27 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2015
    1. Gonzalez Canche`, M.S. (2014). Is the community college a less expensive path toward a bachelor’s degree? Public 2- and 4-year colleges’ impact on loan debt. The Journal of Higher Education, 85 (5), pg. 723-759.

      Gonzalez Canche` (2014) analyzed differences of loan amounts that students from two year public colleges compared to students attending four year public institutions in order to see if there is a difference between loan borrowing behavior among the two groups. The author used the Kernel matching procedure and the Ordinary Least Squares method to compare the two groups to determine if there is a significant difference (pg. 740). According to the previous studies cited in the article, students who attended for-profit institutions had the highest default rate with student loans, but previous studies did not account for student characteristics who may choose a for-profit versus non-profit institution (pg. 728).

      After Gonzalez Canche(2014) studied the different types of institutions students attend and matched students on various characteristics, is was determined that student who attended more affluent colleges and universities had lower amounts of debt upon graduation as well as a decreased likelihood of defaulting on loans that were taken out (pg. 727). For example, if a student attend a private, non-profit college with a higher level of socioeconomic statuses among students, than the students will be less likely to obtain student loan debt or default on their loans compared to students at less selective four-year universities or community colleges. Gonzalez Canche believes this is due to the students’ at more selective colleges having “more support to attend college from both of their parents, relatives, high school teachers and counselors” (pg. 740). In fact, it was noted that “community college students systematically had fewer sources of support than their counterparts in the four-year sector”, which could lead to community college students having higher loan amounts and are “at a greater risk of dropping out before earning their degree” (pg. 748).

      Gonzalez Canche(2014) points out that policymakers tend to encourage low-income students to attend community college prior to four-year universities, but according to the findings, this may not be the best option for low income students who also have “high probabilities of succeeding academically and professionally” (pg. 749). Even though community college students tended to have less support when pursuing their degree, the study found that students who began at the community college had similar amounts of loan debt upon graduation compared to their counterparts who started at the four-year public college (pg. 750). Gonzalez Canche recommends that policymakers, and others who work with students, should not necessarily tout the two year community college as a less expensive option and that it may, in fact, be better for some low and middle-income students to begin directly at the university (pg. 752).

      After these findings from Gonzalez Canche`, policymakers, teachers and counselors in high schools, and admissions staff at community colleges and universities should be aware of the additional debt that may be accrued while students attend community college, as a result of likely taking additional time to complete their degree, and additional student loan debt, compared to if the student would have started directly at the university. It cannot be ignored that Washington state has one of the highest amounts of state need-based grants for low-income students, so the university may be a more realistic and financially responsible decision for low-income students who qualify for need-based aid programs.

    2. Kelchen, R. and Goldrick-Rab, S. (2015). Accelerating college knowledge: A fiscal analysis of a targeted early commitment pell grant program. The Journal of Higher Education, 86 (2), pg. 200-231.

      Kelchen and Goldrick-Rab (2015) completed a cost-benefit evaluation of a Pell Grant program that would target students as early as eighth grade in order to guarantee low-income students that they would have financial support throughout their college education to subsidize, if not cover all of, their college education. The risk of implementing an expanded Pell Grant program in order to guarantee college tuition funds to low-income students in eighth grade is that some students may not remain low-income and then the program would over-award the Pell Grant to students who were no longer eligible (pg. 210). However, in the study the researchers found that 81 percent of low-income students remained eligible for low-income programs in tenth grade, but only 69% of students remained eligible between eighth and twelfth grade (pg 209). The authors attribute this decline to a reduced amount of students seeking out low-income programs (such as free/reduced lunch in high school) as a result of stigma and increased lunch options, low income students dropping out of high school, as well as some families having an increase in their family income (pg. 209).

      Even though over-awarding may occur because students do not necessarily remain eligible for low-income programs, the authors cost-benefit analysis still found that the costs of over-awarding financial aid are less than the expected “benefits… [of] at least $2.1 billion per cohort, suggesting that the program should be cost-effective under the majority of assumptions” (pg. 223). Much of the prior research shows that students self-select out of college before eighth grade because they do not believe they have the financial resources to pay for a college education, which is the argument for promising the Pell Grant to students across the nation if they meet certain income eligibility requirements in eighth grade (pg. 213).

