A new non-profit has set up shot in East Boston to help students navigate the process of student financial aid for college.
Last Tuesday at the East Boston Branch Library on Bremen Street, the the American Student Assistance launched SALT Live. SALT live is a nonprofit revolutionizing the way students approach higher education announced it would partner with the library and the East Boston High School to bring ASA’s leading financial education programs to Eastie.
SALT Live partners with local businesses and community organizations to offer free one-on-one help with college planning, financial aid applications, student loans and more. With constant news of rising tuition costs and student debt exceeding one trillion dollars, the costs associated with college can intimidate many. Future, present and prior students often don’t have accessible resources to build the money knowledge they need for college and beyond.
By taking the SALT Live to Eastie, ASA will engage people in their communities with free, unbiased advice on getting into, paying for and paying back the costs of college.
“Student debt is a major concern for students, grads and our whole economy,” said Paul Combe, president of American Student Assistance. “Our tools and resources will ensure that students have the support they need to make their college aspirations a reality, while also creating a generation of financially literate and confident citizens. We look forward to partnerships with local businesses and organizations that recognize their role in addressing the student debt challenge head-on.”
At the “ribbon-cutting” event last week at the library, the mobile advising center held an open house-style event offering tours of the vehicle and an opportunity to meet the SALT Live education advisors and speak with students interested in pursuing higher education.
“We encourage Boston residents throughout the city to utilize both SALT Live and our wealth of library resources to gain financial literacy, an essential component to college preparedness,” said Amy E. Ryan, president of the Boston Public Library.
Senator Anthony Petruccelli said student debt has been an issue not only here in Massachusetts but across the nation. Petruccelli said SALT Live’s location at the library will be a great addition to tackling the problem.
“This program will be very visible in our community and they could not have picked a better location,” said Petruccelli. “As the busiest branch library in the city this program will be centrally located in our and right next to the new high school currently being built.”
City Councilor Sal LaMattina said with four ASA counselors at the high school and the mobile SALT Live van stationed at the library students will have good access to financial aid literacy.
“They will be working with kids starting in 9th grade and help families in East Boston send their kids to college,” said LaMattina. “It’s important to educate students and families here and let them know there are option and financial means for higher education.”
State Representative Adrian Madaro said with student debt being a leading issue in the country a lot of students don’t know what they are getting into.
“When students sign on the dotted line they need to realize the debt they are incurring that will follow them and may impact their ability to buy a home and other things we take for granted,” said Madaro. “I was fortunate in high school to have access to programs that walked me through the steps of financial aid, programs that many students in Eastie do not have access to. Without programs like SALT Live a lot of students would be up a creek without a paddle.”
SALT Live is made possible through partnerships with local government, businesses, nonprofit and community organizations that help arrange access to locations and raise awareness among their constituents; and through generous financial support from Experian, Eastern Bank and others. To learn more about sponsoring SALT Live or partnering with ASA to bring the tour to your community, contact Bryan Spence at [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or 617-521-6102. Students and parents can register for an advising session at www.saltlive.org<https://www.saltmoney.org/saltlive>.