90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Navigating College Financial Aid

The inside dope on college financial aid. The way it really works, who gets what, and how.

Students cheer and wave as President Barack Obama, not pictured, exits the podium after speaking at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, beginning his two day bus tour speaking about college financial aid.  (AP)

Students cheer and wave as President Barack Obama, not pictured, exits the podium after speaking at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, beginning his two day bus tour speaking about college financial aid. (AP)

It’s the season of decision for American families and their young high school near-graduates looking to head off to college. Where will they go? And what will it cost? The two are all mixed up together. The cost of college is truly daunting for most families in this country now. And figuring out real costs, financial aid and the bottom line is a challenge. Colleges can be anything but transparent. Financial aid letters are marketing documents. “Need” and “aid” can mean all kinds of things. This hour On Point: paying for college, and college financial aid. How it really works. Who gets what, and why.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Beckie Supiano, staff reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education. (@becksup)

Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of Edvisors Network. Author of “Filing the FAFSA.” (@mkant)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), senior U.S. Senator from Connecticut. (@SenBlumenthal)

From Tom’s Reading List

Chronicle of Higher Education: When Families Ask Colleges for More Money – “April should bring a sigh of relief to seniors with college acceptances in hand. But for some students and their families, the fat envelope isn’t the end of the road.

New York Times: What You Don’t Know About Financial Aid (but Should) – “But the price calculators, potentially powerful instruments, vary in thoroughness, ease of use and even accuracy, and most colleges do not use the shopping sheet, which is voluntary. Not only could the tools be better, but many students and parents are unaware of them.”

Slate: Small Private Colleges Are in Deep Trouble (as They Should Be) — “What we’re witnessing right now, then, is a small brush fire, clearing out some of the unhealthier institutions in higher ed. It will be wrenching for the schools and the people who work for them. But hopefully, it will also inspire some better ways of doing business.”

Check Out Our Blog For Some Links And Tips For Navigating Financial Aid

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 23, 2014
Cindy Cook holds a photo of her mother, former Rep. Alice Cook Bassett, at her home in Calais, Vt., Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Cook took care of her mother in December when she decided to stop eating and drinking to put an end to her life. (AP)

A bipartisan report says medical care at the end of life needs a big overhaul. One bioethicist says, “After 75, no major interventions. Let me go.”

Sep 23, 2014
Fabiano Caruana, of Italy, was the winner of the 2014 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, MO. His seven straight wins in the tournament are virtually unprecedented in the history of the game. (Courtesy US Chess Champs)

A young grandmaster just did the impossible at a top chess tournament. No one paid attention. Does chess still matter?

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 22, 2014
Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP/Jason DeCrow)

Big climate protests in New York before a big UN summit. Activist and author Naomi Klein says change the economy or die. She’s with us.

 
Sep 22, 2014
President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP/Evan Vucci)

A tough, critical examination of US plans to take on ISIS. Strategy in the hot seat.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment