Monday, December 9

Helping Students Navigate the World of Financial Aid

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Lindsay Curtis

by Lindsay Curtis

First-generation college student Hannah R. was ecstatic when she received her acceptance letter from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania — her first choice for college. But that joy began to fade when Hannah sat down at the kitchen table with her older sister, Michelle, to look at how she would pay for her education. Michelle had obtained her BScN a decade earlier and felt confident she could easily help her sister navigate the world of higher education financial aid.

She was wrong. Everything had changed since Michelle graduated, and the sisters’ enthusiasm quickly waned when they realized not only how much work would need to go into applying for aid, but how much debt Hannah would have after graduation — even with the help of scholarships and grants. 

Staggering debt

Hannah’s story isn’t unique. Student loan debt in the United States has ballooned to $1.52 trillion in 2019 — more than double what it was in 2009. 


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