Consensus lacking on student loan rates

Federal student loans will be on many new students’ horizons as they finalize their financial aid packages next month. And this week, the U.S. Senate is facing mounting pressure to address the year-to-year uncertainty surrounding the loans.

Financial aid

UNC offers need-based financial aid to help off-set the costs of attendance. Eligibility for financial aid is based on information provided by students on FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and the CSS/PROFILE. Parents’ income and assets factor into how much a student will receive. Students must request financial aid yearly and fill out new forms each time.

UNC tries to meet the full extent of a student’s financial need. Nearly half of the students receive aid, and 1 in 3 students borrow to afford school. Average student debt is lower at UNC than at similar schools.

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Fiscal crisis threatens ?nancial aid

UNC-system administrators say they will use their newfound flexibility with tuition revenues to better meet students’ financial aid needs. After the UNC-system Board of Governors voted Friday to grant universities more control of their funds, tuition and fee committees across the system will take a closer look at their schools’ individual financial aid needs.

Viewpoint: The minimum aid requirement should stay

Thomas Ross’s proposal is less damaging than the previously suggested cap on money set aside for financial aid at 25 percent. But while some call the new proposal a compromise, the motivation behind the proposed cap — that using money one person pays to help another is unfair — remains.

Levels of UNC financial aid could decrease

UNC-system President Thomas Ross wants to hand the reins to campuses to determine how much tuition revenue they should devote to need-based financial aid. Campuses have been required to set aside at least 25 percent of new revenue from tuition increases for need-based financial aid since the adoption of the second four-year tuition and fee plan in 2010.

Thorp talks aid in capital

UNC joined a select group of the nation’s colleges and universities in a commitment to financial aid transparency this week. “We want to make sure students get the best information they can and that they understand it,” Thorp said.

Protecting ?nancial aid at UNC

At Thursday’s Board of Governors budget and finance committee meeting, UNC-system President Thomas Ross’s tuition plan passed by a vote of 5-1. But the discussion surrounding the vote was still contentious, and its subject has the potential to change the character of UNC even more than the highest tuition increase would.