CU Student Choice has joined Mapping Your Future's friends program and will now offer free career and financial education information to students and families.
Mapping Your Future was created in 1996 and is a public-service, nonprofit organization that provides career, college and financial aid and financial literacy services to students, families and schools.
"We wanted to round out our service, and this gives the program a lot of validity and shows we care and are focused on financial literacy," said Mike Weber, vice president of marketing at CU Student Choice.
The partnership was put together over the past month and though nothing has launched yet, CU Student Choice is planning to integrate some of Mapping Your Future's services into its Web site, www.studentchoice.org, in the next few weeks.
Cathy Mueller, executive director at Mapping Your Future, said CU Student Choice entered the partnership as a provider of financial support, and her group will provide customized services to the CUSO.
One of those customized services currently being worked on is a loan counseling service. Mapping Your Future offers a self-directed loan counseling service to borrowers and will be customizing the service to provide information on private student loans.
"The counseling program for private loans will explain the rights and responsibility that comes with the loan, and the student will be able to have notification sent to the school so the school knows they have completed a counseling program," Mueller said.
In some areas, Mueller said, going through a loan counseling program is a federal requirement.
Weber said that the CUSO is looking at the possibility of tying a benefit to borrowers who use the counseling service.
Other services that CU Student Choice borrowers will have access to include information for parents, a middle-school student awareness program called CareerShip and a program called Make High School Count.
CareerShip is a survey students can take that will allow them to choose from career areas that fit their interests and personality.
The Make High School Count program allows students to make purchasing decisions based on the salary of their career choice to show that the decisions they make early on have a life-long impact.
"This is such a crazy time for students and families, we want to try and help them make good decisions," Weber said.
The next few months are what Weber called the peak lending season. CU Student Choice will be looking to roll out as many of these services as possible in the next few weeks to get the information out as students make financial aid decisions.