Category Archives: Financial Aid

Counselor: Financial Aid Process Burdens Low-Income Students

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in March 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

Getting into college is only half the battle for teens living in poverty.

To prove eligibility for financial aid, many colleges ask low-income students to submit a mountain of paperwork — going beyond what is required of their middle- and upper-income peers, NACAC member Joshua Steckel wrote in a 2016 opinion column published by The Boston Globe.

The process is burdensome, he noted. Worst of all, it can discourage talented students from accessing the financial support they need to attend college.

Continue reading Counselor: Financial Aid Process Burdens Low-Income Students

Completing a Dependency Appeal for Financial Aid

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Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Admitted in November 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

You may be advising a student who lives with their grandmother or aunt, but was never legally adopted. In other instances, an older brother, sister, or family friend is raising a child but no official adoption took place.

For some families, this approach may have offered a way to handle conflicts and crises without involving the court system. However, complications can arise when it comes time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Continue reading Completing a Dependency Appeal for Financial Aid

6 Ways Colleges and Universities Award Financial Aid

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Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Admitted in November 2016. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

When parents and students complete financial aid and scholarship applications they hope the end result provides a significant amount of funding.

Net price calculators and other tools can help predict a student’s projected cost of attendance. But too often, families wait until the initial financial aid award letters arrive from colleges and then wonder how to finance the gap between what was offered and their own resources.

Help the families you serve by familiarizing yourself with the most common methods used by colleges to award financial aid. By reviewing a college’s website, talking to a school representative, or even taking a campus tour, you can gain knowledge about the institution’s approach to helping families fund a college education.

Continue reading 6 Ways Colleges and Universities Award Financial Aid

Now Available: #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker

Getting more students to complete the FAFSA is a crucial step in expanding college access and a new online tool makes it easier than ever for states and communities to monitor their progress.

The #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker, launched on Monday, tracks and ranks states’ progress toward getting 100 percent of their high school seniors to file for federal financial aid.

The interactive online dashboard, which is updated weekly, also includes city-specific data.

Users can chart their week-by-week progress, see how their community compares to other states and cities, and even check how this year’s completion rates stack up against data from last year. Continue reading Now Available: #FormYourFuture FAFSA Tracker

New from NACAC: Financial Aid 101 E-Learning Course

Planning how to finance a four-year degree has become a more prominent part of the college application process.

A new e-learning course from NACAC is now available to help college counselors and admission officers confidently field financial aid questions from families.

More than just a webinar or educational session, the online course—Financial Aid 101— includes eight easy-to-use learning modules packed with information on subjects like loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study. Informative graphics and videos break down key concepts, while quizzes help you measure your progress.

Continue reading New from NACAC: Financial Aid 101 E-Learning Course

Study: Grant Aid Most Effective When Aimed at Poor Students

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Grant programs for low-income students yield greater returns than assistance efforts aimed at students from higher-income families, new data suggests.

A working paper published this month by the Upjohn Institute found that Pell Grant recipients at four-year colleges in Texas saw improved academic and economic outcomes.

Continue reading Study: Grant Aid Most Effective When Aimed at Poor Students

FAFSA Mobile App Will Launch This Spring

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Students and parents will soon be able to use their smartphones to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Tuesday that the mobile platform will roll out this spring as part of a larger effort to modernize the federal student aid system.

Continue reading FAFSA Mobile App Will Launch This Spring

Report: Grant Aid Fails to Keep Up with Rising College Costs  

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The net price of attending college continued to rise in 2017-18, while growth in grant aid slowed, national data shows.

The findings are highlighted in two reports — Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing — released last month by The College Board.

Continue reading Report: Grant Aid Fails to Keep Up with Rising College Costs