In July and August 2019, CampusLogic surveyed 1,000 students, 750 parents, and 230 financial aid experts. We asked them to share with us what terminology and dollar amounts on the U.S. Department of Education’s first version of its award letter template known as the College Financing Plan that they found unclear, as well as why those items were unclear.
With 3 million students dropping out of higher education every year due to financial reasons—taking debt with them but no degree—the importance of comprehension on driving student financial success cannot be overstated.
Much has been done to document the variances in award letter terminology and structure. Very little consumer research, however, has been done to try and understand what, specifically, consumers find confusing about financial aid notification forms. What are the aspects of financial aid award letters that consumers—the people who use these communications to make decisions—find unclear?
This data-driven project sought to answer that question.
More than $240 billion in federal and state aid is available annually to students to support their higher education pursuits. Financial aid award letters are the primary way students and families receive crucial information about eligibility and access to this funding. Understanding this information—the full impact of aid and student debt on one’s near and distant future—is crucial to students making informed decisions about where to attend, how much to responsibly borrow, and if they can adequately fund their full education.
Read the full report and get actionable insights here.