Much of the conversation within the college success field around addressing college affordability has focused on the FAFSA form. Yet, this form is just one step in the long process of preparing students to graduate college successfully with reasonable debt.
It is the college financial aid award letter that is the key decision point and, ultimately, where students fall short of understanding its importance and the unleveraged opportunity this letter offers.
These complex award letters are inconsistent, incomplete, and often include misleading information. Students, families, and even college advisors are often unable to accurately decipher them or determine a student’s bottom line costs.
Without a full understanding of award letters, students and their families make poorly informed decisions that can cripple them financially, resulting tragically in students taking on large debt loads while often never even earning a college degree.
This member briefing will highlight the enormous financial aid knowledge gap and the efforts underway to improve postsecondary financial and academic outcomes for students, exploring the following:
- Best practices for ensuring that students and their families make an informed decision on where to attend college and how they will pay for it
- The current state of college affordability programming in New York City and what gaps remain
- Findings from recent data analysis of students’ award letters including average financial aid packages offered and unmet need
- Efforts to create an intervention model that (1) leverages data to dramatically improve college affordability training for advisors; (2) provides practitioners with tools to better help students select affordable college options; and (3) addresses the under matching that plagues high-achieving, low-income students
- Bob Giannino, Chief Executive Officer, uAspire
- Ken Herrera, Director of College Completion, Uncommon Schools
- Bridget Terry Long, Academic Dean and Saris Professor of Education and Economics, Harvard Graduate School of Education
- Cynthia Rivera Weissblum (Moderator), President and CEO, Edwin Gould Foundation
8:45 - 9:00 AM Check-in
9:00 - 11:00 AM Program
In collaboration with
- Northeast, Capital One
- Edwin Gould Foundation
- Heckscher Foundation
- MetLife Foundation
- Asset Funders Network