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Rutgers Today provides a daily stream of news from across Rutgers University, serving both internal and external audiences.

Colleges renew focus on appeals for more financial aid

Education Dive

February 26, 2021   Value and Affordability

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the financial status of many, the U.S. Department of Education is allowing flexibility for higher education institutions to better understand students’ financial need. Instead of relying solely on dated tax forms that may not illustrate students’ current financial circumstances, institutions are encouraged to use professional judgment to assess student files.

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What financial aid offices need to know about legislative changes ahead

Higher Ed. Dive

February 19, 2021   Student Success, Value and Affordability

The government spending package passed at the end of 2020 included several provisions intended to extend federal financial support to more college students. Financial aid changes include simplifying the FAFSA, expanding eligibility for Pell grants, rebranding the EFC (expected family contribution), and bringing more predictability overall to financial aid awards.

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‘Alarm Bells’ on First-Generation, Low-Income Applicants

Inside Higher Ed.

January 26, 2021   Enrollment Management Trends, Student Success, Value and Affordability

The Common Application is the most widely used college application, with more than 900 institutions participating. Newly released data shows that larger and more competitive colleges are receiving many applications, but smaller and less competitive colleges are not. Additionally, first-generation and fee waiver students are not applying at the same rates as they used to, with application numbers declining by three and two percentage points, respectively.

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The Real Covid-19 Enrollment Crisis: Fewer Low-Income Students Went Straight to College

The Chronicle of Higher Education

December 10, 2020   Student Success, Value and Affordability

This year, 21.7% fewer high school graduates enrolled directly into college compared to 2019 as reported by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The reflects a huge year-to-year change, and when comparing students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, it becomes clear that the pandemic has hit low-income students, especially those from urban high schools, the hardest.

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The Federal Government Is Verifying Fewer FAFSA Filers. Here’s Why That Matters.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

December 02, 2020   Student Success, Value and Affordability

In previous years, the federal government verified around 30% of all FAFSA applicants for each enrollment cycle; however this year the U.S. Education Department announced it reduced the percentage to 18%. The verification process is widely seen as a barrier for low income students to gain access to government grants, scholarships, and loans that would offset the financial burden of attending college.

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The Latest College Scorecard Is Out. Here’s What It Says About How Much Parents Borrow for Higher Ed.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

December 03, 2020   Student Success, Value and Affordability

The College Scorecard is a website designed to give prospective students and their families information about how much debt students at individual institutions incur, and how much they would earn in certain fields after graduation. At nearly 130 four-year institutions awarding bachelor’s degrees, the median amount parents borrowed was $50,000 or higher. The data reflect the loans parents received through the PLUS program on behalf of undergraduate students who earned their degrees in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.

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After Biden Is Sworn In, Does Student-Debt Relief Come Next?

The Chronicle of Higher Education

November 19, 2020   Value and Affordability

The recent economy has lifted the political prospects of loan forgiveness, although some economists question the effectiveness of loan relief as a stimulus tool. The exact details of how loan forgiveness might work are also yet to be determined: How would it be passed? Would it apply only to federal loans, or only to federal undergraduate loans? Is there an income cap?

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What does Biden’s anticipated win mean for colleges?

Education Dive

November 07, 2020   Enrollment Management Trends, Student Success, Value and Affordability

Joe Biden’s anticipated win for presidential office will not be official until the Electoral College vote in December, but his promises for higher education are included and explained in this article. Some of those promises include expanding free college, undoing Trump-era initiatives such as changing immigration policies and oversight of Title IX, and investing more into minority-serving institutions.

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The Pandemic Pushed Universities Online. The Change Was Long Overdue.

Harvard Business Review

September 29, 2020   Enrollment Management Trends, Value and Affordability

Fall 2020 marks an inflection point as students, educators, and government leaders scrutinize the price and value proposition of higher education through the new lens of traditional classroom vs. multiple modes of digital delivery. Higher education has significantly lagged behind other industries in moving to a more digitally-driven model, and less than 5% of college budgets are dedicated to IT spending. The current climate, paired with technological developments make it imperative for college leaders and policymakers to make digital transformation and technology a much more central strategic priority.

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Here’s how colleges are distributing CARES aid to students

Education Dive

July 09, 2020   Value and Affordability

Just under half of the total $14 billion allotted to the CARES Act is reserved for students who are disadvantaged by the pandemic. The Institute for College Access & Success noted the funds were distributed to colleges with little guidance attached, and schools that received funding were to inform the Department of Education on how they are distributing funds to students.

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