University Business - March 2010 - (Page 30)

MONEY M AT T E R S Key questions and answers on the aid application process and packages offered What Admissions Officers Need to Know About Financial Aid By Kathy Kurz ALKING ABOUT AFFORD ability can be a scary conversation for a recruiter. at is part of the reason more and more institutions have moved to transparent merit policies and other “entitlements” with clear eligibility criteria. But even if recruiters have these tools at their disposal, they still need to be able to talk with confidence about need-based aid and that is where it can get complicated. Before a family has filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and received a full aid offer, admissions officers have a responsibility to give students and their parents a sense of confidence that the institution will be a good partner in making the education affordable. Otherwise, the applicant may just give up or lose interest before January 1st, when the FAFSA form can first be filed. Almost every institution Scannell & Kurz has worked with has a portion (sometimes a large portion) of the admit pool that doesn’t apply for financial aid; typically, yield rates on this portion of the pool are quite low. at is because most of these families have either lost interest or decided that they can’t afford the institution before it was time to complete the FAFSA. ey probably have applied for aid; they just haven’t sent the FAFSA to all the institutions that admitted them. To keep these families interested long enough to give the institution a chance to put a financial aid award in their hands, admissions recruiters must not only be able to talk about the features and ben30 | March 2010 T Recruiters must demonstrate that families from all walks of life have found a way to meet the college’s costs. efits of the institution, but also be able to demonstrate that families from all walks of life have found a way to meet the college’s costs. Data on the percent of students receiving aid and the average aid award, the percent of last year’s class coming from various income bands, and sample packages for families in different economic circumstances can all help families see that there are others like them at the institution. ANSWERING THE BROAD QUESTIONS As a result of the latest reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, all institutions will have to post a net price calculator on their websites. is will further increase the already well-established trend toward greater transparency. However, the requirement will represent a challenge for some institutions that group students in a way where significant unmet need is left. So admissions officers will need to plan carefully whatever approach toward meeting this requirement will be most appropriate for their own institution. Some schools may want very detailed calculators that gather enough quality and socioeconomic data to give a detailed estimate of the package. Others may prefer a more general approach that meets only the minimum requirements. Recruiters also need to be able to talk confidently about the process Kathy Kurz is a partner in the enrollment management consulting firm Scannell & Kurz, Inc. She can be reached via the website, www

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - March 2010

University Business - March 2010
Editor’s Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Financial Aid
Human Resources
Money Matters
Community Colleges as Economic Saviors
Web Content Needs - Solved
Paths to the Presidency
What’s New
End Note

University Business - March 2010