Sunday, October 31, 2010

Study Finds a Bigger Role for Financial Aid as Tuition and Fees Rise

A few days ago the New York Times, Associated Press, and other news outlets covered a recent report by the College Board on the cost of higher education. To sum it up, the study found that university tuition and fees have increased. However, at the same time, financial aid has increased slightly more than the sticker cost. (The study has a lot of great information, and you can read the whole thing by clicking here: LINK)

The study's data is recent enough to include the current economic downturn, which made it harder for many families to afford college.

Sources in the news articles and the report suggest that this boost in financial aid - due largely to recent legislation - is temporary. Whether that's true or not, the study calls attention to the important role financial aid plays in the real cost of higher education.

For Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, the real cost of college is higher than it should be, because they are not allowed to apply for many scholarships and fellowships for underrepresented minorities. It makes sense that overrepresented racial and ethnic groups and not targeted by these financial aid sources, but Pacific Islanders are underrepresented - and they are wrongfully excluded.

We can - and I believe we will - lower the real cost of higher education for Pacific Islanders by ending their exclusion from financial aid sources for underrepresented minorities. When that happens, it might not be studied by the College Board or reported by big name news sources. But more importantly, it would have a real affect on the promising men and women who would be able to afford college and achieve their potential.


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