Education Loans and Grants Can Be Needlessly Confusing to Students, Families

"When high school senior Lily, a proud member of the Texas A&M class of 2027, received her financial aid offer for the fall, she was caught off guard. 'I was offered loans and grants, and at first glance I knew I wanted to avoid the loans if possible and accept the grants first, but it was confusing to me,' The 18-year-old told me. 'The process didn’t really explain the difference.' Navigating the financial aid process is a daunting task for young people like Lily. All too often, they struggle to decode vague and unstandardized financial aid offers in order to understand the costs of university. When you don’t speak college admissions, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what 'Direct Unsubsidized Stafford' means and whether it differs from a 'Direct Subsidized Loan,'" the Texas Public Policy Foundation writes. 

... "This frustrating system has been the status quo for far too long—it’s time for colleges to be held to transparency standards. In Texas, a potential solution involves updating the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s criteria for state authorization to require a financial aid transparency format for student letters. One excellent formatting option is the Department of Education College Financing Plan, which follows best practices. If colleges would prefer to create their own templates, they may follow the guidelines set forth in the NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) code of conduct."

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: 7/17/2023

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