Articles: Financial Aid

When competing for top students, many colleges are finding that offering merit awards or generous need-based packages is no longer enough to win the day. Academically successful students typically have multiple offers from which to choose.

The financial pressures on institutions and the scrutiny on spending continue. But campus administrative offices also continue to find new ways to change their practices for the better.

The recession has certainly forced everyone to do more with less, but financial aid administrators are dealing with a new level of this challenge. As with all campus offices, financial aid office resources and funding are being frozen or cut due to tight campus budgets.

With rising student loan debt, a tough job market for recent graduates, and a tougher default standard higher education institutions will have to meet in 2014, strengthening default prevention efforts is an imperative.

The federal government is implementing a new method of assessing student loan default rates that will make it tougher for higher education institutions to remain eligible to receive federal student aid funds.

Talking about affordability can be a scary conversation for a recruiter. That is part of the reason more and more institutions have moved to transparent merit policies and other "entitlements" with clear eligibility criteria.

We're starting the new year by announcing a new recognition program here at University Business, a program that honors those administrative departments that have found a way to work smarter and better.

IN A RECENT MOODY'S SURVEY, almost 30 percent of private colleges projected declines in net tuition revenues for the current fiscal year. This is likely not because enrollments declined, but because more financial aid was spent in achieving enrollment goals.

Determining the fair value of assets and liabilities on a university's financial statement has become increasingly stringent, particularly under the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (Topic 820), formerly FAS 157.

NO ONE ENVIES YOU, DEAR READER. Higher ed administrators are seeing students with greater financial need and donors with shallower pockets and shorter arms. What are you and your fundraising folks to do in order to narrow that gap?

IN ITS SIMPLEST FORM, ENSURING the linkage between financial aid and enrollment projections is about two things: solid data analysis and communication. How many new and returning students will there be, and how much institutional grant aid will they require?

IN AN EFFORT TO GET AMERICA’S recently unemployed workers back to work, the Obama administration has implemented several initiatives to encourage them to learn new job skills through postsecondary education.

IT WAS THE DISASTER THAT DIDN'T happen, despite the headlines in national and local newspapers throughout the spring of 2008. “College Financial Aid System ‘In Crisis,’” proclaimed USA Today. “No Funds to Lend to 40,000 Students,” blared the Boston Globe.

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