Category Archives: Financial Aid

FAFSA Website Now Mobile-Friendly

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A mobile-friendly version of the FAFSA website went live this week, the first step in a months-long process aimed at making it possible for students to apply for financial aid using their smartphones.

A beta version of a companion app — myStudentAid — is planned for next month, with the complete version available Oct. 1.

Continue reading FAFSA Website Now Mobile-Friendly

‘Verification Melt’ Keeps Students from College Dreams

A little over half of all students who were eligible for the Pell Grant were selected for verification in 2015-16.

The procedure, which requires students to submit additional paperwork to prove their income, inserts an extra step into the financial aid process. And in an op-ed published by The Hill this week, Justin Draeger—president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators—voiced concerns that verification keeps some students from attending college.

Continue reading ‘Verification Melt’ Keeps Students from College Dreams

Learn How to Apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

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Still paying off your student loans?

Debt relief is available for qualifying school counselors and college admission professionals through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Learn the ins and outs of the program on June 6 during a free webinar hosted by the US Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid.

The one-hour session starts at 2 p.m. ET and will teach you how to apply for and navigate the PSLF program.

Continue reading Learn How to Apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Update: Spots Available for Students at More Than 550 Colleges

The number of colleges still accepting applications for Fall 2018 continues to grow.

More than 550 institutions have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshmen and/or transfer students, according to NACAC’s College Openings Update.

When survey data was first posted on May 3, the list included 422 colleges and universities. Since that time, dozens of additional institutions have added their information. The update, which includes public and private schools, will continue to be modified by colleges and universities through July 2.

Continue reading Update: Spots Available for Students at More Than 550 Colleges

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