Higher Education:

Gaps in Parents' and Students' Knowledge of School Costs and Federal Aid

PEMD-90-20BR: Published: Jul 31, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 29, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed information on students' and parents' knowledge of federal financial aid for higher education and the cost of postsecondary schools.

GAO found that: (1) more than 59 percent of ninth graders had received no information about financial aid from their schools; (2) most middle- and low-income parents without children in college lacked information about specific financial aid programs; (3) although parents were generally aware of financial aid, there were considerable gaps in their specific knowledge; (4) parents who had attended college or who had other children in college knew more about aid than those without such experience; (5) family income and parental education were identified as the most important variables associated with differences in awareness of aid among parents; and (6) students viewed information about financial aid received from colleges, and from families and friends, as more important than information received from high schools.

Feb 22, 2018

Feb 7, 2018

Jan 23, 2018

Dec 18, 2017

Nov 30, 2017

Sep 20, 2017

Sep 14, 2017

Sep 13, 2017

Jul 18, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here