The intersection of technology, research, financial aid and student access in higher education

Filtering by Category: Financial Aid

The missed argument in merit- and need-based institutional aid

Added on by Scott Cline.

From Sunday’s NY Times “Freebies for the Rich”:

Raising the tuition and then offering a 25 percent scholarship to four wealthier kids who might otherwise have gone to private school generates more revenue than giving a free ride to one who truly needs it.

The problem with this sentence and nearly every time this argument is made is the author forgets to insert the line “…school generates more revenue to provide a free ride to one who truly needs it.”

For some reason the argument over merit- versus need-based hinges on zero-sum game, instead of seeing it as a pie enlarging equation.[1]

Every college or university with enough level of equity, mission and values would have a school full of talented low-income students, but unless the federal government, state government, endowment or other revenue producing source is paying for it, it is simply not possible.[2]

As state governments continue to reduce educational funding, institutions have been forced to find those offset revenues to pay for the low-income students.

Make no doubt about it, this trend is a reaction to those reductions and this reaction has both intended and unintended consequences.

  1. Yes, there are many nuances to this, especially in the area of public universities with fixed enrollment numbers, but stick with me for a few seconds.  ↩

  2. One of the most recent stories about other revenue producing sources failing a school is Cooper Union, which until this school year, was 100% tuition free.  ↩

A very clear message about the "Lavish" FSA Conference

Added on by Scott Cline.

The Department of Education opened the registration for the free FSA Conference and the hotel room block yesterday that will take place the first week of December in Las Vegas, NV.

It is not the only thing the FSA updated on the website. Below is the changes in the website today. Cross outs are words that were deleted and yellow highlights are the additions.

Note the addition of "is not for government employees but it is training the government", "by law, schools are accountable", and "is an investment in protecting the taxpayer dollars from fraud, waste, and abuse".

Strong and direct language. It might have been in reaction to the articles a few weeks ago about "Education Dept. plans lavish Las Vegas conference as students lose services" and Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn calling the decision inappropriate.

WCET Submitted Testimony to Department of Education

Added on by Scott Cline.

If you have not already had a chance read Russell Poulin’s submitted testimony for WCET to the Department of Education for Negotiated Rule Making, it gives a good overview of the conversation points (as well as WICHE’s stance) at the Department of Education Hearing back on May 30th at UCSF.

You can also see my mediocre iPhone photography of him delivering testimony.

Why here and now? FAFSA 2014-15

Added on by Scott Cline.

The Department of Education annouced this past Tuesday that starting with the 2014-15 FAFSA, it will become more inclusive of families where both parents live in the same household, including gay parents.

This sounds wonderful and even while the Department of Education is playing the dance of DOMA, it has left me with more questions about intention, purpose, and timing.

@Daniel_Luzer at the Washington Monthly struct my thinking:

But well, progressive token gestures are easier than substantive policy fixes.

via @jstnchsbrwn