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Legislation won’t solve unclear financial aid offers (letter) | Inside Higher Ed


To the Editor:

I write regarding Wesley Whistle’s December essay urging Congress to step in to improve the transparency of financial aid letters.

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has spent significant time with students, parents, and practitioners to improve the transparency and clarity of financial aid offers; we’ve worked with lawmakers in support of federal legislation to do the same. There is clearly more work to be done. 

But legislation that truly improves transparency on college costs could take months, if not years to pass, not to mention implement, and ultimately may not be the panacea some hope. Consider that a third of schools in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report used a federal template created by the U.S. Department of Education and still would have failed to meet the 10 standards issued by the GAO. 

In the meantime, why wait? Students would be best served by all higher education stakeholders working together, regardless of nuanced differences, to improve the clarity of financial aid offers with or without future congressional action.

–Justin Draeger
President & CEO
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators



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