NPR Airs "Paying for College" Series

NPR aired a piece by Eric Westervelt on 25 March titled “Decoding College Financial Aid” (8:18) in their “Paying for College” series.

Many high school seniors are hearing from colleges about admissions and financial aid. Scott Juedes, director of Student Financial Services at Wellesley College, gives tips on decoding aid offers.

A companion text piece “Some Common Misconceptions About Paying For College” lays out some useful information the reporter learned while doing the story:

In reporting on students navigating the maze of college costs and financial aid, I kept running into misconceptions about paying for a degree. Here are some of the most common ones: 

Low-income students get most of their college financial aid needs met and rich kids don’t have to worry, so it’s mainly the middle class that gets squeezed. 

It’s a common misperception and “it’s simply not true,” says Lauren Asher, president of The Institute for College Access and Success, an independent, nonprofit research and advocacy group. Take Pell Grants, which go to low- and moderate-income families. A majority of Pell recipients are families with incomes under $50,000 a year. Those students “are much more likely to have loans and to owe more when they graduate from a four-year school than all other students,” she says.

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