Race on Campus: Rooting Out Bias in Financial Aid

"In his first year as a financial-aid counselor, Michael Birchett was skeptical when a student cited a flat tire as a reason he’d been forced to drop classes and had lost eligibility for aid. 'Coming from a middle-class background, I almost laughed,' said Birchett, whose parents would have offered to pay for such a repair when he was in college. 'How could that derail your career?'" The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. 

..."Birchett, now director of counseling and outreach at the University of Kentucky, and Tangalakis, associate dean for student financial aid at Glendale Community College, are hoping their peers will discover their own unconscious biases in how they decide who’s worthy of aid, and how much. 'People don’t realize they bring these hidden biases to the table each time they make a decision,' Birchett said.

They’re two of the authors of a new tool kit being distributed by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. It suggests the most equitable ways to frame financial-aid forms and develop cost-of-attendance policies, scholarships, and verification requirements. It also encourages administrators to take a closer look at how they adjust someone’s federal financial-aid eligibility based on their 'professional judgment' of the student’s situation."

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 7/27/2021

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