USA Funds Excellence in Debt Management Awards​
Shaw University
Shaw University is a private, four-year nonprofit institution located in Raleigh, N.C. The university has an enrollment of approximately 2,500 students. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college, and a significant number come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  In 2010-2011, approximately 93 percent of students received some form of financial aid. Approximately 68 percent were eligible for Federal Pell Grants and 85 percent qualified for subsidized student loans.

Based on its research, the university concluded that by increasing student retention, it also could lower its student loan default rate. In response, Shaw University established a default prevention and retention committee, including representatives of the faculty, staff and administration.

One of the committee’s first initiatives was to conduct a survey during freshman orientation to identify students who were at risk of dropping out of school and in need of academic or social intervention. Based on the survey results, the institution launched a pilot mentoring program. In conjunction with that program, and in partnership with its First Year Programs office, it presents financial literacy programs. During the 2011-2012 academic year, 625 students participated in 27 financial literacy and financial aid workshops, covering topics that included anticipated salary information based on field of study, loan repayment options, budgeting, and good debt versus bad debt.