Every college in the nation has a financial aid department with people ready and willing to assist. They help guide students and their parents through the process of filling out paperwork and such. Although they do provide much information, financial aid advisors may be missing some crucial bits of info that may cause adverse effects on a student’s post college life. I’ve detailed 3 glaring examples of places where financial advisors may be lacking.
#1 How much debt you’ll have when you graduate: School advisors craft up these neat plans detailing exactly what classes you’ll need for graduation and the exact step by step process for completion. However, neither your academic advisor nor the financial aid advisor provides information regarding how much you’ll be on the hook for when the smoke settles and the degree is completed. This is rather unfortunate because students only think about the classes and the pressure. As a past student, I know for sure that repayment of student loans was the furthest thing from my thoughts. I was more concerned with completing classes and graduating. In my opinion, if advisors would take the time to notify students on how much they’ll be tasked with paying back, it would potentially decrease the dropout rate.
#2 How much financial aid to apply for: Here’s another issue, students have no idea how much money they really need to get through a semester. If a student was equipped with this information, I believe they would have a lot less debt when graduating. Financial aid advisors usually assist students and parents through the daunting process of filling out paperwork but neglect the process of providing tangible information regarding the actual amount the student needs to apply for. Also, I’ve seen thousands of instances where students are provided a financial aid “refund” only to waste the cash on frivolous things. The financial aid advisor can step in, find out the refund amount and help the student craft a plan to properly utilize the funds.
#3 How late/delinquent payments will affect your credit: Last, but certainly not least, advisors can give students pointers on how to manage their student debts. Now, while the financial aid advisors can’t make them pay the money back, they can certainly provide “worse-case scenarios and consequences for unpaid loans. Again, if students were fully aware of what may happen by not paying loans, maybe the country would have less student loan defaults and non-payments. It’s all theory, we wouldn’t know if any of this would work for sure unless it was implemented and tracked. However, I would consider this a moral obligation as a few missed payments could cause severe damage to a student’s credit rating
While these are my most 3 pressing issues with financial aid advisors, there may be many more. I know for sure that our system is designed for children to go through college and have the best chance to succeed in life but the financial aspect is skipped much too often in schools. All the way down to the high school level, students need to be provided more information regarding finances and the administration of them.