Category Archives: Financial Aid

Report: Students Confused About College Costs

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Most high school students and their parents are unaware of the actual cost of college, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics. And when they do hazard a guess as to how much it will take to enroll, they often overestimate the price of higher education.

“There may be serious consequences to being uninformed and unsure about college costs and financial aid,” according to the report. “For example, uncertainty about college costs and the availability of financial aid has been associated with underenrollment among low-income and minority students.”

The study looked at students’ perceptions of tuition and fees at a public, four-year college in their state. The findings suggest teens need earlier and better information related to college costs.

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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