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Postsecondary Institutions and Cost of Attendance in 2013-14; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred, 2012-13; and 12-Month Enrollment, 2012-13 First Look - The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System collects institution-level information. Here are some factoids from their latest collection: Average tuition and required fees for full-time, first-time undergraduates at public and nonprofit institutions increased from 2011-12 to 2013-14, while tuition and fees decreased at for-profit four-year institutions. Of the roughly 3 million students receiving degrees at Title IV institutions, 47 percent were 18 to 24 years old. (Scott Ginder, Janice E. Kelly-Reid and Farrah B. Mann, National Center for Education Statistics, July 2014)...

Should All Student Loan Payments Be Income-Driven? - The complex federal student loan system is ripe for streamlining, the authors argue, mapping out pros and cons of income-driven repayment plans (IDRs) and passive repayment systems such as paycheck withholding. Requiring IDRs for all borrowers may have unintended consequences. On the plus side, they could help make monthly payments manageable, thus reducing student debt defaults. On the other, IDRs can increase the amount of time borrowers have debt, which might reduce access to other forms of credit. (Lauren Asher, Diane Cheng and Jessica Thompson, The Institute for College Access & Success, April 2014)...

States in the Driver's Seat: Leveraging State Aid to Align Policies and Promote Access, Success, and Affordability - By redesigning financial aid programs, states can attain greater access, affordability, and success for their students in higher education. The authors of this paper looked at the shared responsibility concepts of Minnesota, Oregon and Idaho to come up with proposals that include determining eligibility and award amounts by weighing key players: the student, his or her family, the federal government , state government and the institution. Incentives are embedded for the student and the institution. (Brian T. Prescott and David A. Longanecker, WICHE, April 2014)...

The Impact of Financial Aid on Student Access and Success: The San Antonio Experience - A two-year case study looks at how San Antonio built a base for increasing access to and completion of higher education. Partnerships across sectors and institutions were formed and resulted in Student Aid Saturdays San Antonio, a financial aid curriculum for high school students and the Financial Aid Council of San Antonio. (Eyra A. Perez and Noe C. Ortiz, Excelencia, March 2014) (Eyra A. Perez and Noe C. Ortiz, Excelencia, March 2014)...

Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002): A First Look at 2002 High School Sophomores 10 Years Later - Ten years after they were high school sophomores, 26-year-olds whoíd gotten a bachelorís degree or higher were less likely to have lost a job since January of 2006 (19%) than those with only a high school credential (40%), one of many factoids to be found in a longitudinal study which sheds light on how key markers affected life outcomes. Another: among those who began their postsecondary education within three months of high school completion, 42% had earned a bachelorís degree and another 11% had earned a masterís degree (or higher) by 2012; of those who began their postsecondary education 13 or more months following high school completion, 6% had earned a bachelorís degree and another 1% had earned a masterís degree (or higher) by 2012. (Erich Lauff and Steven J. Ingels, National Center for Education Statistics, January 2014)...

Student Debt and the Class of 2012 - Seven in 10 college seniors graduated last year with debt averaging $29,400. Private loans constituted 20% of their debt; those loans are usually more costly and come with fewer repayment options. Federal loans are safer, according to the authors of this report. Average debt generally increased 6% a year from 2008 while family incomes stagnated and college grads faced worse job prospects. Better data college-level data on debt at graduation and private student loan borrowing was called for. See Table 3 for a 50-state view of average debt, percent with debt, and ranks. (Matthew Reed and Debbie Cochrane, The Project on Student Debt at the Institute for College Access & Success, December 2013)...

Redesigning the Pell Grant Program for the Twenty-First Century Policy Brief - To fit the needs of a 21st century economy and student population, the Pell Grant program needs fundamental reform requiring significant congressional action, the authors argue. They propose augmenting the program's financial support with tailored guidance and support services, simplifying eligibility and application, and offering incentives to students to increase completion rates. (Hamilton Project, October 2013)...

Moving Forward: Early Findings from the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration in Arizona - An experimental program at a Latino-serving community College had three goals: affordability, good academic progress, and to reward students who used student services. Each participant got $150 at program orientation, $150 midterm at a second advising session, and up to $1,000 for completing 12 or more credits with a C or better and participating in a variety of services worth a graduated level of monetary awards. Compared with the control group, the program students were more likely to complete 12 or more credits with a C or better,and were slightly more likely to stay in school. (Reshma Patel and Ireri Valenzuela, MDRC, October 2013)...

