Federal Reserve Bank study suggests college financial aid may not go far enough for many people

Rutgers-Camden has for the last two years offered last dollar financial aid for those who have maxed out all other assistance sources.

David Madden
May 26, 2018 - 9:30 pm
Financial Aid
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has performed a study of a special financial aid package at Rutgers-Camden and has come up with some findings that may help anyone looking for extra help in affording a college education.
    
Rutgers-Camden has for the last two years offered last dollar financial aid for those who have maxed out all other assistance sources. And many other schools offer similar programs these days according to Eileen Divringi, co-author of the federal "Bridging the Gap" report.
     
She suggests many pondering the leap into a four year college get hit with what amounts to sticker shock.
    
"While the program did reduce a lot of financial stress for students, there were kind of a lot of financial challenges outside of tuition that students continue to struggle with," Divringi told KYW Newsradio.
    
Everything from a car payment to the cost of textbooks. Traditional financial aid doesn't address those issues, even those at places like Rutgers-Camden that might allow someone to go to college tuition-free.  
    
"The tuition support really does help," Divringi added. "Students definitely said they felt less pressure to take out student loans or to work during the semester, and they found themselves sort of less distracted by kind of their anxieties around their financial situation. But these other kinds of expenses outside tuition matter too."
    
Divringi suggests it may be time to re-define the parameters of financial aid to take external issues into account.
    
To read her report, click here.