Pre-pandemic Financial Aid Packages Inadequate

for College Students

+ Jodie Adams Kirshner


In an opinion piece in the Tennessean, “Pre-pandemic Financial Aid Packages Inadequate for College Students,” Research Professor Jodie Kirshner describes the challenges under the current rules for college student financial aid in the current pandemic world of disruptions in employment. This environment causes problems for students whose “financial aid packages are based on their families’ tax returns from two years ago.” She then argues for “a standardized process for updating financial aid packages.” In building her argument, she writes:

...even before coronavirus, any hope for obtaining financial aid that truly reflects what students and their families can afford at the time that matters most–the start of college rather than two years before–entails convoluted and haphazard appeals processes that are impossible to predict. The current crisis should finally afford recognition that families living on the edge, vulnerable to economic currents, frequently encounter setbacks and job losses that render economic evaluations from two years earlier mostly meaningless.

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