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Limited Means, Limited Options

College Remains Unaffordable for Many Americans

Posted: March 21, 2017
Authors: Alain Poutré, Jamey Rorison, and Mamie Voight
Organizations: Institute for Higher Education Policy

This paper offers five recommendations to address issues of affordability that negatively affect college access and completion:

  • Federal policymakers should protect and strengthen the Pell Grant.
  • States should strengthen direct investment in public colleges and need-based aid programs.
  • Colleges should manage institutional costs to concentrate expenditures on students.
  • Colleges with wealth at their disposal—either in the form of large endowments or company profits—should keep prices low for needy students.
  • Congress should pass legislation to improve consumer information and transparency, giving students the information they need to make affordable choices.

Limited Means, Limited Options