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Education


Financial aid "shopping sheet" will make costs transparent
Federally regulated information sheets could help students comparison shop colleges
by WKSU's KELLI FITZPATRICK

Reporter
Kelli Fitzpatrick
 

Prospective college students will be able to compare college costs and understand the loans they could be taking on – if colleges and universities adopt a federally regulated financial aid shopping sheet.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Ohio’s former Ohio attorney general and now head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, outlined the plan Monday. They say it will help students and families “know before they owe” on loans.

The standardized shopping sheet will include the cost of a year at a chosen college, awarded scholarships, school graduation rates and average loan debts.

Duncan says the information sheets will allow students to “comparison shop” before choosing a college.

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“Universities want to do the right thing. This is just frankly not rocket science. This is what I call a triumph of common sense. Folks would be able to make apples-to-apples comparisons. We think folks will come in very, very quickly on it.”

Duncan says the financial aid shopping sheet is a voluntary step to keeping college costs transparent. The department is sending letters to all public U.S. university presidents offering the option. 

View a sample copy of the shopping sheet here.
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