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Civic Nation

Assist in Student Debt Informational Clinic on 1/21/24

Assist loan borrowers in navigating student loans and repayment options.

Posted December 18, 2023

Background & Context

Student loan borrowers need help accessing timely support, often encountering long wait times or being left without assistance, especially on weekends. Many are also unaware of how to access crucial loan information.

Civic Nation is launching in-person student loan clinics to empower borrowers with the information they need to navigate the student loan system. Our inaugural clinic is on January 21st from 12:30 - 4:30 PM ET in downtown Washington, DC.

To make this initiative a success, we’re looking for volunteer lawyers to support Federal Student Aid facilitators in guiding attendees, disseminating student repayment information, and helping borrowers in real-time manage their return-to-repayment options.

Most lawyers have been through the student loan maze themselves and know all about the complexities that come with it. Plus, you're good at understanding complicated systems and rules, so you can explain things in a way that's easy to understand for borrowers. We're not looking for legal advice - our main focus is to give clear and accurate explanations of loan terms and processes. What we want is to offer guidance and support, especially when it comes to return-to-repayment options and borrower rights.

Immediate Problem

Amidst the resumption of student loan repayments, many borrowers lack accessible guidance and struggle to manage their loan obligations. Our immediate goal is to introduce a pilot in-person student loan clinic in the DC area, offering assistance and clear information to empower borrowers.

Work & Deliverables

Volunteers will engage in two one-hour virtual training sessions on student loans, led by experts from Federal Student Aid. Additionally, a training refresher is scheduled on the clinic's day, designed to cover frequently asked questions and address any remaining questions volunteers might have.

The clinic begins with a 45-minute segment where volunteers support a training and question-and-answer session conducted by a Federal Student Aid representative. Following this, there is a 60-minute period dedicated to providing one-on-one support to borrowers. This support primarily involves assisting them in navigating their student loan details and helping them with the process of logging into various platforms.

After the conclusion of the clinic, volunteers will engage in a debriefing session. This session serves as an opportunity to reflect on the clinic, discuss outcomes, and identify areas for improvement.

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Attend a training refresher on the day of the clinic to go over FAQs and address any questions.
  • Participate in two one-hour virtual trainings on student loans led by Federal Student Aid.

Collaboration Phase

  • Distribute and collect surveys from attendees at the end of the clinic to gather feedback.
  • Give attendees additional resource information, guiding them on where to find more support
  • For the first 45 minutes of the clinic, support the training and Q&A session led by FSA.
  • For the next 60 minutes, provide one-on-one support to borrowers during the Help Sessions.

Wrap Up

  • Participate in a debrief session after the clinic ends.

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 1-5 hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: Virtual volunteer trainings on 1/17 (optional) and 1/18 (mandatory) from 4:30 - 5:30 PM ET by FSA expert. Or you can watch the recorded trainings post 1/18.
  • Site-Preference: On-Site
  • Open to Law Students: Yes
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Preferred Languages: Spanish
  • Required Legal Expertise: None
  • Deliverables Due: January 21, 2024
  • Mentoring Provided: No
  • Supervision Provided: Yes

Locations

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial LIbrary
  • 901 G St NW
  • Washington, DC , DC 20001
Civic Nation

Civic Nation is non-partisan, non-profit ecosystem for high impact organizing and education initiatives. At Civic Nation, we work to change culture, behavior, systems and policy by bringing together individuals, grassroots organizers, industry leaders and influencers to tackle our nation’s most pressing social challenges. Our powerful central infrastructure draws on deep expertise in grassroots organizing, data and analytics, and creative communications and marketing in order to maximize the impact of our initiatives.

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