Feb 7, 2014
07:43 AMThe Connecticut Story
Yale, Other Colleges Misled Students on Financial Aid Forms, Congressman Says
NEW HAVEN--A Maryland congressman claims more than 100 colleges, including Yale University, Quinnipiac University and Connecticut College, misled potential students about which financial aid forms were necessary to apply for admission.
In some cases, the colleges told potential applicants that a fee-based form was necessary to get financial aid. In other cases, colleges did not make it clear financial aid could be secured simply by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form.
“I asked my staff to look into this issue because many college applicants and their families find it challenging to navigate the process of applying for financial aid and I want to be sure colleges and universities are providing clear and accurate information,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in an email to the Register.
“The intent of the Higher Education Act is to make it easier for students to apply for financial aid, but we have found that many colleges and universities are making this process more complicated and costly, and may be potentially violating the law,” Cummings said.
Cummings sent the findings of the investigation to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan earlier this week.
The announcement comes on the heels of recent efforts by the White House to expand access to higher education for students from lower-income families. Yale University President Peter Salovey attended a White House summit in January devoted to the issue, and Yale agreed to a series of initiatives aimed at drawing more applications from lower-income students.
Yale spokesman Tom Conroy said Thursday the university has changed the wording on its financial aid webpage in response to Rep. Cummings’ concerns.
“We certainly don’t think anyone was misled by Yale,” Conroy said.