Many student borrowers do not fully understand the financial aid process, with over 40 percent of those with federal loans in a recent survey reporting they had not received any form of counseling—even though it is mandated by law.
The Washington-based Young Invincibles, a national advocacy group representing interests of 18 to 34 year-olds, and NERA Economic Consulting released a report, “Lost without a Map: A Survey About Students’ Experiences Navigating the Financial Aid Process,” Thursday based on a survey of 13,000 college students and recent graduates with high levels of debt.
In addition to the 40 percent that received no counseling, another 40 percent said they did not receive accurate information about grants and loans, or did not know whether they had received accurate information.
To remedy the situation, students supported efforts to streamline information coming from colleges. Over 90 percent of federal financial aid recipients surveyed would support standardizing the format, terminology, and content of financial aid award letters, according to the report.
When students were asked about where they would prefer to receive their information, they emphasized their college financial aid offices and government websites.
A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.