New form clarifies financial aid info for collegians

By Herb Weisbaum, The ConsumerMan

Most college students these days need some financial help to pay for their education. Faced with soaring tuition costs, it’s important for students and their families to compare financial aid packages from different schools. But the way it is now, it can be difficult to know exactly what is being offered in a financial aid package and what the net cost will be for attending that school.

The new Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, a template for financial aid letters prepared by the U.S. Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is designed to provide this information in a standardized format.

“Instead of being full of jargon and other information you might not understand, it gives you clear information about how much you have to pay, how much debt you’ll need to take on and how much you might owe after graduation, including an estimate of monthly payments,” explained Rohit Chopram student loan ombudsman with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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