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Aspiring College Students Know ‘Shockingly’ Little About Financial Aid

Total U.S. student debt is $1.5 trillion and counting.

college student
Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg
Updated on

High school students know very little about how financial aid works, according to a new analysis.

An overwhelming majority of 11th and 12th graders (from 73% to 81%, depending on income group) were unaware that the government will subsidize their interest on qualifying existing loans while they are still in college, according to a new analysis of data by the ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. From 67% to 70% didn’t know about a program that allows students to repay loans slower, based on how much money they make after college, the study found. Data were collected in April 2018 from approximately 1,200 students registered to take the ACT.