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ERIC Number: ED520815
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Cracking the Student Aid Code: Parent and Student Perspectives on Paying for College
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center
Paying for college is a challenge for many Americans and navigating the financial aid process can be very difficult, especially for low-income and first-generation college students. The College Board commissioned research to learn more about students' and parents' knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about the importance of a college education and how to pay for it. In addition, students and parents who participated in the research were asked to evaluate whether the recommendations of the College Board's Rethinking Student Aid (RSA) project would improve the effectiveness of the nation's federal student aid system. Focus group participants and survey respondents included students from low- and moderate-income backgrounds, parents with modest financial resources, nontraditional college students and advocates for members of immigrant groups. After analyzing the data, one consistent theme emerged: While participants overwhelmingly understand the importance of college, lack of information and understanding of the college financing process is a barrier that is difficult to overcome for many students and families. This report urges policymakers to pursue the necessary changes to the federal financial aid system to "crack the student aid code" for first-generation students, students from low-income backgrounds, and their parents. By presenting the right information at the right time and in ways that families can understand, individuals can begin to break down existing barriers to college entrance and success. The Research Methodology is appended. (Contains 8 figures and 8 footnotes.)
College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. 45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023. Tel: 212-713-8165; Fax: 212-713-8143; e-mail:; email:; email:; Web site: http://advocacy.colle
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: College Board Advocacy & Policy Center