Welcome to the FSA Partner Spotlight! Our partners are using innovative programs, creative events, and effective initiatives to help facilitate financial aid awareness, increase Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) completion, and assist borrowers with repayment. Each month, we will showcase and celebrate the best practices of our partners who serve specific demographic communities.
This page is not an endorsement of any particular district, school, or organization, but simply a space to share the outreach efforts of various entities. If you are interested in being featured in the FSA Partner Spotlight, please complete the FSA Partner Spotlight Interest Form. Learn about our monthly partner spotlight and how your organization may be considered for a feature.
Looking for older Spotlight features? Visit our Spotlight Archive.
The Institute of Student Loan Advisors
The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA) is a nonprofit founded to ensure that all consumers have access to free, expert, unbiased student loan advice and dispute resolution. TISLA provides plain English resources on their website to help borrowers navigate their options and provide access to those resources without requiring registration or exposure to a barrage of lender advertising. For those that need additional help, they offer free student loan counseling and dispute resolution via email. TISLA's goal is to give borrowers the tools they need to confidently and successfully manage their student loan debt. Visit TISLA's website for more information.
What are the student loan repayment goals of TISLA?
Since launch, TISLA has assisted well over 10,000 borrowers, one on one, with their questions and disputes. Most of the assistance has been around student loan forgiveness programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. TISLA helped one of the very first borrowers to receive forgiveness under PSLF. TISLA also works diligently to educate policy makers about the diverse issues among all borrowers.
What tools, resources, and/or collaborations contribute to TISLA's success?
TISLA considers themselves to be a small shop with a sharp focus on helping borrowers manage their student loans, but collaborations are key to robust impact outcomes. TISLA partners with other organizations that serve the same constituencies but address different issues, such as housing or overall financial literacy. Partnering on student loan repayment webinars or online training modules helps these organizations make their programs more robust while helping TISLA increase TISLA outreach. TISLA also partners with other nonprofits whose focus is the "front end" of the financial aid process for projects where financial aid and student loan education is needed on a holistic level. For example, in March 2020, when the coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency started, TISLA partnered with two other well-known nonprofits to develop a free website called studentaidpandemic.org to provide free, up-to-date resources for both students in college and student loan borrowers. TISLA was able to get the site up and running in less than a week and continue to update it with interactive training modules and FAQs as the coronavirus/COVID-19 emergency and the associated guidance has progressed.
What challenges do the TISLA community face in financial aid awareness and student loan repayment?
The biggest barriers to successful student loan management are the lack of borrower education and resources and communication issues with borrowers. The letters and information borrowers receive from their loan holders may be unclear, which could result in unread messages. Successful student loan management is about providing the right information at the right time.
Search for tools and resources to help you or your students learn about financial aid for college. You can even filter resources by audience type and search resources specifically for Spanish speakers.
Sign Up to Receive FSA Partner Emails
We consider school counselors, college access organization staff, and other mentors to be our partners in educating students about applying for and receiving federal student aid to help make their college dreams a reality. Several times a year, we email our partners with updates about our products and services, reminders about upcoming professional development opportunities, tips for outreach to students, and more. We highly encourage you to sign up to receive our partner emails.
Note: The emails we send are intended to keep counselors and mentors up to date; they do not contain information for students or parents. Please send students and parents to StudentAid.gov for information about federal student aid.
Please feel free to share the FSA partner email sign-up page with your colleagues and community partners in the field.