Most US families cannot cover college costs | This Week in Admissions News

25/08/20235 minute read
Most US families cannot cover college costs | This Week in Admissions News

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. This week, the Biden Administration unveiled an affordable student loan repayment plan even as new analysis reveals that most US families cannot afford the cost of college. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!

Most US families cannot cover college costs

The Biden-Harris Administration launched an affordable student loan repayment plan – the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan and kicked off an outreach campaign to encourage eligible borrowers to sign up for the plan. The administration estimates that over 20 million borrowers could benefit from this program. Meanwhile, new analysis has found that 90 percent of students who received a Pell Grant, federal financial aid for low-income students, still have unmet need, compared to 56 percent of students who never received a Pell Grant, Inside Higher Ed has reported.

According to the analysis by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, 88 percent of Black students, 82 percent of Hispanic students and 78 percent of Asian students, Native American students and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have unmet need, compared to 68 percent of white students. The analysis also found the average amounts of unmet need vary widely by race and socioeconomic status. Pell Grant recipients had an average unmet need of about $9,800, while students who never received a Pell Grant could generally cover college costs using grants and family money with an estimated $5,000 leftover on average.

The analysis also delves into the percentage of household incomes families need to spend to pay for college depending on their socioeconomic status. Students from families with the lowest incomes had to spend 148 percent of their household incomes to pay for full-time enrollment at a four-year college. Families with low incomes had to spend 51 percent, while middle-income families and high income families needed to spend 35 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

The SAVE plan is an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan that calculates payments based on a borrower’s income and family size – not their loan balance – and forgives remaining balances after a certain number of years. The SAVE plan will cut many borrowers’ monthly payments to zero, will save other borrowers around $1,000 per year, will prevent balances from growing because of unpaid interest, and will get more borrowers closer to forgiveness faster. The SAVE plan builds on broader actions by the Biden-Harris Administration to deliver relief to student loan borrowers, fix problems in the student loan system, and make college more affordable. However, the plans have come under fire as several organizations seek to end the cancellation of student debts.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. The number of students accepted on to UK degree courses has fallen this year, Ucas figures show, Oxford Mail has reported. A total of 414,940 applicants (of all ages and domiciles) have gained a place at university or college – down 2.6% on the same point last year, according to data published by the university admissions service. For 18-year-olds in the UK, 230,600 applicants have been accepted – down 3.1% on last year. Overall, 19,010 UK 18-year-old applicants have missed the conditions of their university offer and are now eligible to find places in clearing, compared with 15,090 last year and 17,270 in 2019. Ucas said 79% of 18-year-old applicants from the UK have gained a place at their first choice university or college, which is down from 81% last year but up from 74% in 2019 – the year before the pandemic.
  2. Students at Christ’s College who are continuing on to postgraduate degrees are outraged after Christ’s unexpectedly announced that there was no available accommodation for many of them, Varsity has reported. Due to the ongoing marking and assessment boycott, students who have completed undergraduate degrees in subjects including English, History and Geography have not been awarded a final degree grade. Christ’s offered accommodation to students returning for master’s degrees only after they met their offer, which students without grades are still unable to do. This means that Christ’s has already allocated all their rooms, leaving many MPhil candidates unhoused.
  3. The University of Chicago will become the first school among 17 prominent colleges to settle claims that they conspired for many years to restrict financial aid and overcharged students by billions of dollars in violation of U.S. antitrust law, Reuters has reported. The lawsuit accused all of the defendants of having considered prospective students' financial needs in weighing whether to offer admission, disfavoring students who need aid. Chicago, Brown University, Yale University, Columbia University and other schools that were sued in the lawsuit have denied liability.
  4. The US remains top of a “Soft-Power Index” that shows how many world leaders it has educated, but the UK has closed the gap for the first time, Times Higher Education has reported. The UK briefly topped the rankings in its first year, before the US overtook it in 2018 and has extended its lead in every subsequent year. However, the number of world leaders educated in the US has fallen from 67 to 65 over the last year, while the number educated in the UK has grown from 56 to 58. The duo are followed by France (30), Russia (10), Switzerland (7), Australia (6), Italy (6) and Spain (6).
background image

Want to be a top candidate at a leading US or UK university?

Crimson is the world’s leading university admissions support company helping students get into the Ivy League, Oxbridge and more!