Financial Aid Is Not What It Seems

Secret #1 Financial Aid Is Not What It Seems

The website of a small liberal arts college in New York state says, “Sixty-four percent of all students receive some form of financial assistance.” And that statement is undoubtedly true. But some schools drive up such statistics by handing out small scholarships of just a few thousand dollars to a large number of students.

If you doubt that schools would really tinker with scholarship funding, think again. A recent article in U.S. News, entitled “Will You Get Enough Financial Aid?” reports more troubling news:

  • Loans are replacing scholarships. A growing number of schools are cutting back on scholarships and requiring students to take loans instead. The result? Lots of debt after graduation.
  • Colleges and universities are perusing parents’ finances and demanding more money from them. Some colleges even require parents to dip into their home equity to pay tuition.
  • Even parents’ marriages can be examined. In an effort to scour for more dollars, some colleges (including Yale) are analyzing the incomes of a student’s parents, divorced parents, and stepparents.

Read the other college secrets