Category Archives: Paying for College

Textbook Costs Dropping Thanks to Digital Resources

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College students are paying less for class materials, thanks in part to the success of OpenStax – an organization that provides free textbooks and digital resources.

The nonprofit, started six years ago by Rice University (TX), serves more than 2.2 million students, according to a recent article in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Nearly half of all US colleges currently use the service, which offers 29 free textbooks for college and Advanced Placement classes.

And for the first time in five decades, average textbook costs are decreasing, according to recent data analyzed by the National Center of Education Statistics.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Study: Majority of Families Neglect to Plan for College Costs

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The majority of US parents expect their children to attend college, but most neglect to budget for the costs associated with higher education, national survey data shows.

“Despite the wide array of approaches families might take to build a plan to pay for college, most don’t have a plan,” according to this year’s How America Pays for College study. “Although nearly nine in 10 families have anticipated their child’s college attendance since preschool, fewer than half that many agree they had a plan to pay for all years of college before the student enrolled.”

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#FinAid101: Share Your Tips on Twitter

Knowing the facts about financial aid can help college-bound students select a best fit school.

As students kick their college search into high gear this fall, NACAC encourages you to share your wisdom via Twitter.

Contribute your top tips using #FinAid101 and follow the hashtag to see advice submitted by colleagues from across the country.

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