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Campus Finance Briefs

‘Shopping Sheet’ Aims to Make College Costs Transparent

University Business, October 2012

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 a letter to college presidents, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan encouraged them to adopt the form as a way to clearly show prospective students the cost of their college education. “Our goal is that more students will arrive at school each fall less worried about how they will pay for college and more focused on how they will complete college,” Duncan wrote.