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100 Schools Using Great Lakes' Free Outreach Tool to Help Students by Connecting Them with Their Servicer

Great Lakes' Portfolio Navigator Helps All Students Succeed in Repayment, Regardless of Servicer

— Three months after Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc., a nationwide servicer of federal loans, introduced enhancements to Portfolio Navigator—its free default prevention tool—100 colleges and universities are using the tool to address one of their greatest challenges: effectively targeting and reaching out to all of their student loan borrowers who need repayment help, with limited school resources.

Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Brett Lindquist notes that past and present feedback from busy financial aid professionals has played a key role in shaping the evolution of Portfolio Navigator and its new outreach component, Action Center. "It's rewarding to see financial aid professionals at these 100 schools using the tool to reach out and help their former students avoid default, with a small investment of time and effort. They feel like spending an hour a month using this effective default prevention tool is having a positive impact on the lives of many people."

Portfolio Navigator provides authorized school users with an easy-to-use, visual tool to help them identify and target their students who need student loan repayment help. February enhancements to the tool added functionality for authorized school users to securely and easily upload National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) data to access data for all of their students' loans, regardless of servicer—not only for borrowers with student loans serviced by Great Lakes.

A new smart outreach component, Action Center, was also added to the tool to make it possible for schools to use their portfolio data to perform recommended, prioritized outreach actions via email, letter, or phone campaigns based on the time they have available. "[Action Center] offers a variety of options to help meet the needs of individual schools," Terry Micks, Loan Programs Coordinator for University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, notes. "[Great Lakes has] created a unique opportunity to communicate with borrowers that the school has classified as high-priority delinquency [borrowers who are 75-115 days delinquent and have never made a payment]."

Jodi Landgaard, Director of Financial Aid at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, has used Action Center to send email to the high-priority delinquency group as well as to mid and late stage delinquency students. She notes that students who have been contacted through outreach initiated in Action Center have responded positively to those efforts.

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Great Lakes Roger Eldridge is happy the tool has had the intended effect of getting schools on board with regularly monitoring their students' repayment performance and actively reaching out to borrowers who need their help. Landgaard says her leadership group was "...very excited about the capabilities offered through Great Lakes. It is a wonderful tool and very helpful in tracking our borrowers. The data is interesting, too, and I will be interested in watching it from month to month."

Wes Brothers, Director of Financial Aid at Ohio Christian University, notes that Portfolio Navigator has been useful to his financial aid department, particularly with the challenge of attempting to reach former students. "Portfolio Navigator has consolidated numerous resources to provide us with an efficient tool for reaching students... We are excited about the options that [Action Center] presents for identifying students who need assistance and the potential it has to benefit schools in the future."

For more information about Portfolio Navigator and Action Center, as well as other default management, loan servicing, and private loan processing resources Great Lakes provides as part of our commitment to supporting students and those who work with them, visit schools.mygreatlakes.org. Financial aid professionals interested in setting up a Great Lakes website account or learning more about Portfolio Navigator and Action Center may also reach out to their dedicated Great Lakes representative.

About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, we have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to nearly 9 million borrowers — as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. Our group's earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, we have committed nearly $134 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.


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