Ways to Reduce College Costs: Reform Financial Aid

This is an occasional blog that summarizes an item from From 25 Ways to Reduce the Cost of College.

by Jason Beideman

The American financial aid system fails simply because it is not streamlined. The system is not user friendly and in fact discourages people from getting their fair share. Families filling out FAFSA don’t learn of their aid availability until months after they send in the form. This leads to students not knowing whether that can afford school or not, until way after they have completed all the steps to apply and get aid. To fix this problem, the system needs to change at its core. Financial aid must be visible at a much faster rate. Since financial aid is need based this can be done before the student has decided on a school so they will know how it will affect the prices of the schools they wish to apply to. The system needs to be more user friendly to allow people to understand what costs will lie ahead of them and give them a path in order to achieve their goals and get a degree. The only thing in the way of reform is the current position colleges are in, they have the power and obviously don’t want to lose it. The United States would need to regulate the colleges and expedite the financial aid process if they want to prioritize higher education.