Financial Aid

Overcoming the Top Student Aid Compliance Issues

Communication with departments across campus a key to success

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. A recent survey of financial aid administrators shows that increasing regulatory and compliance requirements are causing resource shortages in many financial aid offices.

Financial Literacy in the New Regulatory "Normal"

Best practices in campus efforts to educate students

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. We’ve likely all heard the stories of the $82 pizza, its price inflated by a check that bounced and resulting fees from the bank and pizza parlor. It shows the need for students to understand the consequences of spending money they don’t have.

Behind the News

The tornadoes that ripped across the South in April devastated everything in their paths. Some institutions had to close their doors before semester’s end.

Future Shock

Survival of the Fittest: Adaptive Ownership in the 21st Century

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.

Becoming Need-Blind in an Environment of Need

How one institution has made it work

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.

Several years ago, before the recession, I was being asked a different question about my institution, Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.: Why are we still including loans in student financial aid packages when a number of peer colleges have eliminated them?

And I imagine some of my presidential colleagues have been asked about Hamilton's decision last March to adopt a need-blind admission policy.

Meeting the Transparent Pricing Mandate

The latest on net price calculators and how institutions are stepping up

The call for increased transparency in the college pricing and financial aid arenas is coming from many directions and is ringing louder and more clearly than ever. Institutional customers, students and families who have for some time been expecting more information, now want it more quickly and in terms they can understand easily and compare consistently across institutions.

Show Me the Money

There are scholarships available for just about anything these days. In addition to endowed scholarships for students with names such as Zolp, Scarpinato, Gatling, Baxendale, Hudson, Thayer, Downer, Bright, and Van Valkenburg, many organizations offer awards for specific talents or interests.

Who's On First?

Developing and managing endowed scholarship funds

Given the multiple goals and multiple players involved in developing and managing endowed scholarship funds, there are lots of opportunities for communication gaps, poor service, and less than optimal use of the funds. In an ideal world, endowed funds and annual gifts given for scholarship support would be used to take the place of unfunded aid in the offers made to students, freeing unfunded (and therefore unrestricted) resources for other purposes. However, many institutions are not able to achieve this efficient outcome for a number of reasons.

Found Money Is Good Money

This morning I was re-reading this issue's Money Matters column on endowed scholarships. In discussing the sometimes restrictive criteria these awards carry, Kathy Kurz illustrates one of her favorite examples. The award "required potential candidates to submit an essay about what their Italian heritage meant to them," Kurz writes. "Winners of this award then had to attend a ball in their honor, and the cost of a gown or tuxedo rental was more than the value of the scholarship!"

Three to Degree

Is the grass greener on campuses with three-year bachelor's degree programs? See what a closer look at these offerings and the decision-making behind them reveals.

It took one determined program director, two tries, three years, and much collective brainpower—but at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, today's interior architecture program students can earn a bachelor degree in three years rather than four.

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