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Research Archive

January 30, 2024

Democrats in the House Have a New (Old) Plan for Higher Education

Lately, it’s been Republican lawmakers who have been at the table and offering up comprehensive reform for higher education policy, but this week House Democrats got back in the game. Today, they released new legislation outlining their vision for higher education reform beyond the administration-led student loan cancellation agenda. In some sense, this marks a welcome return to normalcy,…

January 29, 2024

The Value of a Bachelor’s Degree

Key Points As public confidence in higher education has declined, Americans have become less sanguine about the bachelor’s degree and skeptical of its potential return on investment. Nonetheless, four-year degrees continue to be associated with significant economic and noneconomic benefits for individuals and communities. For those who want to attend college, have adequate financing options, and can finish their degrees, the benefits of…

January 11, 2024

Biden’s Dismantling of Federal Student Loan Programs Has Inspired Republicans to Go Big

House Republicans released a new legislative package today aimed at bringing down the cost of college, holding universities accountable for the value of their diplomas, and reforming our broken federal student lending system. The College Cost Reduction Act represents the largest serious and comprehensive higher education reform package in decades and, in theory, has plenty…

January 10, 2024

By the Numbers: Here’s How the New Federal Financial Aid Formula Harms Families with More Than One Child

The old federal formula for higher education financial aid is dead. The new formula creates winners and losers. Specifically, the new formula harms middle-class families with more than one child in college at a time. It’s not that the new formula doesn’t take family size into account at all—it does, barely. The issue is that the new formula calculates the total…

December 8, 2023

A Framework for Reforming Federal Graduate Student Aid Policy

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Driven by increases in graduate enrollment and the availability of uncapped loans, graduate debt has become a growing share of federal student lending. Most of the growth in the average and overall levels of student indebtedness in the past fifteen years has been driven by graduate student debt. Despite being just 21 percent…

December 8, 2023

Graduate Student Lending in Desperate Need of Reform

Since 2005, graduate students in the United States have been able to borrow from the federal student loan programs essentially without limit. Before that, loans were available to graduate students from the US Department of Education, but they were constrained to reasonable levels. Since limitless credit became available to graduate students in 2005, graduate student…

September 26, 2023

Former Foster Kids Need More Than Higher Education

When I tell people that I write about child welfare and the foster care system, the question I am most often asked is “What can we do about the problem of kids aging out?” “Aging out” is what happens when these teens and young adults — about 40,000 each year — leave foster care without being adopted…