Financial Aid at Eastman
The Financial Aid Office aims to help students make good financial decisions in college and beyond. We are launching a brand new campus-wide financial literacy program called Salt®. Salt is a free program backed by nonprofit American Student Assistance (ASA) that helps students plan for, pay for, and repay the cost of their degree while also preparing them for a successful financial future.
Activating your free Salt membership allows access to a number of features, including:
- Money management advice
- Simple budgeting tools
- Personalized student loan help
- Database of millions of dollars of outside scholarships
- Resources to set you up for financial success
What is Salt?
Salt is a free nonprofit-backed program dedicated to helping you plan for, pay for, and repay the cost of your degree, while preparing you for a successful financial future. With a combination of money management advice, personalized student loan help, and straightforward budgeting tools, Salt provides the confidence you need to achieve your goals.
How does Salt work?
Salt uses many different channels to educate, empower, and engage members. The “surround-sound” program includes:
- Proactive communication about student loan repayment options.
- One-on-one repayment counseling with student loan experts.
- A personalized online dashboard to track federal and student loans in one place and compare payment options.
- An interactive online community to get in touch with Salt experts and peers to talk about money, student loans, scholarships, and other related topics.
- Multiple self-serve online tools and calculators to assist with budgeting.
- Advocacy and assistance with resolving complex student loan related problems.
- Meaningful benefits and incentives that lower the total cost of college attendance such as scholarship services, and job/internship searches.
Who can benefit from using Salt?
College students and alumni who need to become more financially savvy, whether they’ve borrowed student loans or not.
How much do students pay for Salt?
Salt is offered at no charge to students and alumni, because Salt’s provider, American Student Assistance, has established a contribution-based model whereby multiple stakeholders interested in student success—including federal or state governments, colleges and universities, foundations or other nonprofit organizations, and corporate sponsors—all contribute to the overall cost of delivering the service.
How do I sign up?
Visit saltmoney.org/eastmanto view the University of Rochester’s specific registration page.
Use Salt’s interactive “Salt Courses” education modules to get up to speed on financial fundamentals like budgeting, banking, and credit and taxes.
There’s no way around it: the way you think about money affects all your financial choices. This lesson will help you uncover the thoughts and beliefs that make up your financial personality and philosophy, then show you how they relate to some fundamental financial practices.
Internships, Incomes, and Careers
Students who work, intern, or volunteer while attending school are more successful with time management and have higher graduation rates. That’s why getting job experience, building your résumé, and networking are essential parts of the college experience. This lesson will help you figure out how to choose the right job or experience for you.
It’s time to think about the “b” word a bit differently. Ultimately, a budget is a strategy for how to spend your money. This lesson will help you create a spending plan that lets you not only get the things you want and need today, but also plan for the things you’ll want and need in the future.
You’ve decided to go to school, and now you need to figure out how to pay for it. Are student loans your best option, your only option, or a mysterious option that everyone seems to choose (so you will too)? This lesson will help you discover what student loans mean for your personal, financial, and career paths.
Student Loan Repayment
You borrowed money to pay for school, and now you’re in debt. Don’t worry—there are plenty of ways to face it head on. (Debt can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.) This lesson will help you fully understand your options so repayment will feel more manageable.
If you’re thinking about college, you probably have a dream about what you’ll accomplish there. Now you need to transform that dream into a college experience, career, and future. This lesson will get you there—from a financial, academic, and long-term goal perspective.
Credit and Debt Management
Credit can be a very useful part of your financial toolkit if you develop good habits. That enticing credit card offer in your mailbox may sound perfect, but it could actually be the opposite. This lesson will help you approach credit decisions in a positive way so your decisions support your personal life choices.
Saving and Investing
Mapping out a savings and investing strategy to reach your goals can be very personal. This lesson will help you relate some key topics and questions to your goals, as well as examine your plans and needs through a savings and investing lens. That way, you’ll organize your financial thoughts into a solid, yet flexible strategy.
It’s never fun talking about loss or thinking about how to protect yourself from risk. But life happens. This lesson will teach you about insurance and other risk management tools that can help you prepare for a loss—before you actually have to face one.
Whether you have $100,000 in the bank or next to nothing, managing money boils down to one thing: understanding your choices. This lesson will help you understand how to think about your choices, make a plan, and work your plan. That way no matter what life throws at you, you’ll have options.
Hunting for a paycheck or your dream career can be a fulltime job—but it’s one you can manage. This lesson will help you plan for the process, assess your options, and put together the pieces you need to apply, interview, and find the right opportunity for you.
Debt is a four letter word. But Salt can help. If your student loan payments have gotten you down, take control with Salt by learning about plans that lower your payments, ways to pause payments temporarily, or how to have your loans forgiven all together. Check out the checklist below to see how Salt can help you navigate through your repayment journey.
Know What You Owe
- Visit saltmoney.org/kwyo to take advantage of Salt’s Know What You Owe tool.
- Check nslds.ed.gov for federal student loan balances, what status they’re in, and who holds them.
- Check annualcreditreport.comfor private loans and other credit balances (or contact your private loan holder or your school’s financial aid office).
- Questions? Contact your student loan servicer (where you send your payments).
Get Ready for Repayment
- Understand your federal and private loan repayment options—including the monthly payment amount, the duration of repayment, the interest costs for the varying repayment options, and possibly even forgiveness.
- Visit saltmoney.org/repaymentnavigatorto use Salt’s Repayment Navigator.
- Contact a Salt loan counselor with any questions through live chat at saltmoney.org/livechat.
- Visit saltmoney.org/budgetingtoolto create a spending plan.
- Avoid Student Loan Repayment Scams
- Investigate loan forgiveness at saltmoney.org/forgivenessebook.
- Explore early repayment options, and remember to pay ahead when possible. Why? The savings could be huge! Check out saltmoney.org/studentloantool to see just how much you can save.
- Look into an interest rate reduction through automatic payment with your servicer.
- Take advantage of the Federal Tax Deduction for student loan interest the next time you file taxes.