By Bob Katzen
Senate 39-0, approved and sent to the House legislation that would require all colleges in Massachusetts to give applicants who have been accepted to the college, a uniform financial aid information sheet, developed by the federal government, to assist with the financial part of the student’s decision whether to enroll in that school. Currently, an estimated 3,300 U.S. institutions across the nation, including 66 in Massachusetts, already use the information sheet.
Supporters said requiring each college to present the costs of the school per semester on the same standard form will allow potential students and their families to make apples-to-apples comparisons of the benefits and costs of attending a school. They argued it is difficult to compare costs when they are presented in a different way by each school.
“This bill represents an inexpensive solution that, starting in the 2019-2020 academic year, would help students find the colleges that will graduate them on time and with as little debt as possible,” said the bill’s sponsor Sen. Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell). “Given our knowledge-based economy and the increasing costs of earning a degree, the commonwealth needs to empower young people and their families with easily digestible data so that students can best position themselves to pursue careers free from unnecessarily burdensome student loans.”