Trends in Student Aid 2013 - Spending on both federal grants and loans decreased in 2012-13 while the percentage of all student aid in the form of grants-49%-climbed to its highest level in the past decade, according to this annual report. The number of students receiving Pell Grants increased from 4 million in 1992-93 to 8.8 million in 2012-13. Total education borrowing fell by 6% in real terms between 2011-12 and 2012-13, but 60% of students who earned bachelor's degrees in 2011-12 from the public and private nonprofit institutions where they began their studies graduated with debt, an average of $26,500. (College Board, October 2013)...

Aid Like a Paycheck: Incremental Aid to Promote Student Success - A small-scale program that disburses financial aid to students every other week-after tuition and fees are paid has gone through a pilot stage and could be the subject of a large-scale evaluation by MDRC. The potential for Aid Like a Paycheck is that it could help students' success in college, but also save money at the federal, state and private level by ensuring that aid is distributed while students maintain their enrollment. Because it doesn't involve new funding, the belief is Aid Like a Paycheck could be scaled up. (Michelle Ware, Evan Weissman and Drew McDermott, MDRC, September 2013)...

VA Education Benefits: Student Characteristics and Outcomes Vary across Schools - The majority of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) education pays were made to a small percentage of schools in FY2011, mostly through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Highly VA-funded schools generally produced more positive outcomes than other VA-funded schools. They generally had higher retention and graduation rates. Highly funded VA for-profit schools enrolled a higher percentage of low-income and minority students, had lower retention rates, but higher graduation rates. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, July 2013)...

Supporting Latino Community College Students: An Investment in Our Economic Future - Latinos make up the fastest growing population group in the country, yet their completion rate of an associateís degree or higher is half that of all U.S. adults. Latinos are thwarted by college cost, lack of college knowledge, increased family responsibilities and the need to work. A report released last week suggests if the United States wants to increase its percentage of degree-carrying citizens, policymakers and institutions will need to consider strategies to raise the rate of Latino completion. Authors suggest federal policymakers use Higher Education Act reauthorization to encourage colleges to implement services aligned with retention, completion and employment. Information about financial aid and services should be better targeted, and antiquated eligibility rules should be addressed. (Deborah A. Santiago and Andrew Stettner, Excelencia in Education, Single Stop USA, June 2013)...

Federal Student Loan Debt Burden of Noncompleters - What happens to students who do not complete a postsecondary credential, but, nevertheless, have substantial student loan debt? Among this study's findings: borrowing was higher among noncompleters at for-profit institutions in 2009 than in 2001; completers were more likely to be employed than noncompleters in 2009; the percentage of noncompleters whose federal debt equaled or exceeded 100% of their annual income was greater in 2009 than in 2001 for students who began in for-profit institutions and, though comparatively lower, for students who began in public two-year institutions. (Christina Chang Wei and Laura Horn, National Center for Education Statistics, April 2013)...

Using a Latino Lens to Reimagine Aid Design and Delivery - Federal aid policy must be redesigned, the author argues. Recognizing the growing population of nontraditional students and the nation's need for a more educated workforce, she advocates prioritizing access for Latino students while folding in incentives to complete. Support services for first-generation and low-income students must accompany effective financial aid policy and that support starts with outreach into diverse communities to inform students and their families about federal financial aid and college performance to help them find the "best fit" institution.(Deborah A. Santiago, Excelencia in Education, February 2013)...

Aligning the Means and Ends: How to Improve Federal Student Aid and Increase College Access - Gaps continue to widen in college enrollment and completion between children from high- and low-income families. This report offers solutions to problems of insufficient grant aid; families too uninformed to make wise decisions about cost, financial aid and likelihood of graduation; the federal application's complexity; holding accountable colleges and states for ensuring their students receive a quality education and can graduate without burdensome debt. (Institute for College Access & Success, February 2013) ...

