National Organizations Collaborate to Improve Student Aid Offers & Transparency on the Cost of College

Contact: Allie Arcese
Director of Communications
(202) 785-6954
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C, November  29, 2022 — The higher education community is committed to providing students financial aid information that is clear, accurate, and transparent about the cost of college. This goal has never been more important as students and families grapple with college affordability in an increasingly complex financial aid system consisting of multiple grant and loan programs with different eligibility requirements. 

Today, the leaders of 10 higher education associations representing college presidents, financial aid offices, and admissions and school counselors announced the formation of a task force — the "College Cost Transparency (CCT) Initiative"  — to tackle that issue by improving the clarity, accuracy, and consistency of student financial aid offers by producing a set of guiding principles and minimal standards to be used when developing aid offers. 

Once a student has been admitted to a college or university and completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the school will provide the student with their financial aid eligibility and estimated costs. But schools have often used different terminology and standards when providing this information to students and families, which can inadvertently make an inherently confusing process even more difficult.

This newly formed national task force — chaired by president emeritus of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Peter McPherson — will focus on creating a set of financial aid offer principles and standards to ensure students can easily understand how much a postsecondary education will cost and more readily compare aid offers from various institutions.

"College leaders agree that students need clear, accurate, and consistent information on aid offers,'' McPherson said.  "The leadership of 10 associations of higher education have come together to find a way to achieve that goal."

The task force is supported by the American Council of Education (ACE), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), and informed by financial aid, admissions, and enrollment managers from a diverse set of institutions.

"NASFAA has done significant work — including consumer and student testing — on best practices in developing financial aid offers," said NASFAA President Justin Draeger. "The financial aid community is excited to engage with this group of higher education leaders to find workable solutions that will help students and families."

To set up an interview with Chair Peter McPherson or NASFAA President Justin Draeger, please email NASFAA Director of Communications Allie Arcese or call (202) 785-6954.

Task Force Members

  • Ted Mitchell, President, American Council on Education (ACE)
  • Angel Perez, CEO, National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • Justin Draeger, President & CEO, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
  • Walter Bumphus, President & CEO, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)
  • Mildred Garcia, President & CEO, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
  • Barbara Snyder, President, Association of American Universities (AAU)
  • Mark Becker, President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
  • Barbara Mistick, President, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)
  • Rebecca Martin, Executive Director, National Association of System Heads (NASH)
  • Robert Anderson, President, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO)

Publication Date: 11/29/2022

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