Federal Government Unveils New Form to Streamline Financial Aid Shopping

Federal Government Unveils New Form to Streamline Financial Aid Shopping

The U.S. Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued the revised and final version of the “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet” as part of their efforts to make information about the cost of college and financial aid packages more transparent and comparable for students and parents.

The U.S. Department of Education  Secretary Arne Duncan and CFPB Director Richard Cordray were highly critical of financial aid award letters during a press call held to announce the shopping sheet. They said that current award letters look different, contain different information and make comparison shopping almost impossible.

“We must unravel the mystery of higher education so students and parents can make informed decisions about where to enroll,” Duncan said.”   The Shopping Sheet” standardizes information students and parents need to make smart educational choices and sets standardized terms to help students and families compare financial aid packages.

Duncan said the U.S. Department of Education  is sending an open letter to all college presidents today to encourage voluntary adoption of the shopping sheet, but made it clear that institutions would not be required to use this Shopping Sheet for their financial aid award letters.

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