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March 15, 2017

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced a new effort Wednesday to help students better understand college financial aid packages.

There's no way around it: Those dense financial aid offers can be complicated, and might not explain the full costs of enrollment. 

Healey's office and the Boston-based non-profit UAspire are launching a campaign to help families figure out the cost of college, and understand how to pay for it before students enroll.

"College is a great investment. It's okay to take out loans. We want you to understand how much you're gonna owe when you graduate -- how long it's gonna take to pay that money back," Healey said during a media conference unveiling the initiative on Wednesday. 

The online resources include sample forms, tips and calculators for comparing financial aid offers from school to school. By one estimate, more than a million borrowers defaulted on their student loans last year - up 17 percent since 2015.

WATCH Greater BostonGabrielle King Morse (@GabMorseKing), the Massachusetts director of UAspire, and Tom Graf (@MEFAtweets), executive director of the Massachusetts Education Financing Authority (MEFA), join WGBH's Jim Braude to discuss the new initiative.


confronting cost, increasing access and success

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