Opinion: College Financial Aid Process Requires Reform to Meet Needs of Families
"[W]hen you consider that as of July 1, the federal loan interest rate on subsidized Stafford Loans is scheduled to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent unless Congress votes to change that, some student loan borrowers and their families are praying that [financial aid] reform can’t come soon enough," Robert Bardwell, past president of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association and the New England Association for College Admission Counseling, writes in The Republican. "Organizations like the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have all recently made recommendations for changes to the current system. Highlighted changes include further simplifying the aid-application process, reducing grant and loan programs, consolidating tax benefits, allowing colleges to limit borrowing for certain groups of students and making an early funding commitment to high school students. ... The current financial aid system is a $226 billion investment which, if not reformed, will likely implode or minimally will continue to limit participation from some of our most needy students. Regardless of whether or not these recommendations are incorporated into existing financial aid policies at least these organizations are beginning the conversation and trying to help our students and families successfully navigate the financial aid maze. In our 'no child left behind mentality,' we are certainly not meeting the needs of all of our citizens seeking access to higher education. We have got to do better. Failure is not an option."
NASFAA's "Financial Aid in the News" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.