Federal student aid hasn’t helped lower-income students go to college, concludes a report by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Instead, federal aid has enabled colleges to raise tuition.
A two-question postcard would replace the 108-question Free Application for Financial Aid (Fafsa) under a bipartisan bill proposed in the Senate. Students would get an estimate of their financial aid eligibility before they apply to colleges.
The near-doubling of Pell Grant funding hasn’t decreased borrowing by low-income students, who are supposed to be the beneficiaries. States have cut funding and colleges have raised tuition using federal aid to make up the difference.
For-profit colleges charge $35,000 on average for an associate degree, on average, more than four times the cost at the average community college. Why does anyone choose a for-profit college? Students cite flexibility and convenience. Most use federal student aid to pay the bills.
Course choice lets students learn from providers that might range from universities or community colleges to local employers, labs or hospitals. In Expanding the Education Universe, Fordham’s Michael Brickman looks at the policy questions, including student eligibility, course providers, funding, quality control, and accountability.
Course choice is coming to higher education too as new accrediting groups consider quality reviews of online courses. The proposed HERO Act would extend federal aid to students who choose postsecondary courses from a variety of providers.
Are there better ways to pay for higher education? One proposal would guarantee every high school graduate two free years at a public college or university.
Pell Grants help low- and moderate-income students go to college, but graduation rates are low. Should Pell dollars be targeted at college-ready students? That would lower the college-going rate significantly.
A new private scholarship fund will help “dreamers” — undocumented immigrants brought here as children — attend low-cost colleges to pursue work-oriented degrees.
A House education subcommittee heard proposals for reforming Pell Grants.
Income-based repayment gives the largest subsidies to borrowers who go to graduate or professional school and people in “public service” jobs. One in four jobs qualifies as “public service,” but working for a for-profit company is a disqualifier.