Nationally Recognized Financial Aid Expert to Discuss Evaluating College Financial Aid Offers

Bestselling financial aid and college planning expert and author Mark Kantrowitz, will provides tips on deciphering financial aid awards during #CollegeChat on Twitter Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9 p.m. EST. Kantrowitz is the publisher of FinAid.org and FastWeb.com and author of the new e-book “Secrets to Winning a Scholarship”.

During #CollegeChat, Kantrowitz (http://twitter.com/mkant ) will provide tips for parents and students to understand their financial aid award letters and not misinterpret what is actually being offered. Kantrowitz testified on March 17, 2011 during a hearing for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA) regarding his proposal for standardization of financial aid award letters and net price calculators. Kantrowitz stated in his proposal, “Certain standards for financial aid award letters must be mandatory, as the current voluntary best practices have not adequately addresses the needs of students and their families. Cost information in current financial aid award letters is often incomplete or absent.”

Addressing this issue further, FastWeb.com has just issued a “Quick Reference Guide to Evaluating Financial Aid Letters”.

Kantrowitz will discuss with #CollegeChat participants:

  • Why some colleges try to purposefully complicate their financial aid offers
  • How to analyze competing aid letters from different colleges
  • Why you should ignore work-study awards when calculating your financial aid package
  • How to arrive at the net cost to attend each school you are evaluating
  • How to tell the difference between loans and gift aid and why this matters
  • How to find out if the college front loads their scholarships and grants
  • How  private scholarships might affect financial aid awards
  • Why it is important to understand what the projected cumulative debt will be at graduation

Before founding FinAid.org, the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools — on or off the web, and FastWeb.com, the largest and most popular free scholarship matching service, Kantrowitz was a Research Scientist at Just Research, the US software laboratory for Justsystem Corporation of Japan. Kantrowitz has earned the praise of numerous college administrators, journalists and students and families for his dedicated work on the FinAid site; also, not surprisingly, he managed to fund his own schooling without spending a single cent of his parents’ money. As a nationally-recognized financial aid expert, Kantrowitz has been called to testify before Congress about student aid on several occasions. He is on the editorial board of the Council on Law in Higher Education and the editorial advisory board of Bottom Line/Personal (a Boardroom, Inc. publication) and writes a weekly column for MainStreet.com in addition to the weekly Ask Kantro column for Fastweb. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Center for Excellence in Education and a member of the board of directors of the National Scholarship Providers Association.

About #CollegeChat

#CollegeChat is a live bi-monthly conversation intended for teens, college students, parents, and higher education experts on Twitter. #CollegeChat takes place on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. PST/ 9 p.m. EST. Questions for each #CollegeChat edition can be sent to Theresa Smith, the moderator of #CollegeChat via http://Twitter.com/collegechat , by entering questions online on the CollegeChat Facebook page at http://ht.ly/1XIqV , or by email. More detailed information about signing up for Twitter and participating in #Collegechat  can be found at  http://pathwaypr.com/how-to-participate-in-a-twitter-chat .CollegeChat can also be found on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/collegechat .

Comments

  1. Note, this chat will be occurring on Monday, April 4th!!! Hope to see you there. Have questions, please send them in or even add them to the comments section below.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Kranowitz recommends that parents and students need to carefully review their often complicated and confusing financial aid offers so they don’t make costly mistakes when deciding on which college to select. According to Kranowitz, many colleges try to purposefully complicate their financial aid offers for competitive reasons and to make their financial aid award offers appear more generous. Simply put, “It’s marketing. Partly to convince you to go to college, this college,” he explained. “I often hear from families who think they got a free ride, but the award letter includes a $10,000 PLUS loan.” [...]