Ivy Coach is featured today in “The GW Hatchet,” the newspaper of George Washington University. The article, written by Jeanine Marie, is entitled “Federal officials streamline financial aid process” and, naturally, it focuses on changing financial aid policies. We don’t write much about financial aid on the pages of our college admissions blog. As you might imagine, we don’t do so because 1.) our clients tend not to qualify for aid by virtue of being able to afford our services and 2.) we don’t profess to be experts on the subject of financial aid. But we do work with many veterans on a pro bono basis, so we might know a little bit more than we let on (though their aid is often tied to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the Yellow-Ribbon status of universities, which is a bit different indeed).
Anyhow, the federal Perkins Loan Program recently expired. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee made it his mission to squash this program and he was not without his reasons — the program was not without its issues. For starters, it didn’t necessarily help the most disadvantaged of students. And we suspect Senator Alexander has an overhaul in mind to the federal financial aid system (one that’s already in the works), so in order to bring in the new, the old must go out. We totally destroyed that expression, we know. Deal with it.
Anyhow, there was also a change in terms of the date. As quoted in “The GW Hatchet,” “As for students coming to campus in August 2017, they will use tax information filed this April, which experts say will benefit lower-income students and help every applicant to be more informed even before they commit to one school. The FAFSA used to become available on Jan. 1, making it almost impossible for students to apply to school with financial aid in mind…Brian Taylor, the director of Ivy Coach, a private college counseling service, said the move from January to October is a significant change because it will also paint a bigger picture of families’ finances, especially those who are not salaried. ‘What if you work on commission? Let’s say you made $100,000 this year, but last year, you made $40,000,’ he said. ‘You shouldn’t rely on just one year [of taxes]. It’s more of a picture of your earnings.'” True statement.