      The state of Washington has implemented the College Bound Scholarship program, which promises eighth grade students who meet income eligibility requirements that their entire tuition will be paid for at any public state university or community college within the same state. According to the Washington Student Achievement Council’s website, this program has increased the college-going rates of low-income students compared to low-income students who do not sign up for the program. The authors recognized that Washington state was one of three states that started an early commitment program for low-income students, but the authors did not report on the results. The federal government should take notice of the impact of similar state programs throughout the nation to determine if the cost-benefit of implementing a federal program would be worth it. From the recent study by Kelchen and Goldrick-Rab as well as the results from Washington state, the answer seems to support the implementation of a federal early commitment Pell Grant program.

  2. Nov 2015
    1. LEWONTIN, M. (2014). Loan-Forgiveness Program May Alter Scale of Student Debt. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 61(12), A12

      This article discusses the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access act which promises to forgive student loan debt for graduates who work in public-sector jobs for 10 years. With student loan debt continuously reaching an all-time high and a lack of interest in public sector careers by recent graduates, the act was designed to address both issues simultaneously. According to the article, this idea of loan forgiveness has been around since the 1950’s starting with loan forgiveness for teachers and expanding to a wide range of public sector jobs.

      According to the article, the overall impact of these programs is good due to the fact that it “encourages people to pursue these low-paying but valuable careers.” However, the article points out that such programs may be problematic as they could be leaving the burden of paying off the forgiven debt on the taxpayer. The first cohort of individuals eligible for loan-forgiveness under the 2007 act will in 2017 and will not have any cap on how much money can be forgiven, according to Lewontin.

      The main three main concerns addressed in the article are: 1) should there be a cap on forgiveness 2) who should be eligible, 3) what is the purpose of loan forgiveness. The article discusses some of the concerns of offering programs without caps and cites the work of the New America Foundation as the organization that first raised concerns about the issue. The overall sentiment of the article was that some type of cap restriction is necessary. The article also discusses the concern around the definition of a public servant and how it has expanded over the years opening up opportunity for many more individuals to take advantage of the programs. Lastly, the article discusses the debate around who student loan forgiveness programs should be for. Some argue that the majority of people these programs are helping are those who already have college degrees but who chose to take out more loans for advanced degrees. A Ph.D. student who was interview for the article says "People are out there claiming that graduate students are out there overspending and over borrowing, but I don't know any of these people… I don't know anybody who graduates and says, 'It's only 10 or 20 years until my loans are forgiven.’”

    2. Hillman, N., Tandberg, D., & Gross, J. (2014). Market-Based Higher Education: Does Colorado's Voucher Model Improve Higher Education Access and Efficiency?. Research In Higher Education, 55(6), 601-625. doi:10.1007/s11162-013-9326-3

      This article is about the state of Colorado’s voucher-based funding model for higher education which was put into play in 2004. The model funds students instead of institutions which is believed to drive institutions to provide better customer service and to retain students longer giving them a better chance to complete a degree or certificate program. Those opposed to the program say that this model may “reduce educational quality or even compete with other educational goals” (Hillman, 602).

      The main research question examined in a study which is outlined by this article is “to what extent has the introduction of market based reforms impacted college access and cost-efficiency in Colorado?” (Hillman, 602). In order to pull this off, the state needed to change the tax model and state funding model. Higher education has historically been looked at as the “balance wheel” of the state budget, according to the article so this needed to be addressed from the get-go.

      The college opportunity fund (COF) was developed in order to fund students instead of institutions, and it did so by giving them vouchers. According to the article, the proposal received great reviews and support. Within the 5 years that the study on this voucher model took place, there was an 8.2% increase in students and a 12.8% increase in total completions at the 4-year level. Additionally, there was a significant increase in students of color who attended and a 35.7% increase in completions for students who attended a 2-year community college.

      The article concludes by stating that many states have been in the process of looking for more effective funding models for higher education. The model in Colorado showed significantly higher impact at the 2-year level than the 4-year level. In fact, COF increased cost efficiency and completions at the 2-year level but had little impact at the 4 year level

    3. McKinney, L., Mukherjee, M., Wade, J., Shefman, P., & Breed, R. (2015). Community College Students’ Assessments of the Costs and Benefits of Borrowing to Finance Higher Education. Community College Review, 43(4), 329-354. doi:10.1177/0091552115594669

      This article outlines a qualitative study in which community college students were asked to help shed light on what factors are considered during the decision making process of taking out a personal loan to finance one’s college education. The article goes over the study, the findings and some policy suggestions.

