The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators released a report Tuesday recommending best practices for financial aid award letters, including 10 elements that it says should be standardized across institutions. Financial aid award letters should clearly state the cost of attendance; total grants and scholarships; the net price after those scholarships are taken into account; and "self-help" options such as the federal work-study program, student loans or parent loans, among other information, the association's task force wrote in its report.
The report also calls for requiring reporting all student loans — including those from private lenders — to the federal government, possibly through an expansion of the National Student Loan Data System.
The recommendations come amid calls from some consumer advocates for total standardization of financial aid awards and reports that some award letters confuse prospective students by including loans when calculating expected payments.
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