Category Archives: Paying for College

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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FAFSA State Deadlines are Approaching

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Need financial aid for the 2019-20 academic year?

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

While the form is primarily used to award federal financial aid, many states also use the FAFSA to assess eligibility for their aid programs — and some of those deadlines are on the horizon.

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Tips to Help Parents Tackle the FAFSA

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In many homes, filling out the FAFSA is a family affair.

Although students are always encouraged to take the lead when it comes to applying to colleges, they are often required to work in conjunction with their parents or guardians to provide information about their family’s income and other factors when seeking financial aid.

With that in mind, the US Department of Education recently published a blog post with tips to help families navigate the FAFSA process.

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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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