Campus Financial Aid Supports Shine in Crisis but Are Otherwise Lackluster

"As far as major life purchases go—home, car and college education—former financial aid administrator Amy Glynn can’t help but notice that only two out of three have revamped the experience to be highly personalized and relatively easy, with the monthly payment made clear. And when those two are taken off the list, college is the one still standing," Inside Higher Ed reports.

..."Student Loan Situations and Hopes

About three in four students surveyed say they will have student loan debt after graduation—but half of them either don’t know how much or aren’t aware of what the monthly payment will look like.

Since that information is accessible—from the campus financial aid office or by using a variety of online tools, including the Federal Student Aid Loan Simulator—it’s probably safe to assume they don’t want to think about it. 'It appears that most are keeping their heads down about the consequences of that loan debt—sort of see no evil, hear no evil,” says Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.'"

..."Financial Aid Process Points

Ninety-four percent of Student Voice respondents have applied for financial aid at some point, with four in 10 finding the process very difficult (8 percent) or somewhat difficult (32 percent). Forty-one percent found it not too difficult, and 13 percent not at all difficult.

'It is true that applying for financial aid is a tedious process,' says Ganesh M. Pandit, an associate professor of accounting at Adelphi University, who teaches a series of two-hour financial literacy workshops for students, faculty and staff, as well as a 15-session financial literacy academy for students with autism. Keeping the process time-consuming but not difficult, he added, depends on the support that’s available to and sought out by students.

Students at private colleges report having struggled most with the financial aid process, with about half of those at private institutions saying it was at least somewhat difficult, compared to 39 percent of public college students. Latinx and Asian students had the most difficulty compared to other racial groups, and Black students were the most likely to say it was not difficult. Black students are also the most likely racial group to have interacted in some way with the financial aid office.

Over all, are students turning to the experts for help? Not exactly. They’re most likely to have gotten advice from family and friends when applying for financial aid. And that, says Draeger, 'will give the financial aid community some heartburn.” Online tools from the government and information available to all students on the college’s website are the next two most common sources of application help.'"

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: 3/3/2022

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