Category Archives: Financial Aid

How Do We Fix High Tuition Cost?

the simplest approach would be to just make community colleges free. They’re already the least expensive higher education institutions in the country, and there’s no evidence that they provide an inferior education to more expensive schools. And as the Miami-Dade system is showing, there’s no reason why community colleges can’t provide quality four-year degrees on top of the two-year programs for which they’re known.

Securing state or federal funds to eliminate tuition, perhaps tied to cost controls to prevent spending from spiraling out of control the way it has at research universities, and to the provision of bachelor’s degrees, would be a straightforward solution. If that was accomplished, then spending problems at other kinds of schools wouldn’t be a major issue. We’ve already guaranteed free access to a K-12 education to all American children; what’s a few more years?

Source: Washington Post.

The Three Reasons Tuition is Rising

There’s no simple takeaway here. But three broad types of problems emerge. Research universities are just spending too much. They’re spending so much that even their record increases in tuition can’t fully pay for it. Figuring out what’s going wrong with them entails figuring out why they’re spending so much, and why that spending has been growing.
But other public universities are, for the most part, just using tuition increases to replace money lost as states cut higher education spending. In the case of public community colleges, even their huge tuition increases aren’t enough to let spending remain constant. Even with higher prices, they still have to cut spending.

Source: Washington Post.

Obama’s Aid Proposals Could Use a Reality Check

If we had a rating system, would it be advisable to adjust the aid packages received by individual students to account for the ratings of the institutions at which they are enrolled?

This is the fundamental problem with the president’s proposal. There is a huge difference between financing institutions based on their performance and adjusting the support for individual students based on the performance of their institutions. As the proposal stands, the penalty for a college that charges its students too much is to take away some of those students’ Pell Grant dollars, making the unfortunate students who enroll there still worse off.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Linking student aid to new ratings of colleges

President Obama appears to be making good on his vow to propose a “shake-up” for higher education.
Early Thursday, he released a plan that would:

  • Create a new rating system for colleges in which they would be evaluated based on various outcomes (such as graduation rates and graduate earnings), on affordability and on access (measures such as the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants).
  • Link student aid to these ratings, such that students who enroll at high performing colleges would receive larger Pell Grants and more favorable rates on student loans.
  • Create a new program that would give colleges a “bonus” if they enroll large numbers of students eligible for Pell Grants.
  • Toughen requirements on students receiving aid. For example, the president said that these rules might require completion of a certain percentage of classes to continue receiving aid.

Source: Inside Higher Ed.

Also read Washington Post’s ‘Everything You Need To Know About The President’s Plan’.