Posted Date: October 26, 2011

Author:  David Bergeron, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning, and Innovation, Office of Postsecondary Education

Subject: Model Financial Aid Offer Forms - OPE Works with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

On October 26, 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the Bureau) will begin taking feedback on a Financial Aid Shopping Sheet—an effort to improve the financial aid offer form—and is especially looking for input from current and prospective college students and their families.

The development of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet—a model financial aid offer form—builds on the discussion at the Department of Education’s September 13, 2011 public meeting.  It is a product of the important partnership being forged between the Bureau and the Department of Education (the Department) which we believe will result in students and borrowers being better served.  It will be announced today at a roundtable event in Minneapolis, MN and discussed this evening at a town hall meeting, also in Minneapolis.

The shopping sheet is a part of the Bureau’s “Know Before You Owe” effort and is a tool that colleges and universities could use to help students better understand the types and amounts of aid they qualify for and easily compare aid packages offered by different institutions. The form would also make clear the total costs -- and risks -- of student loans before a student enrolls and is a “thought-starter,” not an official proposal.  See the shopping sheet on the Bureau’s Web site which also provides instructions on how to offer comments: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/students/knowbeforeyouowe/

Today’s effort is also a part of the Department’s ongoing work to fulfill the requirement in the Higher Education Opportunity Act to recommend improvements to the student financial aid offer forms.  For related information on the Department’s activities, see:  http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/guid/aid-offer/index.html.

   

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