It took a lot of work to become a high-achieving high school senior.
You studied hard, got involved outside the classroom, and took pride in your accomplishments.
You are now in the middle of applying to numerous colleges and universities, completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and having staff at your school talk to you about scholarship opportunities. You are being congratulated and celebrated by family, teachers, and community members for your hard work and good grades—and you might have been told that a college is sure to award you a large or full-ride scholarship due to your GPA and achievements.
As a financial aid administrator for 26 years, this is when I get concerned. The false presumption among many students that their top-choice college will surely offer them an attractive financial aid package too often leads to students spending little or no time applying for local scholarships.
A new national campaign is underway to increase federal financial aid for low- and moderate-income students.
The aim of #DoublePell is simple. Supporters want to double the maximum Pell Grant, a move that would allow a student’s annual award to top out at $13,000.
A new website, doublepell.org, offers more information about the proposal and includes a customizable letter that students, families, and others can send to their members of Congress to communicate support for the increase.
What should students and families know about financial aid during these unprecedented times?
Experts from The Urban Assembly, the Seldin/Harring-Smith Foundation, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the National College Attainment Network, and the National Scholarship Providers Association shared their thoughts during a recent #NACACchat.
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.
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.
Unless you work in the admission field — or have a college student in your household — it’s easy to lose track.
Inflation also complicates matters, making it difficult to see how the cost of tuition, fees, room, and board have changed over time.
To make comparisons easier, The College Board crunched the numbers using 2018 dollars. A new list published by CNBC uses that data to chart college costs for each academic year between 1971-72 and 2018-19.
The Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn AHEAD) recently released a new research brief that examines the usability and usefulness of university Net Price Calculators (NPCs).
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.”