Feds Urge Colleges to Adopt New Student Aid Form

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, July 26, 2012

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is urging colleges and universities to adopt an easy-to-understand financial aid form to help students make smarter decisions on where to study, how to pay and determine what they'll owe.

The Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are unveiling a "shopping sheet" Tuesday that would provide each incoming student with information on the costs of tuition, housing and other fees.

The one-page document also is designed to help students figure out how much they would receive in grants and scholarships and what options are available for loans. Additionally, it would also provide details on the percentage of students who graduate, how much the average student pays monthly on federal loans after graduation and the default rate.

Colleges and universities will not be required to use the form. Duncan said he will be sending an open letter encouraging all institutions to adopt it. In June, the Education Department announced that 10 universities had agreed to provide information similar to what is in the new form.

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