New online resource helps educators answer students' college questions

Posted on Friday, 12/6/2013 9:23 PM

Teachers and other school officials have a lot to stay on top of throughout the academic year, from new methods of delivering instruction to different ways of tracking academic progress, such as student data systems. Education officials who work with older pupils need to be mindful of the looming college admissions process and be ready to assist learners with whatever questions they may have.

Of course, teachers, guidance counselors and other individuals college-bound students go to with their questions won't necessarily have the answers they seek. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education is ready to lend a hand answering questions related to financial aid.

Introducing the Financial Aid Toolkit
President Barack Obama wants more people to earn college degrees. To help them achieve this goal, his administration has taken steps to ensure that degree seekers are more informed during their college search.

Through the U.S. Department of Education's new Financial Aid Toolkit, which is located online at, school officials, parents and anyone else interested in helping students have a very informative new resource to rely on for answers. The recently announced website is designed to help those who assist students in the selecting and financing of their collegiate studies, according to a department press release.

"By equipping counselors and mentors with financial aid information, we can help to ensure current and potential students are getting the assistance they need to successfully navigate the process of planning and paying for a postsecondary education," said Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education. "This toolkit builds on the administration's ongoing efforts to improve college access and affordability, and it is an important step toward meeting the president's 2020 goal of having the most college graduates in the world."

How it helps
While the Web is loaded with information both helpful and distracting, a resource like the Financial Aid Toolkit is beneficial for several reasons.

For starters, various pieces of information are neatly organized on the website so that visitors can easily find what they are looking for. The toolkit's homepage features sections such as "Learn About Financial Aid" and "Get Training."

The fact that all this information is located in one convenient location on the Web allows teachers, academic advisers and others to easily share it with everyone from parents to middle school students. Ultimately, such resources, when combined with academic initiatives such as the Common Core State Standards, help to ensure brighter college careers for K-12 students.

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