The Future of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Colleges will trim and revise financial aid offers for the next few years. High school Class of 2020 and 2021 will be the first to feel the impact.

College Admissions, Financial Aid, College Scholarships


Those statements are, admittedly, my own reckoning. I have no insider information. What I have is the ability to add 2+2+2 and come up with 6 as my answer.

  • The ongoing corona-virus precautions are generating new expenses (sanitizing alone!).
  • The onset of the pandemic wreaked financial havoc -- the closing of campuses.
  • The tanking of our economy is pressuring everyone -- citizen and university alike.
  • Every college in America is anticipating reduced enrollments and, consequently, reduced revenue.
  • Looking to the U.S. Treasury for bailouts?  Get in line, right?
Enough. You get my point and, I feel confident, understand the conclusions that present themselves. To parents and students anticipating college matriculation later this summer, 2020 --
  • Parents
    • Read again, and thoroughly, the agreements and contracts you and/or your student signed for financial aid awards. The colleges have language in there that is a backdoor for them. Understand what your rights are under the terms of the agreements, and what the college's prerogatives are.
    • Anticipate reductions in "scholarships" and other grants-in-aid (non-federal). Reductions in financial aid grants may not come this fall. You may see them Winter Term; and definitely anticipate revised financial aid offers for the 2021-2022 academic year. Revised -- what I mean is, you may not be proffered the same amount of financial aid for 2021-2022 as you received 2020-2021.
  • Students  
    • Now more than ever, devote yourself to academic pursuits. You do not need to make straight A's. Don't put that kind of pressure on yourself. You must, however, demonstrate maturity, along with focus and commitment to academic achievement.
    • Do NOT "cut" any college classes (i.e. skip school). Less-than-100% attendance will be a first consideration (my prediction) for modifying financial aid awards. If you miss because of illness, follow carefully the requirements to be excused. Read your student handbook.
    • On the same track do NOT veer astray of standards of conduct, honor codes, campus security, etc. Stay away from alcohol, marijuana, non-prescription drugs, and whatever else your peers are indulging. Violation of codes of conduct will result in revised financial aid awards.
    • Do NOT spend any cash deposited to your student account on personal-pleasure trips, non-academic gadgets, etc. Food, shelter, clothing and academic supplies only! Save those dollars to offset any reduced financial aid realities in your sophomore year, and so on. A school audit of your use of financial aid is not out of the question.
Financial aid appeals will, I predict, flood college offices in the spring of 2021. Staff will be overwhelmed and will grab the "Denied" stamp reflexively. Any deviation from excellence in academics, or personal conduct will be all of the justification needed.

Hang on tight, my friends. The decade of the 20's promises to be a wild ride.

 

Posted in College Planning, College Planning Strategies.

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