21 Apr

Student Aid Expert Joins Obama Administration

In a time when student aid is more crucial to higher education than it has been in decades, the Obama administration is making some big changes in the Education Department.

New Blood

One of the latest changes is the addition of student aid expert Robert Shireman to the Education Department team. Recently appointed as the deputy secretary of post-secondary education, Shireman may be the beginning of a new era in student aid policy.

Shireman has a long history of working toward college affordability. He has served as both founder and president of the Institute for College Access and Success. He has also been in charge of the James Irvine Foundation’s higher education program.

Student Advocate

Many pro-student activists and lobbyists are excited about Shireman’s new position, because he is considered a student advocate himself. In the past he has worked in various governmental positions that allowed him to help with several education tax credits, including the Hope credit. He has also pushed for better student loan policy.

Changing Environment

It is refreshing to see potential positive changes coming for higher education, especially as so many families are struggling with the recession. I will be keeping a close eye on new higher ed policies and legislation as they come out of Washington and, as always, I will keep you informed!

My advice, though, is not to wait around because change at the government level is often slow. The best way for you and your family to ensure the best possible student aid outcome–and lowest overall college cost–is to start working on it now. Whether it’s setting money aside or actually implementing a cost-cutting strategy, starting early and being proactive will likely have a positive effect on your college funding plan. Even taking baby steps towards funding a college education can end up saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars over time.

All the best,
Deborah Fox

photo: Stars and Stripes by RAWKU5

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