With college costs continuing to rise and the US economy still sputtering, financial aid for college is more important than ever to families trying to foot the bill. The big question then is what is the future of college financial aid? For that answer I turned to the man at the top, Justin Draeger, the President of the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). The nation’s college aid professionals make up NASFAA’s membership, allowing Draeger to keep his finger on the pulse of what is going on with billions in college aid. Ahead of NASFAA’s annual conference later this month in Nashville, Mr. Draeger took time for the Q&A below.
1. Admissions Deans offer admission to more students than they have room for because they know that not all of those students will enroll. For the same reason, financial aid officers award millions more in aid than is actually budgeted. How do admissions and financial aid professionals collaborate to fill a college’s seats without breaking the financial aid bank?
Generally, the planned collaboration between admission and financial aid offices occurs through an institution’s enrollment management plan and/or policies. This is typically derived from intricate statistical analyses that calculate the probability of students choosing to attend, the students’ expected financial need, and the institutional financial aid dollars available at the school.