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SUNY Campuses Now Using Standardized Financial Aid Award Letter

Vaidotas2007, flickr

Students hoping to attend a SUNY school this fall will soon be able to make a more informed decision, thanks to the campuses streamlining their Financial Aid Award Letters.

“This award letter is supposed to be the same across not only SUNY, but eventually they hope to have it across the county,” David said. “So, when a student gets an award letter from four different schools they’ll look just the same.”

Tom David is the interim Financial Aid Director at SUNYIT. He says the new letters will include the costs to attend the campus, along with information like the graduation rate and loan default rate.

“As the costs go up, the government grants and the entitlement programs such as Pell and the state grant, TAP (Tuition Assistance Program), are not keeping pace,” David said. “So, unfortunately students are basically having to borrow more and more each year.”

Currently, the average debt of a SUNY grad is $22,575, about $4,000 less than the national average of $26,600. SUNYIT, in particular, also has a very low loan default rate, hovering at just below 4 percent.

The new letters are part of SUNY’s “Smart Track” campaign, aimed at decreasing loan default rates of its students by five percent during the next five years. They should be put into use for the upcoming 2013-14 academic year.

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