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Federal Policy
Improving Clarity in Financial Aid Offers

Content and Design Recommendations for Transparent Student Communications

Aug. 27, 2021
Decoding the contents of financial aid offers can be a perplexing and daunting task for students and families. This report from the American Talent Initiative lays out 10 recommendations for redesigning financial aid offers.
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Federal Policy
Dismantling Dire Disparities

A Closer Look at Racially Inequitable Funding at Public Four-Year Colleges and Universities

Aug. 24, 2021
This report from the Institute for College Access & Success examines funding and resource patterns from the Great Recession to the peak of the economic recovery (2006 to 2018), and takes a deep dive into the public four-year colleges that disproportionately enroll and graduate students of color.
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Federal Policy
What Can We Learn About College and University Finances

Exploring New Data in the Education Data Portal

July 27, 2021
Using data to understand revenue and expenditure patterns in higher education is crucial toward building knowledge of higher education policy. This brief from the Urban Institute highlights data from the Office of Federal Student Aid on institutions’ 90/10 ratios, financial responsibility composite scores, graduate and undergraduate loans, and campus-based awards.
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Federal Policy
Withholding Dreams

Why Washington Must Tie COVID Relief for Colleges to Relief for Students Burdened by Institutional Debt

Feb. 1, 2021
An issue brief from the Student Borrower Protection Center examines how debt owed by students directly to schools presents unique challenges, and how Washington can provide relief to students and borrowers burdened by these debts as part of the overall higher education response to COVID.
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Federal Policy
Billions of Federal Dollars Flow to Institutions of Higher Education.

Sometimes Very Little Goes Toward Educating Students.

Dec. 9, 2020
Even before the pandemic, many students were left in the dark about how institutions spent their money, unaware of how much goes toward their own academic benefit vs. other activities such as marketing or recruitment of new students. This brief from Third Way examines how federally funded institutions spend the money they receive from taxpayers and students.
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Federal Policy
The Effects of Expanding Pell Grant Eligibility for Short Occupational Training Programs

Results From the Experimental Sites Initiative

Dec. 8, 2020
Students who received Pell grants for short-term training programs were more likely to enroll at a postsecondary institution and complete a program, says a report from the Institute of Education Sciences.
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Federal Policy
A Guide for the Biden-Harris Administration to Ensure Student Success in Higher Education

Understand What Works in Postsecondary Education

Nov. 16, 2020
A college degree remains critical to unlocking opportunity and to accessing America’s middle class, yet millions of students who pursue higher education never earn degrees. A new report from America Forward, MDRC, New America, Results for America, and The Institute for College Access and Success draws lessons and policy implications from two decades of rigorous research in…
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Federal Policy
COVID-19, CARES, and Public Higher Education in 2020–2021 and Beyond

A View From 38 States

Oct. 27, 2020
State directors of community colleges say that federal CARES Act funding helped students in their states with the transition to remote learning, according to this survey from the Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama.
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Federal Policy
Simplifying Student Aid

Separating Pell Eligibility From an Equitable Formula for Measuring Ability to Pay

Oct. 14, 2020
Simplifying the student aid application process and making the system easier for students and families to understand and navigate has long been high on the agenda of policymakers and advocates for college access. This report from the Urban Institute examines issues central to simplifying the Pell grant system and discusses strategies to strengthen the system for allocating aid from…
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Federal Policy
Roadmap for Change

Reimagining US Higher Education as a Public Good

Sept. 17, 2020
If higher education is the key to prosperity and social mobility, then access to college should be considered a basic human right, argues a new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling. The study offers six recommendations to fundamentally change the current educational system and provide equal opportunity for all students to achieve…
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