Finding a Fit: The Evolution of Student-Centered Financial Aid

by: Tyton Partners | Papers |Jun 14th, 2017

A publication focusing on identifying challenges and emerging solutions related to technology in the U.S. financial aid system.

Challenges and complexities within the financial aid process have a significant impact on students’ ability to pay for and complete school. Nearly 3 million students drop out every year for reasons related to finances.  Beginning in 2016, Tyton Partners conducted a national research study with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and in collaboration with AACRAO, NACAC, and NASFAA to better understand the issues in the US higher education financial aid system and begin to develop some potential solutions.

The focus of this work was to identify, from both a student and an administrator perspective, the issues that are causing friction and challenges within the current financial aid process – specifically, the barriers created by the existing system and the technology currently being used. There are obviously other issues regarding financing college – notably a lack of available funds and a myriad of issues related to government policy. Those areas are certainly important to improving the financial aid system, but they are not the focus of this paper.

This study had two parts: a study of the evolution of how higher ed institutions have adopted various form of technology, and a broad-based survey of more than 1,800 higher ed administrators to determine their views on financial aid technology and the financial aid system more broadly.  In addition to the survey, Tyton Partners also conducted over 30 in-depth interviews with higher education administrators, technology suppliers, and other financial aid experts.

This paper outlines the issues with the current system and offers a blueprint to help solve them as the market evolves. The stakes are high, as millions of students are currently failing to complete their degree, many for financial reasons.

Recent Library Posts

Jun

16

Jun 16, 2021

The Resilience of K-12 Teachers

Our survey took the pulse of K-12 teachers to get a sense of how their practice evolved this current year – and what next year has in store for them.

Jun

3

Jun 3, 2021

And One Platform to Rule Them All

As the U.S. collectively emerges from the pandemic, we see no slowdown in enthusiasm for EdTech among investors. The pace and size of deals across all dimensions of the education market continues to grow. And the enthusiasm seems well-warranted. K-12 and post-secondary institutions find themselves with new federal funds to deploy and corporations are as eager as ever to upskill, reskill or simply retain talent through sponsored training.

May

19

May 19, 2021

After COVID-19: Driving Academic Transformation Through Public-Private Partnerships

Just over a year ago, in a matter of a...

May

12

May 12, 2021

Survey: Parents and Caregivers Increasing Agency Over K-12 Schooling Choices

Tyton Partners releases “School Disrupted,” a three-part series investigating the...