To Fix Student Aid, First Try to Understand It

Everyone Wants to Fix Student Aid 1

Mark Abramson for The Chronicle

Bill Gates's foundation has financed studies to suggest ways to fix financial aid.

Pretty much everyone agrees that the federal financial-aid system is broken. But fewer agree on exactly how it is broken, or on what should be done to fix it. In fact, despite the amount of money spent on aid and the number of students who rely on it, experts' understanding of how the current system affects students remains limited.

But the march to make a better student-aid system goes on. The most recent effort is Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery, a project sponsored by the Bill