Articles: Financial Aid

Six years ago, when Ted Beck became president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), a nonprofit dedicated to helping Americans become more financially capable, student financial literacy had been overlooked by colleges and universities for a number of years.

With college costs still top of mind for most families, financial aid is more important than ever.

paper chase

It wasn't as if the admissions office at Boston University did nothing to keep from drowning in paper, working 12-hour days and weekends, and falling behind on customer service.

PBSC

Of all the voluminous paperwork generated by institutions of higher education, perhaps none drowns administrators quite so much as the waves of financial aid forms that surge through offices.

Since the market crash of 2008, a number of private education lenders have left the marketplace.

financial aid

Complying with the growing and increasingly complex Title IV federal student aid regulations is an ongoing challenge for every campus that administers federal student aid. Performing a word count of student aid regulations in 2000 and 2010 reveals a 40 percent increase over that decade.

As another school Semester begins, administrators will be confronted with a segment of their student population that does not go on to graduate. Attrition is nothing new, of course.

Student financial literacy has been a growing concern, not only because of the connection to persistence and retention, but also in terms of success beyond college years that includes repayment of student loans and general fiscal responsibility in adulthood.

Republicans and Democrats agree: The projected cost of the Pell Grant program is unsustainable. Now policymakers are looking at the best ways to reduce costs.

Some of the scariest risks on campus remain hidden until the moment that students, teachers, and staff experience them. Until the shooter kills, the funding disappears, or the opposing party files the lawsuit, everything seems fine.

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), passed in May 2010 as part of the Healthcare Reform Act, was an attempt to rein in the student loan industry and save money by taking private lenders out of the equation.

Typically, when institutions conduct exit surveys for students who withdraw prior to completing a degree program, featured prominently are financial aid, cost, or affordability. They usually garner one of the top slots for reasons listed for withdrawal prior to graduation.

Chances are I am not the only college president being asked these days why my institution is not following Sewanee's lead and reducing tuition by 10 percent—or more.

Future Shock

Darwin put it this way: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change." This simple truth in nature may best describe the evolution of the most nimble higher ed ownership models in the 21st century.

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