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The Impact of Financial-Aid Format on Students' Collegiate Financing Decisions

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: This study explored how an alternative presentation of loan information affects financial-aid decisions among students (n = 204) at a large public university. Building from decision-aid literature and using an experimental design, we found that when financial-aid forms were formatted in a way that makes interest rates more accessible and salient, students tended to: (a) accept fewer high-cost private loans and (b) work more during the college years. Results indicate that minor revisions in financial-aid documentation can have a significant impact on students financial-aid choices. Those working in the fields of higher education and financial counseling and planning can use this information to further educate borrowers prior to the encumbrance of student loan debt.

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