      According to the article, “the average community college tuition remains approximately one third the cost of average tuition at a public 4-year institution” (McKinney et. al.) The article also notes that tuition is less than half of the actual cost to attend due to living expenses and even though close to 66% of all community college students receive a Pell Grant through financial aid, some students are still finding it necessary to borrow money by taking out loans in order to pay for everything that comes along with the college experience.

      The article talks about the cost-benefit analysis students tend to use when making the decision to borrow money and how many students borrow money because they have mentality that the amount borrowed will pay off over time. However, some research “found that students tend to underestimate the total costs of borrowing and overestimate the amount they will earn upon entering the workforce” (Mckinney et. al.). Also, populations who are more likely to attend community college such as first generation students and students of color, are less likely to know about financial programs and money management.

      The study found that there were several themes when it came to community college students and their decision to finance their education through loans. The most evident finding, according to the article was that students did not have enough information or guidance. Most students admitted to knowing “nothing” about loans prior to taking out a loan. Another major finding was that students were borrowing as a result of “need” and not “want.” Students expressed through their interviews that the Pell grant alone was simply not enough to cover all of the expenses. On a positive note, students had an optimistic outlook on borrowing because they saw the value of the importance of their education.

      Some of the policy suggestions were to look at a school’s ability to prevent over-borrowing and implement safe guards for “at risk” populations who are the most likely to default on loans. This article goes in depth with large issue which is at the forefront of U.S. policy and brings up some good areas that may need some more exploring.

    4. Alexander, F.K., Harnisch, T., Hurley, D., and Moran, R. (2010). Maintenance of effort: An evolving federal-state policy approach to ensuring college affordability. Journal of Education Finance, 36 (1), pp. 76-87.

      Alexander, Harnisch, Hurley and Moran (2010) examine positive and negative impacts of the federal government implementing Maintenance of Effort (MOE) funding, in which the federal government matches funds to state governments who maintain higher education funding at or above previous levels of funding. “The congressmen [who supported the MOE in 2007] argued that such incentives would help ensure that federal monies were used to supplement state resources for public higher education – not supplant them” (pg. 77). This type of legislation was especially important during the recession because many state governments were looking to cut spending, but advocates argued that a decrease in higher education funding has negative impacts on the economic vitality of the state and nation (pg. 78).

      MOE programs have been used across other governmental sectors to encourage state governments to maintain funding levels for programs, such as Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF). The authors point out that “student grant aid programs now exist in all but one state… [and] that many of these programs today disproportionately aid private-sector and high-priced institutions because they tend to aware more aid to students attending more costly institutions” (pg. 78). In the 1970’s, lobbyists from private institutions supported MOE programs “as a means to create state funding streams to all institutions”, which is one example of how an interest group can impact governmental funding (pg. 78).

      The authors recognize positive impacts of MOE funding for higher education as a way for the federal government to assist with its goal of “increasing educational attainment rates among the nation’s citizens”, yet at the same time, have the bulk of funding and responsibility fall to the states (pg. 81). Another positive impact is that states are discouraged from decreasing funding for higher education, which helps students by paying lower tuition rates and will also likely decrease the student loan debt (pg. 81).

      There are also groups such as the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures who have argued against MOE funding (pg. 82). Some of the drawbacks include that the federal government is overstepping boundaries and the responsibility of higher education funding should fall to each state (pg. 84). Other arguments noted by the authors include that funding based on MOE standards creates inequities between states and a major problem with MOE funding is it discourages capital, research and development projects because, as an unintended consequence, these types of projects are not eligible for matching MOE funds (pg. 84).

      The authors point out certain states funding from 2006 compared to 2010 and Washington is listed as a state that increased its budget for higher education by nearly six million dollars in this timeframe (+0.45%) (pg. 86). The authors seem to advocate for a “shared responsibility between the federal and state governments to enhance college affordability” and recognize that MOE “provisions can serve as an effective policy tool in ensuring states’ commitment to funding higher education” (pg. 86).

      • N. Brusseau

    5. Tiboris, M. (2014). What’s wrong with undermatching? Journal of Philosophy of Education, 48 (4), pp. 646-664.

      Tiboris (2014) recognizes that the idea of ‘undermatching’ is a new topic being studied and needs additional research. However, from the studies that have been conducted it has been determined that “undermatched” students are those who choose to attend a post-secondary school that is less selective than those for which they are academically qualified, or are perhaps qualified to go to college but choose not to apply” (pg. 646). Studies have found that approximately forty percent of students “enroll in a college below the selectivity level they could have attended” (as cited in Tiboris, pg. 647). The concern with undermatching is that students who attend more prestigious institutions tend to have better career outcomes and higher pay compared to students who attend less prestigious colleges (pg. 647).

