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Paper series funded by Lumina Foundation explores new models of student financial support

Affordability, State Policy & Passive Repayment Covered by 15 Authors in Papers Released Today

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Lumina Foundation releases a group of 15 expert papers that explore new models of student financial support. These papers are all aimed at addressing one of the biggest barriers to college completion: the amount of money students are required to pay to complete a postsecondary degree or certificate. Considerable research suggests that students are price-sensitive and that financial resources are a necessary tool to help students meet the cost of tuition and fees, as well as transportation, child care, and other indirect expenses, particularly among low-income students. These studies show that the structures currently in place to help students pay these costs are not set up to efficiently provide both access and support completion.

The papers, commissioned by the Foundation, are intended to stimulate greater discussion and evaluation around several key topics in student finance, including affordability of higher education, student loan repayment, and federal-state-institutional partnerships. The papers are aimed at addressing solutions that can be implemented at the institutional, state and federal levels.

“We believe it is time to fundamentally rethink our national approach to student financing,” said Jamie Merisotis, president & CEO of Lumina Foundation. “Only through substantive redesign can we assure that tuition and financial aid resources are used to support the success of the much larger number of students needed to reach Goal 2025. This launch of the comprehensive policy papers is an early step in that redesign effort.”

Last year, Lumina Foundation developed and released a set of design principles to guide the Foundation’s work in this area. The principles were unveiled this past May in a Huffington Post blog authored by Merisotis.

Using the design principles as a guide, Lumina Foundation invited nationally recognized experts as well as up-and-coming analysts to author the papers that will be discussed during today’s Ideas Summit at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The papers can be found online at The titles and authors of the papers are as follows:

“Our goal in this series is not to prescribe a particular solution or choose one course of action,” said Merisotis. “Rather, we seek to generate innovative ideas for improving the ways in which postsecondary education is paid for in this country and to stimulate further discussion on that vital topic.”

Each paper reflects the views and recommendations of its authors, not those of Lumina Foundation.

Lumina’s Strategy Director, Zakiya Smith, oversees the Foundation’s work in student financial support and will head up the paper launch event at the Newseum today.

Kate Snedeker

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