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Battle of Making Financial Aid Awards Letters Easier to ReadApr 25, 2012
Bloomberg – The US Department of Education and consumer groups are pushing a new federal effort to standardize financial aid award letters from colleges. The effort has arisen from parent and student frustrations over understanding financial aid offers. The Dept. of Education hopes to have a new format in place by next fall. Proponents believe this will make financial aid packages less confusing and families understand how much of the money they receive is gift aid and how much is loans. This is an increasing concern as college tuition continues to rise and unsubsidized Stafford Loans become a regular part of awards letters. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators opposes the change, saying a standardized letter will reduce their ability to effectively negotiate aid or match another school’s offer. NASFAA has offered a compromise in having its members all use the same terms to describe financial aid offers and concepts. Any action on this matter by the Department of Education requires Congressional approval, will could delay or reject implementation. For more, read Colleges Confuse Students With Letters Offering Aid That’s Debt.
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