Category Archives: Cost of College

Report: Women Hold Two-Thirds of All Student Debt

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Women hold more student debt and take longer than men to pay it off, according to a recent report from the American Association of University Women.

“It’s encouraging that women are enrolling in college more than ever before, but at the same time they are taking on larger amounts of debt to pay for their dreams,” AAUW researcher Kevin Miller said in a press release. “Because of factors like the gender pay gap, debt that could be manageable ends up becoming unmanageable, particularly for women.”

Women now earn 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded by US colleges, but hold almost two-thirds of the country’s $1.3 trillion student debt.

Continue reading Report: Women Hold Two-Thirds of All Student Debt

New Website Explores College Affordability

Cost of Education.Many of us working with students in the college search and selection process struggle to help families understand college affordability. While most students will not pay the full cost of attendance, many will use sticker price to eliminate colleges from their list before they have the chance to weigh financial aid packages and scholarship offers.

What are best practices in talking to students and families about financial aid, student debt, and fit and finances? How do we best explain longer-term benefits beyond financial gain, inherent in the value of higher education, to high school juniors and seniors? How do we address the value of borrowing for college?

Continue reading New Website Explores College Affordability

Study: Extra Years in College Cut into Income, Retirement

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In just a few short months, a new crop of freshmen will begin their college journey.

For first-year students, four years may seem like more than enough time to pick a major and earn a degree.

But national data shows that roughly one in five students take longer to complete college. And each extra year cuts into their lifetime earnings and retirement savings, according to an analysis by NerdWallet — a San Francisco-based consumer finance company.

“Taking six years to get a four-year college degree can cost students up to almost $300,000 in tuition, interest on loans, and forgone income and retirement savings,” the report notes.

Continue reading Study: Extra Years in College Cut into Income, Retirement

Lawmakers Examine Factors Behind Suspension of DRT

The Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) was suspended on March 3, with Federal Student Aid (FSA) and IRS citing security and privacy concerns. On  May 3,  the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to get a better understanding of the problems that caused the tool to be taken out of service and the steps FSA and the IRS are taking to restore this critical tool.

James Runcie, the Chief Operating Officer of the office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), confirmed that the DRT will continue to be suspended for 2017-2018 FAFSA; it will return Oct. 1, 2017 for the 2018-2019 FAFSA. This solution, according to a memo from FSA, will “limit the information that displays to the applicant” to enhance security. Taxpayer information will be encrypted and hidden from view on both the IRS DRT page and the FASFA page. Continue reading Lawmakers Examine Factors Behind Suspension of DRT

Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

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Graduation is fast-approaching, and a new national survey suggests that college seniors are worried about money.

Researchers with Barnes & Noble College interviewed 312 graduating seniors in April. Here’s what they found:

  • Salary is important to job-seeking graduates, with 44 percent of respondents citing pay as their top priority in the job hunt.
  • Forty-eight percent of respondents are worried about student loans.
  • And 68 percent of students listed “earning enough money” as a top concern.

Continue reading Survey: College Grads Concerned about Finances

Survey: Cost Influences College Choice

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A new study confirms what many admission professionals already know —students are cost-conscious when selecting a college.

Nearly 19 percent of students who turned down the chance to attend their top-choice school in 2016 did so because of the cost of attendance, according to new data from Royall & Company, a firm that assists colleges with enrollment management and fundraising.

“I think enrollment leaders and the public in general have had a suspicion that cost factors were driving a lot of enrollment decisions,” Royall’s Managing Director Peter Farrell told Inside Higher Ed. “This verifies it in an empirical way.”

Continue reading Survey: Cost Influences College Choice

Report: Many Community College Students Struggle Financially

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The majority of community college students live paycheck to paycheck, and nearly half say a lack of finances could cause them to leave school, national survey results show.

The findings — included in a new report from the Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCSE) — underscores the role finances play in educational attainment.

Continue reading Report: Many Community College Students Struggle Financially

Students and Counselors Make the Case for a Streamlined FAFSA

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Educators, advocates, Hill staffers, and students gathered in Washington, DC, earlier this month to learn more about efforts by the National College Access Network (NCAN) to simplify the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).

The overarching goal of this new streamlined FAFSA is simple — stop making low-income students repeatedly prove that they are low-income. The NCAN report, Half the FASFA: Cutting the Red Tape to Postsecondary Aid, includes three potential pathways to shorten the FAFSA.

For example, on one track, once a student has confirmed that their family earns a means-tested benefit such as SNAP (food assistance) or TANF (cash assistance), they are automatically sent to the signature portion of the form.

Continue reading Students and Counselors Make the Case for a Streamlined FAFSA

Utah Pilot Program Would Expand Housing Options for Low-Income Students

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Lawmakers in Utah are considering a pilot program to help low-income college students secure housing that’s both convenient and affordable.

The bill — sponsored by Republican state Rep. Mike Winder — would provide eligible students with a place to live near their college campus.

Residents would not have to dip into student loan funds to pay for housing. Instead the program would be largely supported by public funds and private donors.

Continue reading Utah Pilot Program Would Expand Housing Options for Low-Income Students

Textbook Costs are ‘Heavy Burden’ for Students

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Scraping up enough money to purchase textbooks weighs heavily on the minds of many college students, according to staffers at New America.

The Washington, DC-based think tank convened students and parents this fall for a series of focus groups. The gatherings offered participants the opportunity to share their opinions about higher education and student success.

“Students and parents alike had a lot to say about the cost of tuition and the institutions themselves, and offered policy ideas they believed could alleviate some of the things that weren’t working,” New America staff members Ernest Ezeugo and Manuela Ekowo wrote in a recent blog post. “But when students were asked what they thought the most problematic aspects of college were, it was the cost of textbooks that most animated the room.”

Continue reading Textbook Costs are ‘Heavy Burden’ for Students