Student Financial Aid Refunds Expected to Face Significant Change in Disbursement

A major change might soon be coming for college students in regard to their financial aid. Students that use the FASFA program and are approved for a certain amount of federal grants will likely no longer get a refund in the traditional manner. For those unfamiliar with the standard system here is how it works. Students enroll for classes, federal financial aid is then sent directly to the school to be applied to each individual’s balance due for tuition. If there is a surplus difference between the tuition costs and the grant money then the remainder is returned to the student via a check or direct deposit. Betsy DeVos is aiming to change the refund method with many questioning her intentions.

The proposed change would give financial aid refunds back to students in the form of a pre-paid bank card. Betsy DeVos, Education Secretary, has been working to revamp the student financial aid process to become more streamlined. Concerns from the public are quickly arising citing privacy invasion. Essentially, the government can control where and how students spend their money and see their transactions. The previous head of financial aid, A. Wayne Johnson, said: “We will have controls.” The intention of the proposed change is clear, to allow the government to keep track of where these funds go after distribution, the question is whether or not Big Brother is taking another step toward invading the privacy of its citizens.

February 17, 2018

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