Category Archives: Paying for College

YesU: New App Helps Families Navigate the Financial Aid Process

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Courtesy Photo

New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore launched BridgeEdU with one goal in mind: To increase college access and completion rates for low-income and first-generation students.

The program, which began in Baltimore in 2014, uses a high-tech, high-touch academic support model to help students transition during their first year of college. But as Moore and his staff quickly discovered, the complex process of applying for financial aid can create roadblocks for even the most motivated students.

Case in point? Although all members of the inaugural class of BridgeEdU scholars reported that they had applied for financial aid, the staff soon discovered that a whopping 75 percent hadn’t completed the FAFSA, and most of the students had not created accounts with Maryland’s state grant agency.

The experience inspired BridgeEdU staff to create YesU —  a mobile app released in 2016 that offers customized step-by-step support to students across the nation as they apply for financial aid.

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Survey: Cost Influences College Choice

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iStock

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.”

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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.

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NACAC at ASHE: College Promise Programs

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Earlier this month, NACAC research associate Tara Nicola attended the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) to present NACAC work as well as stay abreast of the latest research in the field. This is the first in a series of posts highlighting exciting research relevant to admission and high school counseling professionals.

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Reminder: Keep an Eye on Financial Aid Deadlines

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Need financial aid for the 2017-18 academic year?

The US Department of Education is reminding students to remain cognizant of deadlines when completing the FAFSA.

While the FAFSA is primarily used to award federal financial aid, many colleges, states, and scholarship programs also use the form to assess eligibility for their aid programs.

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Report: Net Price Continues to Grow for College Students

Despite only modest increases to tuition and fees, the cost of a college education continues to outpace growth in financial aid, family incomes, and the average prices of other goods and services.

The findings are included in two reports — Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing — released this morning by The College Board.

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FAFSA Videos from NACAC’s National Conference Available Now

Still have questions about prior-prior year (PPY) and the 2017-18 FAFSA?

Videos of two educational sessions presented at NACAC’s recent national conference can provide answers as you work to help students and families apply for federal financial aid.

Continue reading FAFSA Videos from NACAC’s National Conference Available Now