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Nonprofit Student Loan Organizations Celebrate Financial Aid Awareness Month

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SOURCE Education Finance Council

Nonprofit and state agency student loan organizations lead financial aid awareness efforts across the country

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the Education Finance Council (EFC), the trade association representing nonprofit and state agency student loan organizations, are honoring Financial Aid Awareness month in February with statewide financial aid awareness campaigns, workshops, events, presentations, videos, scholarship opportunities, and educator training.

EFC members are trusted resources in their states for college planning and during the first quarter of each year, they lead the charge to encourage completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Representatives from each member organization participate on the EFC College Success Committee, discussing and developing best practices for student outreach programs. The Committee named financial aid awareness as a top priority for 2014 and hosted a Twitter chat on FAFSA completion in January.

"Our financial aid awareness efforts are very similar to those of other EFC members-we are all striving toward the same goal of making college more accessible to students and families in our states," said Joni Leggio, AVP of Marketing for the Louisiana Education Loan Authority (Lela) and Chair of EFC's College Success Committee. "Each year our organization runs a FAAM (Financial Aid Awareness Month) campaign to educate high school seniors and their families on financial aid options and help them fill out the FAFSA. We send materials to hundreds of guidance counselors throughout Louisiana to help them help their students and run a Cash for College contest, awarding $10,000 in scholarships."

"We also develop a campaign every year-this year's theme is 'Go for the Gold,'" said Tara Deering-Hansen, Corporate Communications Manager for Iowa Student Loan and Vice-Chair of EFC's College Success Committee. "We provide a package of materials, at no cost, to financial aid officers in Iowa colleges to help them promote FAFSA completion on their campuses."

"We've coordinated the statewide College Goal Montana for the past several years and this year our goal is to make completing the FAFSA even easier for Montanans," said Kelly Cresswell, Vice President and Chief of Foundation Activities for the Student Assistance Foundation (SAF) and past Chair of EFC's College Success Committee. "We launched the SmartAboutCollege.org website to provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete the FAFSA, section by section, as well as Twitter and Facebook pages for students and parents to receive FAFSA tips and ask questions. We also offer one-on-one help on college campuses in our campus outreach offices and provide how-to materials and instructions for school counselors and financial aid professionals on hosting College Goal Montana events in their community."

Additional details on EFC members' financial aid awareness initiatives are available on the EFC website: https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/efc.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/advocacy_college_access/efc_2014_financial_aid_aware.pdf

Press releases and details on EFC members' college planning and success initiatives are posted on the EFC Website: http://www.efc.org/?page=efc_member_news

EFC represents nonprofit and state agency student finance organizations; which operate as secondary markets, loan servicers, alternative loan originators, and the go-to college planning resources for students and families in their states. EFC's mission of making college more affordable and accessible is realized through its members' vast college access and completion programs; provided to students, families, and schools across the nation at no cost. 

CONTACT: Samantha DeZur, (202) 955-5510

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