Brad BarnettBrad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business. He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health. He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University. Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University. Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees. In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.” Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college. He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.
Host: What is a Preferred Lender List?
Brad Barnett: There are actually over 3000 different qualifying lending institutions when it comes to where can you get federal student loans. It s a massive amount. So what a lot of colleges have done is they have developed a lender list that they publish for student to try to give them some direction in where to go. Maybe find lenders with good benefits, get repayment incentives etc. Now, it s very important to know that you are not required to use any preferred lender on any list that a college gives you. It s just the college s way to give you place to start but you can use any of those over 3000 participating lenders that you want when it comes to taking out student loans.