      This occurs across all students, but students from lower socioeconomic statuses or first-generation college students tend to be ‘undermatched’ at a higher rate (pg. 646). This is a problem because institutions may be reinforcing achievement gaps between certain populations and have a huge impact on students’ success later in life (pg. 649). In order to combat this trend, Tiboris argues that low-income students should be targeted to receive more information and funding opportunities to attend selective universities (pg. 649). However, this solution only assists students who actually want to attend a more selective institution because the student would then have a better understanding of their options and can more likely make the choice for themselves. But what if a student actually desired to attend the less selective college?

      Tiboris poses the question: is undermatching a problem? Tiboris believes that undermatching is not a problem as long as the student has made the decision about which college to attend autonomously, but more research is necessary (pg. 648). Tiboris recognizes that it may be difficult to determine if a student is making an autonomous choice, but believes that “critical reflection” is an essential component of making the decision (pg. 654). It must be noted that Tiboris seems unsure if critical reflection can, in fact, lead an individual to their true preference because they may be heavily influenced by “historical conditioning”, with regards to expectations for their population (pg. 657).

      Tiboris points out that students may autonomously choose a less selective institution for reasons such as “wanting to stay closer to home, a desire to maintain certain cultural or religious practices, [or] personal distaste for city life” (pg. 651). There may be a number of reasons a student chooses a less selective college over their ‘matched’ institution. In fact, while working in the Admissions Office at WSU Vancouver, I have worked with a number of students who are academically prepared for WSU Vancouver, but the way the courses are offered are inconvenient and so the student has decided to attend the local community college instead.

      Tiboris states that “…policies intended to reduce undermatching will be morally problematic if they fail to respect the diverse values and preferences of different groups…” (pg. 649). Instead, Tiboris’ recommends that “we make stronger efforts to help students recognize and work with the reality that their preferences are often artifacts of their upbringing and culture” and college take specific (pg. 658).

      N. Brusseau

    6. Houle, J.N. (2013). Disparities in debt: Parents socioeconomic resources and young adult student loan debt. Sociology of Education, 87 (1), pp. 53-69.

      http://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:4120/content/87/1/53.full.pdf+html

      Houle (2013) conducts a study to see if there are correlations between the amount of loans a student commits to while a college student and the student’s socioeconomic status. This study uses secondary data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997 as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics from nearly 9,000 college students. It is important to note that the sample was representative compared to national college student data in regards to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and accumulated student loan debt. However, the sample had “more advantaged backgrounds [compared to] the general population”, which Houle believes is attributed to the entire sample having college experience (pg. 58). The sample was then asked to respond to a survey about their total student loan debt, but did not differentiate between governmental and private student loans.

      Once the data was collected, Houle used the ordinary least squares regression model and Craggit model to analyze the data. Houle determined that approximately forty percent of respondents had some form of student loan debt with the average amount of $22,940, which were both similar to national averages (pg. 58). Some interesting findings include that students who completed their college degree tended to have significantly higher debt amounts compared to students who did not finish their college degree, students who attended private institutions tended to have higher amounts of student loan debt compared to students who attended public colleges, and African Americans were also noted as having significantly higher amounts of student loan debt compared to white students.

      I believe one of the most interesting findings is consistent with previous research as the “middle-income squeeze perspective”, where the middle-income students are the most likely to have the highest amounts of student loan debt compared to high-income and low-income students (pg. 58). Houle points out the progress that a program at UC-Berkeley may have for middle-income families in which the “Middle Class Access Plan” limits the cost of tuition for middle-income families at 15% of the family’s income (pg. 63).

      Even though these findings will hopefully encourage institutions to examine their own student population, this national study provides an example of possible methods that can be used. Administrators, political actors and college leadership should examine their own financial aid and scholarship policies to ensure the merit scholarships and grants are not only primarily being awarded to high-income and low-income students, while leaving the middle-income students to take on the most student debt. Houle recognizes that the study does not answer, or even ask, the question of “Will their debt (investment) pay off? Or, will their debt lead them to lag behind their more advantages counterparts?” (pg. 66). These types of questions need to continually be asked to validate whether or not the amounts of loans students are committing to will actually pay off.

      N. Brusseau

    7. Everett, J. B. (2015). Public Community Colleges: Creating Access and Opportunities for First- Generation College Students. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 81(3), 52-58.

