Guidelines for Stories about Financial Aid Experiences
America’s Promise is working with the Gates Foundation as part of the foundation’s commitment to make the college financial aid system work better for students. How can college be more affordable? How can consumers of financial make better decisions? Most important, how can financial aid help increase college completion rates?
To illustrate key issues, America’s Promise wants to hear from students about their financial aid experiences. Selected stories will be featured on americaspromise.org and in other materials in order to show how the financial aid system affects college choices, college life, family decisions, and life after graduation.
We encourage you to share your story with us, based on the questions below. Think about making your experiences into a story – what are the highlights? What details are most important, and which ones can you leave out?
As you develop your personal account, be aware that we are not looking for detailed information about your family finances, but do include general description that enables readers to understand your financial situation.
Organize your story around these guidelines:
- 400 words
- Information about your background – had other members of you family gone to college? What sort of high school did you come from? Why were you going to college? What else would help people understand your situation?
Answer at least two of these questions:
- When did you first start thinking about how you would pay for college?
- Who helped you figure out how to afford college?
- To what extent did cost affect your college choice?
- How did the fact that you are (or were) on aid affect the course choices, including your major, that you made?
- What’s the one piece of advice you’d share with someone who is just starting the financial aid process?
- What do you wish you would have known earlier in the journey?
To encourage you to share your story, we will be awarding a $50 Target gift card to two people who submit their stories. The winners will be chosen at random from submissions that fit the criteria listed above.