Gates Foundation Offers Ways to Simplify Student Aid
"As the last of 16 reports on remaking the federal student-financial-aid system trickle out, consensus appears to be building around a few key ideas. The reports, commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, generally agree that students need a simpler process of applying for aid, as well as clearer information on college costs and outcomes," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Several of the reports suggest making the Pell Grant program mandatory, insulating it from yearly budget tumult. At least a few suggest putting all borrowers into income-based repayment plans. ... In its paper, Nasfaa offers two options for restricting student borrowing. Under one, student-aid administrators could set lower loan limits for groups of students they feel should be borrowing less, like those in two-year programs or those enrolled part-time. Current law allows administrators to limit borrowing only on a case-by-case basis. Justin Draeger, president of the association, said the index could protect taxpayers as well as weak students, who are at greater risk of dropping out and defaulting on their loans. It might also encourage colleges to offer more support to at-risk students, he said."
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