On Oct. 9, Troy University became one of more than 400 partner institutions across 44 states committed to the College Cost Transparency Initiative, a task force representing higher education associations with a sole focus on helping institutions communicate with students and families about college costs in a way that is clear, accurate and helpful.
In the fall of 2022, the leaders of 10 higher education associations representing college presidents, financial aid offices, admissions and school counselors announced the creation of the College Cost Transparency Initiative with a goal of standardizing language used in financial aid offers so all costs, terms and conditions are easily comprehensible.
“For years now, Troy University has made it a priority that all language regarding financial aid offers be transparent, clear and concise so that students and their families can make the best, most informed decisions possible,” said Alicia Bookout, Associate Vice Chancellor of Financial Aid. “TROY is committed to that priority now more than ever, and we are proud to be an official partner of the College Cost Transparency Initiative.”
The principles and standards partner institutions must meet require financial aid offers to undergraduate students:
- Are transparent, ensuring that costs are understandable for students and families, and include the most accurate estimate possible of a student’s costs.
- Describe and explain all types of aid offered using standardized, plain language.
- Prominently display critical components, such as an estimate of the student’s total cost of attendance, broken down by costs to be paid to the institution and costs paid to others; types and sources of financial aid being offered, separated into grants and scholarships, student loans, and student employment or work; an estimated net price; and more.
- Follow U.S. Department of Education guidance with regard to referencing Parent PLUS Loans.
- Provide information about employment requirements and information on job placement, if student employment is offered.
- Explain the terms and conditions and information on how much student loan debt may cost over time, if federal student loans are included.
“Students and families need upfront, accurate, and clear information when making decisions about college,” said Peter McPherson, Chair of the CCT task force and President Emeritus of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). “Some standard terminology and clear requirements on what is to be included in financial aid offers is important. Colleges and universities are committing to give students and families the information they need.”
For more information on the College Cost Transparency Initiative, visit collegeprice.org.