The Department of Education has been busy--new financial literacy counseling, new consolidated financial aid information website that does not look like it was last updated in the '90s and now a finalized Financial Aid Shopping Sheet.
It looks pretty good and many schools have already been moving to provide this type information to students (since long before this became a discovered political issue). Yes, all of this information is needed in order to make an informed choice. A few things:
- I can hear many third-party system vendors growning about how they are going to pull this off. First who sends out paper award letters/packets, so this will need to be put on student portals.
- More paper and disclosurers are not the answer. One-on-one personal contact and counseling is the solution. This is a little hard for many schools in an environment of declining resources and increases regulations. Many schools are finding great ways to still do this and have student-centered financial aid processes.
- If you have to find better ways to explain something (because it is complicated), it might mean that it is too complicated and needs to be rebuilt.
The Department of Education should be leading the way to simplify how higher education is funded, instead of pilling a dozen extra "things" on top of the problem.