Colleges Can Avoid Shutting the Door on Financial Aid Knowledge
This month, scores of applicants to Muhlenberg and Whitman Colleges received offers of admission. Perhaps they were a pleasant surprise for students who had sleepZoomed their way through junior year.
But what should not be a surprise for most of them is the price that the schools will ask them to pay — or discounts that are available, even for families who are wealthy.
That’s because Muhlenberg and Whitman are in the vanguard of a movement toward transparency about the price of college and the process for lowering it. Many others, like Northeastern University, are laggards, on purpose. Others don’t seem to have given much thought to the need for upfront clarity.
That’s a problem.
“When the variable of finance is put off to the end, it’s not transparent, and it’s really frustrating,” said Adam Miller, Whitman’s interim vice president for admission and financial aid. “And it can lead to really terrible outcomes where families are having excruciating conversations where a student has fallen in love with a college and it’s not going to be financially affordable.”