The Institute for Higher Education Policy released a white paper this week to address the question, “Is College Affordable?” The paper aims to “gently challenge the emergent theme, embraced by many a higher education critic (and such tough-love supporters as President Obama), that colleges are pricing themselves out of reach of many Americans.”
The authors, the economists Sandy Baum and Saul Schwartz, try to reframe the discussion about higher education funding away from questions such as what colleges are charging, how much of students’ and families’ incomes they are spending to earn their degrees, and whether increasing numbers of students are accumulating large levels of student loan debt.
From the white paper: Rising college prices, stagnating incomes, and diminished asset values have led to the widespread perception that college is “unaffordable” for more and more people. The role of student aid in reducing the prices many students pay is too complex to be widely understood, and in spite of increasing enrollment rates, most people do not question the idea that college is unaffordable.
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Powell, McCombs & The Fog of War
It's been a busy week in Texas higher education news, and as usual The University of Texas stands at the center. Two major stories from the last week warrant mention, beginning with a lengthy two-part Texas Monthly interview with Gene Powell, chairman of the UT Board of Regents.Powell's interview (Part One, Part Two) comes hot on the heels of an op-ed that ran in the Houston Chronicle under the byline of Red McCombs, the prominent University of Texas supporter from San Antonio and Distinguished Alumnus for whom the business school is named.
Coalition Responds to Passage of Senate Bill 15 to Improve Higher Education Governance
Today the Texas House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 15, relating to the governance of public institutions of higher education. Upon passage the Coalition issued the following statement:“We applaud the legislature for recognizing the important need to improve standards of excellence within our state’s governing boards. Texas’ institutions of higher education are critical to our state’s economy, and ensuring we develop educated, well-informed citizens to drive our state’s future. Senate Bill 15 is an important step toward improving the governance of these critical state institutions and ensuring members of the boards of regents are adequately equipped, prepared and trained to govern properly. It is our hope that the standards set forth in this bill will lead to a more constructive and less divisive approach to governing our universities.”See the full statement here.Continue reading