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New Publication Helps Policymakers Understand Federal Financial Aid

October 16, 2013

Paying for College cover


​From Pell Grants to unsubsidized loans to creating a financial aid package, a new ACE publication aims to help policymakers better understand the complex network of federal higher education financial aid programs and how these programs benefit students and families.

Paying for College notes that while a variety of federal agencies and programs are available to help finance a college education, the largest and most important ones are found in Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA).

The report summarizes these major programs, explains how students apply for and receive Title IV aid and outlines what institutions must to do be eligible to participate in these programs. 

In the current academic year, 15.2 million students will receive federal student aid while attending one of the more than 7,000 colleges, universities, and career, trade and technical institutions that participate in aid programs authorized by the HEA.

Congress has begun work on reauthorizing the HEA, which expires in December, but that process is expected to take months, if not several years. ACE and a group of higher education associations submitted suggestions in August to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for rewriting the HEA.


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