Oct 27, 2009

Financial Aid: The University Insider’s Guide

Dean Douglas Christiansen of Vanderbilt University is back. This time, he introduces the complicated subject of financial aid in a video sequel to his extremely popular talk on college admissions. “Financial Aid: The University Insider’s Guide” gently takes the viewer through financial aid terminology and offers guidance on everything from the FAFSA to merit aid. Moving away from the “austere” or “green visor” image of financial aid offices, Dean Christiansen parks himself in front of a fireplace and returns to the familiar Q&A format from the admissions video. The goal is to arm families with basic information so they know the kinds of questions to ask and to encourage them to do so without apprehension or embarrassment.

Few families feel comfortable discussing personal finances. And, most families hate the thought that money might somehow affect where their kids go to college. Dean Christiansen encourages families to begin conversations early but strongly advises against setting up barriers before understanding the process. The single biggest mistake families make, he stresses, is “self-selecting” out of financial aid by not completing applications such as the FAFSA or CSS Profile. He warns against eliminating schools based on limited information and without knowing the kinds of support that may be available. He also insists that no question should be avoided out of fear that inquiries into aid may lead to disqualification from admission. Get educated, understand the terms, and ask about aid policies.

You won’t find a better beginning tutorial on financial aid. It’s fifteen minutes well spent.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this information, I like your idea about posting a tutorial for Dean Douglas Christiansen of Vanderbilt University. It more obvious how your Un used the technology to provide the right information to the student. I wonder what the student and family reaction about this idea? Do they like or find this was a good feedback for them from?