Financial Aid TV Preferred by Students

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Financial Aid TV Infographic

Data provided to TMCC in the June 2015 report by Financial Aid TV administrators. Click on the image to enlarge it. Infographic by P. Bouweraerts.

More than 400 online video segments about financial literacy on Financial Aid TV were watched by Truckee Meadows Community College students in April. Even during May, a typically busy month for most students, the number reached nearly 300.

“Students like being able to view the videos anywhere at any time,” said Jeannette Smith, Financial Aid Coordinator for Scholarships and Outreach. “They like having these videos to answer a quick question.”

Smith’s students say there are facts presented in the films that are sometimes not presented elsewhere or may be easily overlooked in other media.

“I didn’t know I had to notify both financial aid and the loan provider,” said Lizeth Quintero. “I would not have known had I not watched the video.”

Smith said that sometimes students are overwhelmed with information from many sources, and the videos effectively sort out the topics in an outline that students can come back to.

“From a financial aid perspective, students are given this information in written materials and at in-person meetings, but there is a lot to take in and it can be easy to miss something,” she said.

A June 2015 report provided to TMCC by Financial Aid TV also indicated that video views trended upward between the months of September to December.

Film clips are presented in incremental steps

Financial Aid TV (FATV) is available to the TMCC community online. The short presentations are provided to students at no cost. There are 256 videos covering a broad range of 33 topics including titles such as:

  • Financial Aid Basics
  • 2015-2016 Financial Aid Changes
  • Getting Acquainted with the FSA ID
  • Understanding the FAFSA
  • IRS Data Retrieval Process
  • Education Tax Benefits and Credits
  • Grant Programs
  • Nevada Financial Aid Programs
  • Parent Information
  • Know Your Loans
  • Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Military Service Benefits (for loans)
  • Important Financial Concepts
  • Saving and Borrowing Money
  • Credit Cards
  • Credit Scoring
  • En Español: Fundamentos de Ayuda Financieria

Three to 10 short video presentations cover each of the topics, and video clips are from 30 seconds to five minutes long. Films lead from general overviews to segments that build on more specific concepts. Viewers have the ability to pause or play during the film string. Some of the videos are also presented in Spanish.

“The videos don’t give you too much information to process at once,” said Kailyn Cline-Stockton, one of Smith’s students.

Narrators include college-aged speakers, and the audio is supplemented with a visual script. Viewers may rate each clip with a thumbs up or down, indicating helpfulness.

Interesting statistics from FATV

In the report from FATV, the five most popular sections watched at TMCC during June were:

  1. What is the difference between a subsidized and an unsubsidized loan?
  2. What is the 150 percent Loan Limit Rule regarding federal direct subsidized loans?
  3. What is the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship program?
  4. What are my Federal Direct student loan limits?
  5. How do I know if I will qualify for financial aid?

There were more films watched on Mondays than other days of the week, followed by Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sundays were noted to be the days with the least views.

More students prefer to watch the brief movies between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and from 5-6 p.m. The hours with the least interest were 8-9 p.m. and 4-6 a.m.

The report listed five top locations from which the films were opened, and these made up about 80 percent of viewing sessions:

  • Reno, 54 percent
  • Sacramento, almost 9 percent
  • Sparks, 7 percent
  • Houston, 5 percent
  • San Francisco, 5 percent

“While the way we communicate may change, our need to communicate will not,” Smith said. “Our office will work to continue to reach our students in ways that are approachable and accessible.”

For more information about Financial Aid TV, please call Financial Aid Scholarships and Student Employment at 775-673-7072.