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Making College Affordable

Presentation at American Enterprise Institute
by

Sara Goldrick-Rab

on 20 June 2013

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Transcript of Making College Affordable

Making College Affordable
By Sara Goldrick-Rab
Lauren Schudde
Jay Stampen
UW-Madison
77% of Americans say tuition & fees
should be REDUCED.
59% say states need to pay more.
"Net price" is a convenient distraction--
it's rising while median family income is declining
Students, families, and college presidents AGREE:
College is unaffordable
Money for Nothing
Since Title IV began, states
have steadily:
Reduced per-FTE
appropriations
Grown need-based aid
too programs slowly
Invested in merit aid
Done little to regulate
college costs or promote
fiscal responsibility
the status quo
Since Title IV began, institutions have
Encouraged borrowing
Grown increasingly competitive
Equated cost with quality
Use gov't aid to supplant, not supplement their own
We have been TALKING about reforming/reimagining/rethinking financial aid for 45 years -- but always ASSUMING the same thing
The Voucher.
Federal aid= student aid
Students have changed too -
fastest growing groups (Southeast Asian, Latinos) don't embrace norms of "debt as a lifestyle" or "expected family contribution"
Back to basics
Direct aid
Bolster capacity
Reinforce commitment to access & completion
Institutions
States
Must "match" for public institutions to get Title IV
Privates, for-profits get Title IV only if public institutions get match
They must provide match too
Only 1/2 match can come from tuition

Uses of Title IV
Increase spending for disadvantaged student support
Accountability metrics
Limit growth in COA
Growth in risk-adjusted completion rates
Feasibility?
Americans support federal investment,
Oppose state disinvestment
Ratio of users/non-users of higher ed shifted dramatically
Distrust of colleges & universities is growing-- for good reason
Invest in them to gain control
Unintended Consequences?
While we focus on students, the behaviors of states & institutions go unchecked
How hard will the higher ed lobby fight against a national investment in their institutions?
States are spending LESS
Institutions are spending MORE
Students & families are PAYING
Progress requires fundamental shift -- changing the behaviors of states & schools requires it
If we do not ask the hardest questions, we will never find real and lasting answers
Full transcript