This week, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher met with Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. to discuss transparency of college costs. SUNY will be among the first universities in the country to endorse the Obama administration’s new “Know Before You Owe” financial aid transparency initiative.
The announcement marks the launch of the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet, which will provide prospective students with the type and amount of financial aid they qualify for, and easily compare for them the aid packages offered by different institutions.
“President Obama and his administration have shown a clear commitment to ensuring that every American has access to a college education that they can afford,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “It has been a great privilege to partner with the administration as it seeks to put all of our country’s colleges and universities on a path toward providing students with a complete and comparable college costs outlook and giving them the tools they need to make informed decisions about where to attend college and how to pay for it.”
Chancellor Zimpher and Vice President Biden were later joined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Richard Cordray, Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz, and nine other college presidents for a roundtable discussion around the topics at hand.
Each of the colleges represented at the meeting have committed to providing the following information in one easy-to-understand place, to all incoming students as part of their financial aid package, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year:
- How much one year of college will cost;
- Financial aid options to pay this cost, with a clear differentiation between grants and scholarships, which do not have to be repaid, and loans, which do;
- Net costs after grants and scholarships are taken into account;
- Estimated monthly payments for the federal student loans the student would likely owe after graduation; and
- Vital information about student results, including comparative information about the rates at which students enroll from one year to the next, graduate, and repay their loans without defaulting on their obligations.
Chancellor Zimpher added, “Just as SUNY readily adopted the administration’s Net Price Calculator, which gives students a more accurate snapshot of their unique financial situation, our 64 colleges and universities are proud to be among the first in the country to embrace the shopping sheet. I commend President Obama and his administration on making this tool available. It is truly a step in the right direction.”
For more information about the announcement, visit the White House blog.