All posts by Eric Kelderman


U. of Washington Students Say They Can Work to Help Pay Tuition

In recent years, a few student groups have come up with ideas to pay their tuition and fees with a portion of their income earned after graduating. For example, the UC Student Investment Proposal has been proposed by students at the University of California at Riverside, and the Pay It Forward concept developed in a class at Portland State University.

Now, students at the University of Washington have come up with their own version—one that relies more on students’ earnings during college, rathe…


When Laying Blame for Rising College Costs, Don’t Forget About Enrollment

In recent months, higher-education news coverage across the country has focused on the increased share of public-college costs being shifted from state governments to students.

The prevailing story line goes like this: States have “disinvested” in higher education during the past quarter-century, “cutting” money for public colleges and forcing institutions to raise tuition to cover the loss of tax dollars. As a result, many of the stories proclaim, students are neck-deep, or worse, in student-lo…


U. of North Texas Offers Fixed-Rate Tuition, With a Twist

Many colleges have fixed-rate tuition plans that lock in a student’s course costs for four years. In Texas that kind of policy is now a requirement for public colleges and universities.

But not all undergraduate students graduate in four years, adding to the time and cost it takes to earn a degree. The University of North Texas has come up with a plan that offers both fixed-rate tuition and an incentive for students to finish their degrees on time.

The “Eagle Express” plan, as it is being called…


Another Report Describes Shrinking Amount of State Money for Higher Ed

While increased federal spending for higher education faces an uphill battle in Congress, pressure is mounting from Democrats in Washington, D.C., to raise state appropriations for higher education.

A report released on Thursday by the liberal-leaning group Demos is just the latest to detail the growing cost of tuition at public colleges, along with the shrinking amount of money that state governments provide to those institutions.

Per-student state spending on public higher education shrank nea…


Report Proposes Federal Matching Grants for State Higher Education

As Congress begins debating the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, proposals to change how public colleges get their federal money are starting to pop up.

On Wednesday, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities released a report recommending a new federal block grant to the states for higher education. The goal of the proposed program is to give states some incentive to preserve and even raise the amount they spend on colleges, which has been in decline, and also to s…


U.S. Income-Based Repayment Plan May Be the ‘Best Deal’ for Borrowers

Washington — Two panel discussions here on Friday, hosted by the New America Foundation, delved into some of the new ways being proposed to ameliorate the thorny problem of student-loan debt. One existing solution, the federal government’s income-based repayment plan, wasn’t mentioned until afterward, but then it received a qualified endorsement.

The first panel included entrepreneurs from organizations that use private investors’ money to pay college students’ costs of attendance in return for …


Performance-Based Appropriations May Not Sway Student Outcomes

President Obama has suggested that the federal government start awarding money to colleges based on their academic performance. But national policy makers should  keep in mind that such a system hasn’t completely worked at the state level, according to the recommendations of a new report.

States have been experimenting with allotting small percentages of their higher-education appropriations based on performance since Tennessee started the practice, in 1978, notes the report, from the Education …


Ashland U. Slashes Tuition by 37%

Ashland University, a private institution in Ohio, is joining a small but growing group of colleges that have sharply cut their tuition while also reducing the amount of institutional aid they offer, to come up with a sticker price that’s closer to what students actually pay. That strategy is one of many that smaller institutions are exploring to try to ease concerns about college costs and shore up enrollments.

Instead of being charged an estimated $30,000 for the 2014-15 academic year, the rou…


Moody’s Report Forecasts a Gloomy Future for Public Universities

Things were supposed to get better after the 2012 fiscal year, the year that colleges fell off the “cliff” created as federal stimulus money for higher education ran out and state appropriations had yet to recover.

Instead, 2012 was just foreshadowing the difficult financial future that public colleges will continue to face, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service, a bond-rating company.

Moody’s analysis of median fiscal data from 2012 show that enrollment at public colleges was…


Economists Accuse Private Colleges of ‘Gaming’ Federal Aid Policies

Increases in the maximum Pell Grant award give private colleges a good reason to raise tuition, concludes a research paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

By giving aid directly to students, rather than subsidizing institutions, the federal government “provides some potentially undesirable incentives for private colleges to ‘game the system,’ strategically increasing tuition to increase student aid,” the study says. The money those colleges bring in through higher tuition …