IN THE WAKE OF LAST YEAR'S investigations into loan provider and financial aid office relationships, some campuses hesitate to recommend any lender for fear that they'll be perceived as steering business to certain lenders.
THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS made by many student loan companies that they would be tightening lending practices and increasing loan rates and fees highlights the importance of student financial aid counseling and the need for more need-based student aid funding.
FINANCIAL AID OFFICES strive to provide excellent customer service to students and parents, but federal regulations, state mandates, and institutional guidelines can limit the services they are able to provide.
THE QUESTIONABLE AC-tions of a few financial aid directors and a lack of clear guidance on private student loans sparked a political and media firestorm that associate all financial aid professionals with the questionable practices of less than 0.1 percent of the profession.
THE RECENT SCRUTINY OF colleges' preferred lender lists by state and federal officials, while intended to expose unscrupulous student lending practices, has generated a flood of misleading information in the media and in political arenas about a common practice designed to benefit students.
The rapid increase in private, or alternative, student loans increases the importance of financial aid administrators, who provide crucial information to families about terms and conditions of various loan options.