Category Archives: Paying for College

FAFSA Applications Decline Amid Pandemic

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School closures and the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus propelled a decrease in FAFSA applications nationally, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data.

As of mid-June, 70,000 fewer students had filed for federal aid compared to the same time period in 2019. The decline represents a 3.7 percent drop overall.

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#NACACchat: Financial Aid in the Age of COVID-19

How has the financial aid process changed amid the global coronavirus pandemic? And what resources can counselors and others share with students and families as they make decisions about financial fit?

Join us Thursday, April 30, for a #NACACchat Twitter discussion focused on financial aid in the age of COVID-19.

The chat will kick off at 2 p.m. ET. and will be led by @NACACWonk

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New from NACAC: Enrollment Deposit Waiver Form

Does the enrollment deposit present an insurmountable barrier to college attendance for the students you serve?

A new form from NACAC can help them signal their need for support.

Similar to NACAC’s application fee waiver, the enrollment deposit waiver is used by students to request a fee waiver or deferral. A supplemental document outlines additional ways students can advocate to get the support they need.

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Lessons in Boosting FAFSA Completion Rates

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Louisiana became the first state in the nation in 2018 to set FAFSA completion as a high school graduation requirement.

Since then, Illinois and Texas have adopted similar policies and several other states are weighing the option.

Officials from Louisiana recently shared their state’s story during a webinar organized by the Education Commission of the States. During the hour-long presentation, education leaders explained the process Louisiana followed when adopting the new requirement and discussed how counselors can support students as they file for financial aid.

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College Senior Offers Financial Advice to Incoming Freshmen

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Editor’s note:  This post was originally published on Admitted in July 2019. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

It’s no secret that a college education is expensive. But there are ways to keep costs as low as possible.

Laura Uzes, a senior at UCLA, shared her tried-and-true advice for keeping college costs down with Homeroom, the US Department of Education’s blog.

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Department of Education Releases Template for New College Financing Plan

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The US Department of Education recently released its 2020-21 College Financing Plan template, formerly known as the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. The College Financing Plan is a standardized form used by participating institutions to notify students about their financial aid package. The department relied on input from financial aid administrators, students, parents, and other stakeholders to develop the new template.

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Study: Financial Aid Award Letters Need More Clarity, Transparency

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Financial aid offers play a big role in the college decision for admitted students.

But these offers are often confusing and award letters vary wildly, leaving students to make one of their first major life decisions without access to clear information.

“I think anyone who’s worked with students is just like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. What a mess,’ ” Rachel Fishman, a researcher with New America, told NPR. “It’s really the Wild West when it comes to how these letters look.”

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Report: State Funding for Higher Ed Only Halfway Recovered from the Great Recession

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The losses of the Great Recession continue to haunt higher education. Despite five years of increases, state funding for higher education has only halfway reached pre-recession levels of funding. And as of 2017, public institutions in more than half of all US states are more reliant on tuition dollars than on public appropriations.

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US Recognizes Campus Hunger for the First Time

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Food insecurity among students is finally getting recognized by the federal government.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that there are at least 2 million students who are at risk of being food insecure and who qualify for SNAP benefits but did not receive them. This number could be significantly higher, but the data available at this time is inconclusive.

This report is the first time the federal government has significantly acknowledged food insecurity on college campuses.

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