Helping Students Pay for College -- and Achieve Better Outcomes - To help students pay for college and complete degrees quicker, offer financial aid that rewards academic progress. In its research on performance based scholarships, MDRC found large, positive effects on credits earned and persistence in college, and these effects continued even after the scholarships ended. As an example, two community colleges in New Orleans offered low-income students $1,000 per semester over their financial aid if they stayed enrolled at least half-time and earned a C or better grade point average. (MDRC, February 2013)...

Federal Student Aid: Access and Completion - As states reduce financial support for higher education, tuition rises and more students qualify for federal aid. It's possible student loan debt already has exceeded $1 trillion. Congress will be considering ways to reform the system and the author has a few suggestions: reward completion, advise and track Title IV students, reward institutions for exceeding their Title IV completion rate goals, and apply Student Academic Progress (SAP) criteria to those receiving veteran and tax benefits. (R. Michael Tanner, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, January 2013)...

Making Sense of the System: Financial Aid Reform for the 21st Century Student - As higher education becomes more necessary and more expensive, the authors argue our financial aid system needs to be reassessed. They offer 13 policy recommendations in four categories: Promote early and coordinated preparation for college, restructure or repurpose grant and loan delivery systems (maintain the Pell Grant system for need-based aid and make it an entitlement), provide incentives for completion, reduce debt burdens and include better debt repayment options. (Mark Huelsman and Alisa F. Cunningham, Institute for Higher Education Policy, January 2013)...

Burden Greatest on Young, Poor: A Record One-in-Five Households Now Owe Student Loan Debt - This report examines outstanding student loan debt in the context of the debtor householdís other debts, assets and other measures of economic ability to handle the student debt. The report finds that since 2007 the incidence of student debt has increased in nearly every demographic and economic category, as has the size of that debt. (Pew Research Center, September 2012) ...

Higher Education: Improved Tax Information Could Help Families Pay for College - In this report, GAO was asked to (1) describe the size and distribution of Title IV student aid and tax expenditures available to assist students and families with higher education expenses; (2) assess the extent to which tax filers select higher education provisions that maximize their tax benefit; (3) summarize what is known about the effect of student aid and tax expenditures on student outcomes; and (4) describe factors that contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of federal student assistance programs. (GAO, May 2012)...

Performance-Based Scholarships: Emerging Findings from a National Demonstration - This brief summarizes preliminary results from performance-based scholarship programs in Ohio, New York, and New Mexico, in addition to the original results in Louisiana. The results show modest but positive effects on important markers of academic progress, including increases in credits earned, greater impacts in the second term, and an increase in studentsí abilities to meet end-of-term benchmarks during program terms. The short-term results of the demonstration suggest that performance-based scholarships can move the dial on some important markers of academic success. (MDRC, May 2012) ...

College and Careers Tables Library - This site provides data on a range of issues related to college and career readiness, including but not limited to, student financial aid and employment, degrees and certificates awarded, and graduation and completion rates. (National Center for Education Statistics)...

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates: History, Subsidies, and Cost - This issue brief details the history of federal student loan interest rates, including the decisions that led to todayís fixed rates and the pending rate increase. It also examines the popular argument that current rates are unfavorable for borrowers and disputes the claim that student loans earn revenue for the government. (New America Foundation, February 2012)...

Federal Student Loan Interest Rates: History, Subsidies, and Cost - This issue brief details the history of federal student loan interest rates, including the decisions that led to todayís fixed rates and the pending rate increase. It also examines the popular argument that current rates are unfavorable for borrowers and disputes the claim that student loans earn revenue for the government. (New American Foundation, Feb 2012) ...

Priced Out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students - This study finds that the average low-income family must contribute an amount roughly equivalent to 72 percent of its annual household income each year just to send one child to a four-year college. Thatís after all sources of grant aid are taken into account. Meanwhile, middle-class and high-income families contribute amounts equivalent to just 27 percent and 14 percent of their yearly earnings, respectively. (Education Trust, May 2011)...

Tapping HSI-STEM Funds to Improve Latina and Latino Access to STEM Professions - With the growing Latino population, these students are increasingly a linchpin in state and federal plans to get more students trained in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The authors of this report argue that the achievement gaps at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels exist in large part because of finances. (Lindsey Malcom, Alicia Dowd and Terrence Yu, Center for Urban Education, November 2010)...


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