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Student Loan Awareness Month (SLAM)

Over the last ten years (2007-2017), college-loan balances in the US have reached $1.4 trillion and Seven out of ten college students graduate with an average of $40,000 in debt.

Student Loan Awareness Month, SLAM, is a program to educate high school students on how to wisely finance their post-secondary education.   JumpStart Washington worked in collaboration with CENTS, Consumer Education and Training Services, the Washington Attorney General’s Office, and the Washington Department of Financial Institutions to successfully launch SLAM in October of 2017 with a statewide outreach effort.  SLAM provides high school teachers from across the state with educational resources and exercises to assist juniors and seniors with the financial planning tools the students will need to embark on their post-high school future.

SLAM includes one- to three-hour exercises that high school teachers can use to prepare college-bound students for what it means to take on student loans. The SLAM exercises are based on a program called Debt Slapped that was created by CENTS.  In the exercises, students advance through a worksheet that helps them assemble critical information so they can make informed and responsible choices about how to finance post-secondary education.  Students walk away from the activity with a clear action plan. The activity also satisfies a number of the new K-12 financial education state standards. 

For more information or to participate in SLAM, please contact Tony Leahy, Executive Director of CENTS, at 206-267-7017 or by email at

“The presentation helped prepare me for college and the different loans, federal and private, really opened my mind to something I never knew. Thank you for coming out and sharing your knowledge with us. It will be life-changing, I’m sure.”
– C.S., student at the Center School in Seattle.

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