Report: 3 Main Sources of College Financial Awareness

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During Financial Literacy Month, NASFAA and Aid Administrators Urge More Financial Education

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“Financial education is important all year round, but April, being Financial Literacy Month, is an especially good chance to highlight this critical issue,” NASFAA President Justin Draeger said.

A new research review from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)’s Journal of Student Financial Aid finds that the three main sources of college financial literacy information are parents, secondary school counselors and teachers, and college websites – and all three groups need more support to get the job done.

In “Addressing Information Gaps: Disparities in Financial Awareness and Preparedness on the Road to College,” authors Casey George Jackson and Melanie Jones Gast reviewed 39 studies to identify the three most important sources of financial awareness, but showed that each group falls short of being as effective as possible. Many parents studied did not understand the various components of college costs, including tuition, fees, room and board, and transportation. This puts first-generation students, in particular, at a distinct disadvantage.

In addition, the effectiveness of high school counselors varies across districts, states, and individual schools. And while the Internet provides a huge amount of college cost information, many parents and students studied needed more in-depth guidance to make sense of it all.

“Financial education is important all year round, but April, being Financial Literacy Month, is an especially good chance to highlight this critical issue,” NASFAA President Justin Draeger said. “When other sources of financial aid information fall short, financial aid administrators can provide thorough and up-to-date advice and counseling. With admissions and financial aid deadlines looming, now is the time for students to work with financial aid administrators to understand their options.”

NASFAA has free resources on college costs and financial aid for students, parents, and high school counselors, in addition to financial aid research provided through the open-access Journal of Student Financial Aid. Experts are also available for interviews on why increasing financial awareness is critical, and how to best educate students and their families.

To schedule an interview with a NASFAA expert, please contact us at 202-785-6959 or news@nasfaa.org. For more reports on financial aid issues, please explore the Journal of Student Financial Aid.

About NASFAA

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 20,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the United States. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit http://www.nasfaa.org.

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Erin Timmons
NASFAA
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