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Franken office to host College aide info night in St. Cloud

Franken office to host College aide info night in St. Cloud Click to Enlarge Photo: Feng Yu, Photos.com

May 17, 2012 at 7:31 am

ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) - If you're having trouble figuring out how you're going to pay to send your high schooler to college, Minnesota Senator Al Franken want to help. Members of Franken's staff are holding a College Affordability Resource Night in St. Cloud Thursday night.

The meeting, to be held at 6:30 Thursday at Apollo High School, is intended to give families a clearer picture of the true cost of education before choosing a school.  Franken says the avalanche of letters going out to prospective college students, some grants, some loans, leaves almost everyone perplexed.

"I showed two different forms...and you could not decipher these things, "Franken said. "One was a Stafford Subsidized Loan, and that was a loan, and you knew it was a loan, only because it says loan. But it doesn't necessarily give you the interest rates; it doesn't tell you what you're going to pay when you graduate."

Franken has introduced legislation called the "Understanding the True Cost of College Act" –to require colleges to use easier-to-understand standard language in financial aid offers to students.

"We've discovered that these letters can be incredibly confusing because they are not universal," Franken said. "That makes it extremely difficult for parents and students to sort out the true costs of school."

With the skyrocketing cost of college, Franken knows it's never been more vital for parents and students to know what they're getting into. Tonight's meeting at Apollo will be a great way to get a better handle on the financial outlook.

"They might want to bring letters that their kids have received...and they can compare what the different aide offers are, try to figure out what this will mean when they graduate, how much they'll owe and how much per month it'll be," Franken said.

Franken says the goal tonight is to inform and help parents decipher what the true cost of their kid's education will be.

The meeting begins Thursday at 6:30 in Room 147 at Apollo High School. Franken's state education advisor Dan Solomon will lead the meeting.  It's free and open to the public.

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