Affordability and Today's Middle-Income Families

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

Moderator:
Jessica Bernier, Senior Director of Financial Aid Methodology at The College Board

Speakers:
Rodney Oto, Director of Student Financial Services & Associate Dean of Admissions at Carleton College
Tammie Durham Luis, Assistant Vice Provost & Executive Director of Financial Aid at the University of Michigan

For middle-income families, the issue of affordability can become incredibly acute, because these families find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place as they do not qualify for a federal Pell Grant, but do not have the financial resources to pay the full cost of attendance.

On college campuses, this issue of affordability has been an especially challenging one to tackle for institutions looking to meet full demonstrated need for their prospective students.

Panelists Rodney Oto, director of student financial services & associate dean of admissions at  Carleton College, who will be retiring at the end of the week, and Tammie Durham Luis, assistant vice provost & executive director of financial aid at the University of Michigan, who has more than 20 years of experience in financial aid, shared programs and resources they’ve dedicated to middle-income populations in order to promote enrollment.

The discussion focused on how affordability plays a role in the ongoing declines of enrollments, and provided a deeper dive into a variety of metrics used to tailor to this cohort.

Throughout the discussion, the speakers shared data from their institutions to detail how they addressed concerns with affordability for their middle-income group of students, which are a key foundation to the campuses.

In order to help these middle-income families, the campuses developed multi-year strategic plans to help provide direction for the distribution of aid and to ensure that dollars were best targeted to those who need them.

 

Publication Date: 6/28/2022


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