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Business Officer Magazine

Helping Families Pay

Sessions in this track explored enrollment management, services for veterans, student financial services, and more.

Read an online extra about student services sessions in Business Officer Plus.

Addressing Affordability

As the cost of attending higher education institutions has risen dramatically over the past decade, fewer students have been able to afford tuition, fees, and other expenses. In the session, “Helping Students Afford the Cost of Higher Education,” business officers learned strategies they could use to help make college more affordable for students and families. Robert Brown, vice president for business and administration, Texas A&M University, Commerce, and Edward DesPlas, executive vice chancellor for business affairs, Dallas County Community College District, had recommendations:

  • Work with provosts and other campus administrators to help students pick colleges that best match their academic and career interests.
  • Reach out to middle and high school students and parents to provide instruction on completing financial aid forms.
  • Help launch efforts aimed at lowering student expenses, such as increasing the use of electronic textbooks and streamlining food services.

Institutions could also adopt strategies that help families pay college costs and help students graduate more quickly. At Texas A&M, where half the increase in the state appropriation is allocated to financial aid, students may now enroll for one free course during a winter “mini-term.” Dallas Community College District has frozen tuition at $41 per credit hour until 2011, initiated new scholarship programs, and integrated systems that allow students to take college-credit courses while still in high school.

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