Our View: Economics 101 before school daze sets in
“Let the buyer beware” is an important lesson best learned early in life, and the U.S. Department of Education earns high marks for releasing a form that will increase financial awareness among college-bound students.
A financial aid “shopping sheet,” a uniform letter that will aid student understanding of college costs and aid packages, will allow apple-to-apple comparisons of costs and financial aid packages consisting of grants, loans, work-study options and scholarships. With this information, students can make informed choices and avoid the sticker shock that often comes with a four-year degree.
At Appalachian State University and other institutions of higher education, that shock can be significant — almost 70 percent of students receive some form of financial aid, and undergraduate students borrow on average more than $17,500 to help finance an education.
At this time, most colleges, including ASU, are not required to use a shopping sheet for incoming students outside of veteran and other select populations.
But this is one “intro to college” course that makes sense. ASU is now considering adopting the new form: We encourage the university to offer full financial disclosure and join other major undergraduate schools in issuing the “shopping sheet” to all prospective and incoming students.