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Articles: Financial Aid

Bill Berg is an enrollment management consultant at Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

By 2015, the number of law school applicants declined by 46 percent from a 2004 peak, a result of a shrinking job market and “offshoring” of some legal work. Most law schools were forced to change the way they recruited, admitted, awarded and enrolled students to respond to the drop.

Skill-building—Former coal industry workers may find them-selves at the University of Wyoming researching how to use water byproducts from oil and gas wells.

Universities are creating scholarships and entrepreneurial opportunities to help the unemployed and underemployed gain footing in an ever-greening economy.

A bipartisan bill intended to improve college access and graduation rates would impose college-loan program penalties on institutions that perform poorly in these areas. In turn, schools that do enroll a significant number of low-income students would be eligible for up to $8 million over five years.

A student loan that goes into default costs 250 percent more than a loan paid back on schedule. ( wildpixel)

Some advocacy groups see student loan debt as not just a financial problem, but a growing social justice concern, as well. Now, some 40 civil rights, legal aid and public interest are urging the Department of Education to determine whether debt disproportionately impacts minorities.

Former Ivy Tech president Tom Snyder's Snyder’s book, "The Community College Solution," portrays community colleges as the true pathway to the American dream.

Former Ivy Tech president Tom Snyder's Snyder’s book, The Community College Solution, portrays community colleges as the true pathway to the American dream. But more important, it is a pathway not burdened by overwhelming debt.

Mike Krause lead Tennessee's Drive to 55 initiative to increase the percentage of state residents with a postsecondary degree or certificate.

Mike Krause has been appointed executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission by Gov. Bill Haslam.

Krause now spearheads the state’s Focus On College and Student Success (FOCUS) Act. Krause served as executive director of Drive to 55, the state’s initiative to increase the percentage of state residents with a postsecondary degree or certificate. He also managed the launch of the Tennessee Promise scholarship and mentoring program.

Free tuition is the linchpin of a Democratic higher ed platform that many observers describe as more comprehensive than the plans touted by Donald Trump and the Republican Party (Click to enlarge)

Free tuition anchors Hillary Clinton's higher ed platform while Donald Trump wants banks to handle student loans. In a survey, UB readers showed little enthusiasm for either proposal.

Need-based financial aid was supposed to give everyone an opportunity to get into college and better their lives and career prospects. Nearly half of the public, four-year colleges studied in a new report leave the most financially needy students on the hook for more than $10,000 of debt per school year.

Jeffrey R. Docking is the president of Adrian College in Michigan and the author of "Crisis in Higher Education: A Plan To Save Small Liberal Arts Colleges in America."

Sometimes, well-known propositions lead to predictable conclusions. But not always. Occasionally, they lead to surprises—and even busted myths. Here’s one: Wealthy, private institutions willing to invest large endowments in financial aid for poorer students do the best job of expanding access to higher education.

Some are skeptical about the ability for any school to be need-blind, because anyone viewing an application can surmise financial need without reading a student’s FAFSA form.

The answers to common questions about need-blind policies sheds light on why they’ve been adopted whether they work and whether other enrollment diversity initiatives can be just as effective.

Some low-income high school students in Adams State University’s service area, the rural valleys of southern Colorado, live up to 50 or 60 miles from campus. Thanks to a new federal pilot program, these students there and 43 other institutions can now use Pell Grants to take dual-enrollment courses.

The Consumer Financial ProtectionBureau’s forthcoming “Payback Playbook” intends to simplify the student loan repayment process by presenting clear, customized repayment options.

In April, the agency offered a sneak peek. The initiative will provide borrowers with simple repayment plan options any time they log into their student loan account. The Playbook summary will also be included with their monthly loan bills or in regular emails from their student loan servicers.

It has been demonstrated amply that financial aid leveraging can, under the right circumstances, increase enrollment and net tuition revenue. For some, however, that isn’t the case.

Enrollment leaders must therefore assess other aspects of recruitment to determine how effectively they are working to build larger, more committed applicant and admit pools, especially when increases in aid are not conducive or possible.

Just 30 percent of financial aid professionals reported using social media to provide financial literacy content to students.

Financial aid offices that invest time on the major platforms say social media lightens the workload. On a higher level, social networks represent another way to provide students with financial literacy education that can advance institutional goals, including better retention and lower cohort default rates.

Michigan State University ran a Facebook photo contest so students could show experiences made possible by financial aid.

Michigan State University

Social experiment: Facebook Photo contest

The idea: To show the positive side of financial aid, Michigan State held a contest that asked students to share a photo of an experience that would not have been possible had they not received aid. Ten students won $500 each.