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Affordability
Free College Tuition Programs for Adults

The Current Landscape and Directions for the Future

July 15, 2021
The rising cost of college and the growing need for postsecondary education and training has generated great interest in free college tuition programs. Yet, many of these programs aim to serve recent high school graduates and little is known about the programs open to adults. This report from the American Institutes for Research examines free…
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Affordability
Moving Beyond Free

A College Affordability Compact for the Next Generation

July 8, 2021
A new report from Third Way says free college proposals create winners and losers among states. When coupled with a lack of political will to budget for free college in a narrowly split Congress, policymakers should pursue alternative solutions that are more socially equitable, economically efficient, and politically viable, the report states.
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Affordability
Opportunity Costs

Nontuition Financial Barriers Are Derailing Low-Income Students’ Path to a College Credential—and a Shot at Economic Mobility

June 30, 2021
Every year, thousands of community college students in the City University of New York system drop out without earning a credential. Although some do so because of a lack of academic preparedness, this report from the Center for an Urban Future says that far more students leave school because of financial barriers that make it impossible…
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Affordability
How Doubling the Pell Grant Could Be a Down Payment on Free College

Doubling Pell by the Numbers

May 13, 2021
A new analysis from Third Way explores how doubling the Pell Grant would impact the purchasing power of low- and middle-income students at public two- and four-year colleges in each state.
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Affordability
Ireland’s Free-College Experiment: Lessons and Warnings for US Policymakers

Lessons and Warning for U.S. Policymakers

April 27, 2021
Supporters of the free college movement in the United States often cite countries that do not charge tuition to argue for the policy. However, some international examples illustrate that free-college policies entail unintended consequences. This report from the American Enterprise Institute explores free-college experiences of Ireland.
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Affordability
Fixing Income-Driven Repayment for Federal Student Loans

How IDR Works and Enrollment Trends

March 23, 2021
The income-driven repayment (IDR) plan allows all federal student loan borrowers to limit payments to a small share of their incomes and provides loan forgiveness benefits. This report from the American Enterprise Institute says that instead of providing mass loan forgiveness, policymakers should strengthen IDR for vulnerable borrowers while reining in excessive benefits for borrowers…
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Affordability
Debt-Free College in Arizona

Investing in a Comprehensive and Equitable Guarantee of College Affordability

Jan. 27, 2021
Arizona cannot afford to fall further behind in investing in the state’s talent, workforce, or people, states this report from Demos. The study explores the idea of debt-free college as a way to help all Arizona families realize their potential.
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Affordability
Design Principles for Financial Aid Offers

A User-Centered Approach

Jan. 21, 2021
Financial aid offers can be confusing for students and families alike. New America set out to change that experience by working with students and parents to develop an improved financial aid offer prototype. This report offers details on the process and three prototypes for reform.
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Affordability
Fixing the Federal Student Lending System

Options for Policymakers in 2021

Nov. 23, 2020
This brief from the Urban Institute highlights potential changes a new administration and Congress might make to the federal student loan system, focusing on repayment plans, loan limits, public service loan forgiveness, and relief for current borrowers.
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Affordability
Equitable Funding and Financing

Higher Ed Policy in the COVID Era

Nov. 10, 2020
While funding cuts are often necessary during economic downturns, reducing state investments in higher education will hamper recovery. If cuts are inevitable, a one-size-fits-all approach will undermine states’ ability to meet future talent needs and ensure equitable opportunity. State leaders should evaluate funding decisions based on their impact on low-income students and students of color,…
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