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Financial Aid

A House bill, the Earnings Contingent Education Loans (ExCEL) Act of 2012, attempts to reduce complexity, improve default rates, and increase the effectiveness of federal student loan subsidies—and would dramatically alter the way federal student loans are paid back. On Dec. 17, Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) introduced the bill, which would provide unsubsidized loans and require income-contingent repayment for all borrowers through a payroll withholdings system.

With families’ growing concerns about financing higher education, and the federal government’s increasing involvement in recommending and/or requiring certain communications regarding institutional costs, every institution should be taking a step back to review all of the tools currently being used to present affordability, explain the aid application process, and communicate the awards themselves.

The pressure institutions are facing from the growing student loan debt crisis is felt by all departments, from financial aid to admissions. Schools are struggling to justify tuition costs to prospective students, as well as to ensure recent alumni leave pleased with the institution, despite having student loan debt. In this web seminar, originally broadcast on November 13, 2012, representatives from American Student Assistance (ASA), St.

To avoid student loan pitfalls and misconceptions, NASFAA recommends administrators ensure students know:

Feedback from private student loan borrowers reveals they hold a host of common misconceptions about their loans. In comments and complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), borrowers demonstrate a lack of knowledge about the difference between private and federal student loans, how bankruptcy can impact their loans, who holds and services their loans, what repayment options they have, and more. The consequences of these misunderstandings include unexpected default, forbearance fees, and ineligibility for repayment incentives.

California State University, Fresno, takes pride in its reputation as one of the leading public universities in the state, but last year the business staff discovered that Fresno State was lagging in one noteworthy area: the percentage of students electing to receive financial aid refunds electronically.

The issues of affordability and retention challenge colleges to develop sustainable tuition policies that address the current economic climate yet educate students on the importance of paying their tuition bills on a timely basis. This web seminar, originally broadcast on October 16, 2012, discussed how Nelnet’s solutions, combined with tighter school fiscal policy, can help students meet their tuition obligations even if they do not receive all the financial aid they anticipated.

Record numbers of students enrolling in college as well as an increasing reliance on student loans to finance the growing cost of college has vaulted student aid into the national spotlight this campaign season.

Both presidential campaigns are dedicating an unprecedented amount of time articulating their widely varying policies aimed at making college more affordable.

President Barack Obama’s administration has pushed for more student aid spending and more regulations to increase the return on the federal investment in higher education.

The Department of Education, in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has released a new, standardized format for financial aid award letters. The “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet” offers students and families a graphic summary of the cost of attendance and aid available and can be customized by each institution. The form makes it easy to compare costs and aid offers, and provides an index of how comparable schools perform against one another.

In the world of federal student loan repayment, graduates have the upper hand. So do young adults well-schooled in the ways of money management.

Tusculum College in Tennessee understands that, particularly since working with the experts at Inceptia—leaders in financial education, default aversion and financial aid management services. Inceptia’s mission is to increase the financial aptitude of students, improve graduation rates and provide financial education and financial aid management services. Inceptia’s goal: 100 percent repayment of federal student loans.