Category Archives: Student Aid


Among Students Bound for College, Confusion Persists on Paying for It

Report: “studentPOLL”

Organizations: Art & Science Group and ACT

Summary: The latest iteration of “studentPOLL” asked a national sample of college-bound students who had taken the ACT about paying for college. The survey was conducted in February, after students had applied to college but before most admissions and financial-aid decisions had been made. Among other things, the survey found that:

  • Three-quarters of respondents agreed that rising college costs were out of control.
  • More than a thir…

How Public Colleges Use Merit Aid to Recruit Students Who Can Pay

Report: “The Out-of-State Student Arms Race”

Author: Stephen Burd, senior policy analyst

Organization: New America

Summary: The report uses information from the Common Data Set to describe the use of merit-based student aid at public colleges and universities. Among its findings:

  • Flagships and research universities are not the only public colleges giving out a lot of merit aid; many regional colleges do as well.
  • Public colleges that offer substantial merit aid tend to enroll more out-of-state s…

Financial-Aid Offices Continue to Experience Resource Shortages

Report: “2015 Administrative Burden Survey”

Organization: National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Summary: Following up on a similar effort several years back, the association surveyed its members to determine the resource shortages they face, the causes of those shortages, and their impact on students. The survey found, among other things, that:

  • 6 percent of respondents said their office had faced a “severe” resource shortage over the past five years, while 41 percent said…

Vassar Receives $1-Million Award for Success With Low-Income Students

Vassar College is the inaugural recipient of an annual $1-million award given to the college that most successfully admits and graduates low-income students, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced Tuesday.

The New York Times‘s Upshot blog first reported the news, and said Vassar’s top ranking on a list the Upshot designed last year — meant to highlight the most economically diverse elite colleges — influenced foundation officials. Catharine Bond Hill, Vassar’s president, told the Times the col…


All Students Should Receive Federal Money for College, Report Proposes

Report: “Strengthening Our Economy Through College for All”

Authors: David A. Bergeron, vice president for postsecondary education, and Carmel Martin, executive vice president for policy, both at the Center for American Progress

Organization: Center for American Progress

Summary: This report is the first in what will be a series of policy recommendations on how best to break down barriers to higher education through changes in the federal student-aid system.

The initial report lays out the cente…


Student-Loan Counseling Has Room for Improvement, Study Finds

Report: “From Passive to Proactive: Understanding and Improving the Borrower Experience With Online Student-Loan Exit Counseling”

Organization: TG, a nonprofit organization that provides borrowers with support in navigating the federal student-aid process

Summary: The U.S. Department of Education’s online student-loan exit-counseling model, used by colleges across the country, has many flaws, says this new report, based on an analysis of six institutions that use it.

TG offers its own service to…


Student-Aid Group Recommends Steps to Improve Loan Servicing for Borrowers

Report: “NASFAA Task Force Report: Servicing Issues”

Organization: National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Summary: The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators conducted a survey of its members to identify problems in the student-loan-servicing industry, which has drawn scrutiny from consumer advocates and federal regulators. A task force convened by the group and the National Direct Student Loan Coalition surveyed more than 2,200 financial-aid administr…


What Really Happened to Year-Round Pell Grants

Report: “Myths & Misunderstandings: The Undeserved Legacy of Year-Round Pell Grants”

Authors: Jason Delisle, director of the federal education-budget project, and Ben Miller, research director for higher education, both at the New America Foundation

Organization: New America Foundation

Summary: Legend holds that the year-round Pell Grant program, which enabled needy students to take classes throughout the year, was a victim of poor execution, faulty budget estimates, or abuse by colleges.

The pr…


Cutoff of Financial Aid Is Possible at Pima Community College

A federal audit, citing poor record keeping by Pima Community College, has put the Arizona institution at risk of losing its ability to distribute financial aid.

In a preliminary report, the Department of Education found that the college, which enrolls about 33,000 students, lacks a reliable way to keep track of the attendance or even enrollment status of aid recipients, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

As a result, the department could deny the college access to further federal financial aid and…


To Reduce Loan Defaults, Automate Payroll Withholding, Report Says

Report: “The Case for Payroll Withholding”

Organizations: New America Foundation, Young Invincibles, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Summary: With student-loan default rates rising, a growing number of policy makers, think tanks, and advocacy groups are calling for automatically enrolling some or all borrowers in income-based repayment, or IBR. In this report, a product of the third round of the Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project, financed by the Bill & Meli…