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What Are Your Financial Aid Families Worried About? We Know the Answer!

November 15, 2023
Allie Howe
Operations Manager

Clarity cares deeply about the concerns of families during their financial aid application process, just like the schools that we serve. Our team, many of whom are parents themselves, have been thoughtful about ways to engage with families, hear their questions, and address concerns early. Since we first started accepting applications, there has been encouraging success through our family-focused webinars.

We have hosted thousands of families through this webinar series to support them through the financial aid process. They are led by some of our leadership: Brennan Stark (Co-Founder and CEO), Matt Sherman (Co-Founder and CTO), Drew Cocco (Director of Client Success), and Justin Quizon (Family Support Manager). Our most recent east coast family webinar had over 700 attendees (with almost twice as many registrants) and answered over 400 questions about the application process, security, and Clarity as a company. The responses to these sessions have been motivating.

“Do you have to enter your social security number during the application process?”

Parents worried about their identities or unfamiliar with IRS forms ask about sharing their social security numbers and who has access to them. Understandably cautious in a world of personal information living online, many ask about our privacy policies and whether information is shared with third parties. These questions give us the chance to reassure families about the security of our process for automatically pulling their tax information from the IRS to save them time, as well as our information privacy policies.

“Can I use one Clarity application for two children, i.e. list both kids schools on one application?”

Other families have questions about how to fill in their application for their unique situation. Divorced parents have asked how to use the application while keeping distance and privacy. Parents with multiple children wonder if they can put more than one school on an application. Everyone worried about balancing their schedule wants to know if they can save what they’ve done and return at a later time.

Even during a single webinar, our team happily answers these standard questions over and over again. Not only are they easy to answer, but we’ve all wondered about these ourselves when filling out financial forms! With how intimidating it has previously proved to be filling out financial aid applications, we are thrilled to be able to clear the path to an easier way.

“What if I changed jobs in 2023, so my current income is substantially lower than what is reflected on my 2022 tax return?”

Not all questions are as straightforward, of course: Gig workers and new business owners want direction on where to log their income. Those with multiple properties ask about proper labeling and reporting on secondary housing and rentals. When addressing more complicated questions, our team will often take time to answer live and give context to their answers, as well as to make sure as many viewers as possible can follow along.

“THANK YOU. I didn’t believe that this was easier than the application the school was using before but it IS. This webinar has been so helpful also.”

The gratitude from viewers and relief at knowing what to expect when filling out the Clarity application has meant a lot to our team and encouraged us to continue these focused webinars. It has given us the opportunity to hear what families have to say and improve both their experience with the platform and the support we are able to give throughout the application season. We couldn’t be more excited about the future of these webinars and the continued partnership with both schools and their families.

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