Live webcast

Affordability Benchmark for Higher Education

A Discussion of the Implications

November 9, 2015

With college costs rising and students’ debt loads mounting, there’s a growing national debate over how to make higher education affordable. What’s missing from the conversation is a clear and common understanding of what “affordable” means to students and families. To address this issue and reset the conversation around college affordability, Lumina Foundation released the Affordability Benchmark for Higher Education—a framework that clearly defines college affordability in terms of what families and students can afford pay.

This convening will examine how the benchmark sets the stage for policymakers and higher education institutions to work together to build a system that’s affordable for every student. The day will feature a series of panel discussions and film screening about rising college costs to examine and debate the implications of Lumina's Benchmark for College Affordability.

For questions, please contact a member of the Lumina Foundation Convenings team:

Office 317.951.5300


2:00 pm
Opening Remarks
Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO, Lumina Foundation
2:15 pm
Policy Implications: Building an Affordable System
Zakiya Smith, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation
  • Sarah Bauder, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Robyn Hiestand, Director of Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust
  • Mark Huelsman, Senior Policy Analyst, Demos
  • Nate Johnson, Principal, Postsecondary Analytics
  • Mamie Voight, Director of Policy Research, Institute for Higher Education Policy
3:15 pm
Film Introduction
Zakiya Smith, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation
3:20 pm
Film Screening: Form and Formula: How the Federal Government Distributes Aid to Students
3:30 pm
3:40 pm
State and Institutional Implications: Addressing Rising College Costs
Dewayne Matthews, Vice President of Strategy Development, Lumina Foundation
  • Sarah Ancel, Associate Commissioner for Policy and Legislation, Indiana Commission for Higher Education
  • Sarah Flanagan, Vice President for Government Relations and Policy, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Garrett Groves, Economic Opportunity Program Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities
  • Jee Hang Lee, Vice President for Public Policy and External Relations, Association of Community College Trustees
4:40 pm
Closing Remarks
Zakiya Smith, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation

Experts want to tackle college affordability by first defining “affordable,” which is harder than it sounds | Hechinger Report | November 9, 2015

Affordability Benchmark Infographic and Household Calculator