Decoding the Cost of College
Rachel Fishman, Stephen Burd, Ben Barrett, Kim Dancy, and Sophie Nguyen, New America
Financial aid award letters often use confusing jargon and terminology, leaving millions of prospective students and families with more questions that answers.
Poor communication of financial aid options can impact students and parents long-term financial health. Financial decisions based on incomplete and incoherent information place students at risk of facing unanticipated costs. Worse yet, obscuring costs puts students at risk of dropping out if their bill is bigger than anticipated—and dropping out is one of the major predictors of federal student loan default.