Scholarship News

Students and Families Unprepared for College, Financial Aid Application Process


February 10, 2010
by Scholarships.com Staff
Despite recent trends of more students across the country enrolling at institutions of higher learning, many students and their families remain mostly uninformed and unprepared to navigate the college and financial aid application process, according to a report issued yesterday called  Planning for College: A Consumer Approach to the Higher Education  Marketplace.

Despite recent trends of more students across the country enrolling at institutions of higher learning, many students and their families remain mostly uninformed and unprepared to navigate the college and financial aid application process, according to a report issued yesterday called "Planning for College: A Consumer Approach to the Higher Education Marketplace."

The report, from MassINC, a think tank in Massachusetts, looked at decisions students and families need to make when applying to and paying for college, and the information they need to make those decisions. It found that students and parents currently have great difficulty "getting the most out of their col­lege dollar," as the price of higher education only continues to rise.

Perhaps even more alarming is that families have started borrowing more to pay for college, without considering risk and the rate of their return. Related to increases in student borrowing amounts, an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday looks at the idea that doctoral students finish faster if they take out large loans. The most obvious answer why is that taking out more student loans allows the students to take more classes, and quit part-time jobs that may have been reducing their college costs. It's a choice students must make every day - should you sacrifice some comfort to reduce your student loan debt, even if it means taking longer to complete your degree? It's a personal decision, but students should be aware that they'll be expected to start repaying any debt once they graduate.

The Massachusetts study also found that students and families had little knowledge of tax benefits and college savings plans, and how to compare them. For example, there are 118 different 529 Plans, and the resources out there do little in the way of pointing consumers to the advantages and disadvantages of each. Families and students also admit to knowing little about the actual sticker price of colleges, as that often depends on the funds available to assist incoming students, an unknown when those students first apply.

The report's authors suggest families and students must become more like "savvy consumers" who are able to understand and successfully manipulate the college and financial aid application process to their advantage. The process should also be made less complex, an idea that is already being explored by federal legislation such as the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Finally, families need reliable measures about the educational experience that colleges and universities offer beyond the annual rankings we see in the Princeton Review, for example. According to the report, while the U.S. Department of Education is providing increasingly consistent and accessible indicators, such as graduation rates, this branch of the college-bound decision remains the weakest.

Getting more college financial aid doesn’t have to be a relentless search. Scholarships.com is totally free. Connect with our massive database of millions of college scholarships at any time by searching for awards in a variety of ways. Scholarships.com offers the quickest and easiest way to search for, apply to, and win college scholarships. Start making your college education affordable or perhaps even free, by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
Facebook is returning to its roots with the launch of Facebook Campus, a college-only space designed to help students connect with fellow classmates over shared interests, according to the press release. The social media giant, which had originally started its life as a networking site for college students, is now refocusing its efforts on connecting students, particularly in the wake of COVID, even if they are away from college. Here's what you can expect from the new Facebook Campus platform if you are a college student:

Facebook Launches New College-Only Student Platform

September 15, 2020 3:30 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Facebook is returning to its roots with the launch of Facebook Campus, a college-only space designed to help students connect with fellow classmates over shared interests, according to the press
Today marks the 19th anniversary of the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States of America. We honor those who lost their lives in the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, as well as the first responders who gave their lives rescuing survivors, and the passengers of Flight 93 who thwarted the hijacker’s plans. The events of September 11, 2001 touched the lives of all Americans and redefined a generation. Now, even in the midst of another national crisis, we feel it is appropriate to take the time to remember this tragedy.

Remembering 9/11

September 11, 2020 11:02 AM
by Izzy Hall
Today marks the 19th anniversary of the devastating September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States of America. We honor those who lost their lives in the attacks on the Twin Towers and the
Coronavirus has led many collegiate athletics leagues to cancel or postpone the fall 2020 college sports season. These cancellations affect more than just the players and coaches. Fans – both on and off campus – miss being spectators to high-energy competitive sports like college football that inspire school spirit and foster community. As a result, some schools are turning to competitive Esports to help fill the gap in their fall college athletics.

Missing Fall Athletics? Try Tuning in to College Esports

September 8, 2020 11:43 AM
by Izzy Hall
Coronavirus has led many collegiate athletics leagues to cancel or postpone the fall 2020 college sports season. These cancellations affect more than just the players and coaches. Fans – both on and
With many uncertainties surrounding back-to-school plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, high school and college students are relying more than ever before on increased support and resources in their college and scholarship search and application process. To help, Scholarships.com has put together a list of top Back-to-School Scholarships worth applying for during this extraordinary academic year. This list features scholarship opportunities that are ongoing despite the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to also regularly check our Coronavirus News for Students section for the latest impacts on college and scholarships, here.

Top Back-to-School Scholarships 2020

September 4, 2020 1:36 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
With many uncertainties surrounding back-to-school plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, high school and college students are relying more than ever before on increased support and resources in
As part of promoting safe living and social distancing on college campus this Fall 2020 semester in the wake of COVID-19, colleges and universities holding in-person classes have cut down on the number of students who can reside in the traditional college dorm. Many colleges have invited just a fraction of the class back to school and are altering traditional double and triple rooms into singles.  Because of this, there are students who would like to live on campus for the fall semester who cannot. Some students have taken to renting rooms at nearby hotels to capture some of that campus magic.

Hotels Make Room for Fall Students Amid Coronavirus

September 1, 2020 11:08 AM
by Izzy Hall
As part of promoting safe living and social distancing on college campus this Fall 2020 semester in the wake of COVID-19, colleges and universities holding in-person classes have cut down on the
The Common Application opened up for the 2020-2021 school year on August 1st. This one-stop application streamlines the college application process, allowing students to use a general form to apply to nearly 900 colleges and universities. One of the most essential elements of the Common App is the personal essay, where students craft thoughtful responses to one of seven essay questions. But this year it introduces a new free-response section for students (and their school counselors) to describe how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them and their education.

New COVID-19 Question Added to 2020-2021 Common App

August 27, 2020 10:53 AM
by Izzy Hall
The Common Application opened up for the 2020-2021 school year on August 1st. This one-stop application streamlines the college application process, allowing students to use a general form to apply
On Monday, as many students were beginning their first week of online college classes, Zoom experienced a five-hour outage. The outage began in the East Coast at about 9 A.M. and lasted until just after 1 P.M. During that time, the outages spread further west across the country, including certain areas of the Midwest.

Zoom Outage Impacted Online Classes

August 25, 2020 10:51 AM
by Izzy Hall
On Monday, as many students were beginning their first week of online college classes, Zoom experienced a five-hour outage. The outage began in the East Coast at about 9 A.M. and lasted until just