will also be required to take part in extra counseling sessions before they will be adding more debt to their total debt during their sophomore, junior and senior years of college or university education.

This program was specifically designed to test how much of an impact the counseling sessions will have on students with debt. Typically, the counselling sessions would have been reserved for the time before a freshman begins school or after they graduate. Now, the selected students to participate will have more sessions throughout their college and university educations for more help and to monitor how they are doing with regards to their student loan debts.

Where The Loans Come From

The students who are borrowing loans for educational purposes through the program ran by the Federal Direct Loan Program are going to be put into one of two types of groups. The first group will take on students that have to go through the mandatory loan counseling sessions. These sessions will be brief, online courses which the student must attend each time they are about to borrow more money for their schooling needs. The students which are going to be placed in the second group won’t be required to go through any extra counseling sessions for the student loans they take out.

Earlier, the counseling sessions for the students in the groups that took the tests during freshman year typically lasted no more than half an hour. These tests could be completed online. The exit sessions for counseling were also able to be completed online and took place once graduation was over. They took around half an hour to complete as well. The exit sessions which are completed after graduation were to inform the students about when their student loans were to be paid off and helped them to calculate what their monthly payments were going to be.

Statement From Director Of Student Financial Services

The Director of Student Financial Services made a statement to the News Journal. Her name is Melissa Stone and she works at the University of Delaware. She was stating that when a freshman starts school, there are so many changes that they are having to go through. She also feels that when the students go through the initial debt counseling sessions online, they may not fully understand what they mean. She also believes that after four years at school, a student will be fully reminded of where they are at with regards to the loans and how much it costs to get a good education.

Theses counseling sessions are used in hopes to bringing some knowledge to the students at the University of Delaware and other participating universities and colleges to be more informed about the importance of their student loan debts while they are going to school. The students are going to be receiving ongoing and proactive counseling to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to better manage and understand their personal finances and debts.

Future Of Debt Counseling Program

The future looks good for the student debt loan counseling program. It should be continued for the next few years at the very least, according to a statement from the Department of Education. These counseling sessions are a great addition to the other various initiatives and programs that have been enacted in the past decade to help improve the student loan debt crisis in America. It is offered in hopes of making college more affordable and worthwhile.

According to information from LendEDU, there are more than forty-three million student loan borrowers in the United States. All together, they collectively owe more than $1.41 trillion dollars to their student loan debts. Additionally, about sixty percent of college and university graduates left school with some amount of student loan debt. The average student loan borrower owes around twenty-eight thousand dollars towards their debts.

Small Business Natural Disaster Loans & Their Application Process

You have a thriving business, and it’s everything you’ve ever dreamed it would be. You get to be your own boss, choose what products you sell, and set your own hours. Your business is doing extremely well when disaster strikes. Your business becomes collateral damage to a natural disaster. You’re on the verge of losing everything you’ve worked so hard for, and you’re not sure where to turn next. This article will go over a few options for disaster loans tailored to small businesses, where to apply for them, and how to start the application process.

Business Physical Disaster Loans

You are eligible to apply for a Business Physical Disaster Loan if your business is located in an area that has officially been declared a disaster area. The Small Business Administration sets aside upwards of $2 million dollars for small businesses affected by a disaster. These loans are designed to replace:

  • Equipment
  • Fixtures
  • Inventory
  • Machinery
  • Real Property
  • Structural Damage

This loan is for small businesses who suffered damage that isn’t fully covered by their insurance. It doesn’t matter what size your business is, if it’s located in a declared disaster area you can apply for this loan to return your business to its pre-disaster state. You can apply online by clicking here and filling out an application. You can also apply at a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center. Once your application is processed, the Small Business Administration will send out an inspector to assess the damage and make a report. You will get a letter in the mail specifying what the loan is to be used for, along with the check.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

This loan is also provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and will only be granted if the Small Business Administration determines you are ineligible for other types of loans. This loan works by setting repayment terms based on what you can repay, but it can only go for a 30-year term. You will have to submit a loan application form along with an IRS form that grants the IRS permission to give your tax information to the Small Business Administration. A business may be able to qualify for both this loan and a physical disaster loan at the same time. You can apply by clicking here. This loan is designed to keep your business running until you can operate on your own without assistance. According to FindLaw, you will also need collateral to successfully get this loan, as it is designed to cover just what your business lost out on by the disaster, and nothing more.

Application Process

The first step is choosing which loan will be in your best interest. You pick one and fill out the application either online, over the phone, or in person. An inspector will come out and estimate the cost of the damages and draw up a report. They will submit this report back to the Small Business Administration to review. Next, you should call your local SBA District Office and see which banks they recommend, and which lenders offer SBA loans. Call and set up a meeting with the lender, and come prepared. The lender will look at these categories to either approve or decline your application:

  • Credit History
  • Payment History
  • Income Predictions
  • Debt-to-Worth Ratios
  • Collateral (most SBA loans won’t require collateral, but it’s a good idea to have an estimate on hand)

All of these factors will either help you or hurt you in a meeting with your lender. Before this meeting, you should make sure you are current on your taxes with the IRS. Also, bring a business plan that includes financial projections, and a list of what you plan to do with the loan. The Small Business Administration offers a free tool to help you make your business plan.


Another agency that will provide referrals for disaster assistance is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If your business has been damaged and is located in a federally declared disaster zone, you can apply for assistance through FEMA’s website. They will look at all of your information and make referrals for you to get assistance for your business. You will have to have these documents on hand:

  • Annual Income
  • Business Address
  • Current Mailing Address
  • Current Telephone Number
  • Description of the Damage and Damaged Items
  • Insurance Information
  • Social Security Number
  • Profit to Loss Ratios
  • Business Certifications and Licenses
  • Lease

Again, FEMA will not provide you a loan directly, but they will put you in touch with organizations who will assist you. They will also help with the paperwork and legal aspect that comes along with having a business in a declared disaster zone.

Surviving a disaster is just the beginning. You will have to work hard and be resourceful to rebuild your business back to what it was before. These loans and resources will give you the help you need to recover your dreams and leave you with a business you can be proud of.