ACE, Higher Ed Groups Launch Task Force to Improve Student Aid Offers and Price Transparency
December 02, 2022

​​ACE this week joined the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and seven other higher education associations in launching a task force dedicated to creating a set of principles and standards about what information should be included in student financial aid offer letters, which have come under scrutiny in recent years for lack of clarity.

The Paying for College Transparency Initiative, which is also supported by financial aid, admissions, and enrollment managers from a diverse set of institutions, has as its goal a model that is clear, meets high standards of transparency, and contains consumer friendly information, while still allowing for institutional customization.

Colleges and universities historically have had latitude to develop their financial aid offers in a way that considers various factors, including the types of educational programs they offer and the population of students they serve. However, while these aid offers may be best suited for unique student populations, it can make the process of comparing aid offers from different institutions virtually impossible for prospective students. Congress has taken note, proposing various forms of legislation ranging from broadly defining common terms and definitions to stipulating every element that must be included in an aid offer.

ACE extends its thanks to Peter McPherson, who recently retired after more than 16 years as president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, for chairing this project. President Emeritus McPherson wrote this op-ed about the task force and its goals.