Know What They Owe – Ensuring that New York’s Students Graduate College with Manageable Debt

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 -
9:00am to 11:00am EDT
Philanthropy New York, 1500 Broadway, 7th Floor, NYC
Members of PNY & Partner Orgs: 
Add to Calendar

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


Designed for

All interested funders.


8:45 - 9:00 AM  Check-in
9:00 - 11:00 AM  Program

Registration is required by April 5th.
Members: To register yourself and/or a colleague at your organization, please log in and click the Register Now link above. (no fee)
Guests of Organizers: Please email with your name, title, organizational affiliation, business mailing address, and phone number. Please indicate by which organizer you were invited. (no fee)
Non-Member Funders: Please email ($150 fee) Please email with any questions.

In collaboration with