Approximately 21 million American students geared up to begin attend colleges and universities in the fall of 2014. The number of those associated with post secondary schools – students, parents and school staff – was much higher. As a result, tens of millions will encounter financial aid by applying for and obtaining it or awarding it. Thankfully, there are countless resources available for understanding how to get financial aid, what financial aid means to access and degree attainment, and how education factors into future success.
From the slew of available financial aid graphics, the CampusLogic team picked our three favorites and put them in this blog to serve as
- a reminder for financial aid staff that what you do every day matters,
- a guide for parents to understand how financial aid works and how to help their children,
- and an inspiration for prospective and current students to see the vast support system in place to help them achieve their educational dreams.
How To: A Financial Aid Roadmap
This is a first-rate guide to the basics of financial aid by the great group over at Edvisors. While there are many intro guides to financial aid, this one is the best we’ve seen for outlining a timeline to financial aid success and necessary actions by year. It shows steps for both parents and students to ensure financial aid success.
The Access and Attainment of 100 Students
The Washington Post published an interactive graphic called 100 students start college. Who graduates? The graphic follows students who are separated into groups by family income. The findings reveal correlations between income and college graduation rates, with lower income students being less likely to graduate. This underscores the important role financial aid plays in improving graduation rates of lower income students. Financial aid evens the playing field, making college accessible to those who might otherwise not be able to attend. Three cheers for financial aid and those who administer it! And check out our post featuring strategies to get financial aid to more of those who need it most.
College Students Take Control of Their Financial Futures
A graphic by Citi and Seventeen magazine depicts the results of a small survey into the role college students are playing in financing their education:
One of the most interesting sections of the survey deals with how students are learning about money with 80% learning from their parents, 34% from a class in school and 42% from their own research. This supports popular theories that suggest students are taking on more school debt than they need to due to lack of education on and experience with managing money. This fuels the argument that schools could lower their default rates by educating students on responsible borrowing practices and loan repayment expectations. Our product AwardLetter does just that, helping schools not only lower loan default rates but increase enrollment and student satisfaction.
The Big Picture
There are graphics for nearly every facet of financial aid. They simplify processes. They explain data. They point out issues yet to be solved. Although these are our current favorites, we love to see all the graphics out there informing people. Even beyond students (which many of us have been), parents (which many of us will be) and school admin (to whom many of us owe a debt of gratitude), every American should take an interest in lowering the nationwide student debt, or at least forestalling the current rate of borrowing and defaulting. That’s why we created our AwardLetter product, which is proven to help schools reduce student borrowing and default rates. The more we all talk about the issues surrounded higher ed and financial aid, the closer we’ll get to big solutions and the more likely we’ll be to find small ones along the way.