Applications for federal student aid are coming in to the government at a faster pace this year, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators recently reported, citing information from the U.S. Department of Education.
The department told the association that by the last week in February, it had processed almost three million student-aid applications for the 2009-10 award year, an increase of more than 20 percent over the comparable period in the previous application cycle. The department is expected to post detailed statistics on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals section of its Web site in late March or early April.
The association also reported department figures suggesting continuing gains for the government’s direct-student-loan program, where volume is up more than $7-billion so far this academic year, compared with the same period in 2007-8. The bank-based Federal Family Education Loan program has also seen an increase in volume, of $6.2-million, but 59 fewer institutions have used that program so far this year, compared with the same period last year. —Charles Huckabee