Comprehensive approach to reaching students through financial counseling and early intervention
ATLANTA, March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The SunTrust Foundation has awarded Georgia State University a $2 million grant to create the SunTrust Student Financial Management Center, a first-of-its kind program to help students address financial issues that can be obstacles to earning their degrees.
The SunTrust Student Financial Management Center will build on Georgia State’s nationally recognized efforts in providing students with proactive academic advising to help them achieve academic success. Financial problems remain the No. 1 reason most students drop out of a college or university.
“SunTrust is dedicated to advancing financial confidence, and we are committed to providing the tools that help people achieve their goals, including earning a college degree,” said SunTrust Chairman and CEO William H. Rogers, Jr. “The SunTrust Foundation supports this project to identify financially at-risk students and offer them valuable counseling so they are better prepared to meet school expenses throughout their college years.”
“The establishment of this center with the generous support of the SunTrust Foundation constitutes another important step in guiding our students to graduation,” said Timothy Renick, vice provost and vice president for enrollment services. “We want to continue to find innovative ways to use data to identify problems that our students face when there is still time to help.”
Georgia State already uses predictive analytics to track more than 30,000 students each day and to alert staff when the students make academic decisions that put them off track. The alerts led to more than 45,000 one-on-one meetings with academic advisers last year. The university will use its Financial Alert System to contact to students before financial problems arise.
SunTrust will provide financial mentors and the center staff will use the system to contact students and develop a series of outreach programs. Because many students and their parents have limited ability to be on campus during the day, the center will offer online and phone counselors after hours. The center will also provide financial counseling and outreach to low-income and hard-to-reach families that rarely have access to financial guidance from credible institutions.
As part of the project, Georgia State will develop a detailed playbook on how to use predictive analytics to reach financially at-risk students to share with other educational institutions.
The SunTrust grant is a major gift in the university’s $300 million fundraising campaign, announced on Oct. 22.
About SunTrust Foundation
The SunTrust Foundation is dedicated to the company’s purpose of Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being by engaging organizations to advance financial confidence. Grants and activities focus primarily on financial empowerment, but also include education, health and human services, civic improvement and cultural growth. The SunTrust Foundation supports American Red Cross disaster relief efforts and contributes as a United Way Global Corporate Leader. Established in 2008, the SunTrust Foundation has proudly provided grants totaling more than $100 million throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
About Georgia State University
Georgia State University, an enterprising urban public research university, is a national leader in graduating students from widely diverse backgrounds. Georgia State readies students for professional pursuits, educates future leaders and prepares citizens for lifelong learning. Enrolling one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation at its urban research campus, at its vibrant branch campuses and online, the university provides educational opportunities for more than 50,000 students at the graduate, baccalaureate, associate and certificate levels.