      As the title suggests, this article is about creating access to higher education for first generation college students by utilizing local, community colleges. According to the article community college have been key to granting access to certain subsets of the student population who would otherwise opt out of attending college all together. These groups include, ethnic minorities, low-income students, first generation students, underprepared individual or any combination of these. There is a sense of convenience and “fit” about a community college accompanied by a more affordable cost that makes it a good choice for many first generation students but as the article states, “if these students are not retained or do not transfer, then neither the students nor the institutions have been successful” (Everett, 52).

      A first generation college student, according to the article, is anyone whose parent(s) have not attended a post-secondary institution. The reasoning behind this is because students who have parents that have gone to college also have the “social capital” which accompanies their parent’s experiences. This includes the knowledge and experience to guide their student through the application process and prepare them for the cultural norms of a college atmosphere. All of this contributes to the level of access a student has to college.

      The article defines “access” as “the conditions and factors that facilitate and encourage or prohibit and discourage a person from attending college” (Everett, 53). Different types of access include: financial access, geographic access, programmatic access, academic access, and cultural, social, physical access. All of these factors play a role into whether or not a student will attend college however, students in vulnerable populations who overcome these accessibility issues and enroll may still face challenges after the admissions or enrollment process. My main takeaway from the article is that open access community college are intended to give access to students who have not historically had access and they have been successful in doing so. However, colleges have struggled in retaining these students which is where society should start to focus. “Helping first-generation students obtain their educational goals is economically beneficial for both the individual and for society” (Everett, 55). Colleges need to start focusing efforts on continuously removing barriers to access and providing the services students need to be successful upon enrollment

    1.       President Obama has made College access and affordability for all Americans a goal of his Presidency. In the 2012 State of the Union address the President outlined several measures that he believed would make College more available to Americans. The first step was to begin to change the structural system of Federal Aid to Colleges. The administration proposed that colleges who managed to maintain a lower tuition would receive more federal aid while those colleges who fail to keep net-tuition down would have their federal aid cut. Obama claims that the program will incentivize colleges to keep tuition low and that prior systems of federal aid did nothing to encourage this. The new system would reward colleges on the criteria of low tuition, quality education, and serving low income and Pell Grant students. Obama also promised to start a Race to The Top incentive program that would reward states that would systematically change their higher education to improve completion and affordability. Further the administration offered to reward both colleges and non-profit organizations who create break through strategies in revolutionizing education and spreading and funding techniques that have proven effective. The President than called for a College Score Card that would allow families to compare college costs, estimated future earnings, and graduation rates of each college so that they can make an informed choice as two what college may be the best choice for them. Finally the administration offered increased funding to Pell Grants and maintained its commitment to keeping student loans low. The administration also toted the Pay as You Earn Program which caps yearly student loan payments at 10% of monthly income to stop student loans from pushing graduates into poverty.      
      

      White House (January 27, 2012). FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Blueprint for Keeping College Affordability and Within Reach for All Americans. The White House. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/01/27/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-blueprint-keeping-college-affordable-and-wi.

    1. This article looks at the effects of partisan politics on state higher education budgets. The study mentioned that in comparison to other areas higher education has received much higher cuts then other areas over the last several decades. It points out that both Republican and Democrats have a tendency to support community colleges but for different reasons. Republicans view it as a more cost effective solution while Democrats view it as better at redistributing wealth. The study hypothesized however that more Democratic state legislators would ultimately result in higher education budgets. It also hypothesized that Democrats would be more supportive of higher education in legislators which were less polarized. The reasoning is that in highly polarized legislators Democrats will focus on their traditional constituencies like healthcare and welfare, and Republicans will avoid supporting anything that could be viewed as redistribution politics. Its third hypothesis is that the Democrats strength in the legislator on state funding on higher education would be moderated by economic conditions. In poor economic conditions they predicted that higher education would take cuts rather than programs that are view more essential by both parties. The study tested their hypothesis by looking at data from the states and measuring higher education budget out of every 1000 dollars income collected by the state. The data looked to confirm these hypotheses. Democratic presence in the state legislature did positively impact higher education budget but that polarization and economic conditions could lower these effects. The data suggests that Higher Education spending is an odd issue because it is actually preferred by both parties but not particularly essential to either. Thus in a highly polarized legislator or economic crisis it will be dropped as both parties focus on protecting their key issues.     
      Dar, Luciana and Dong Wook Lee. July 1, 2014. Partisanship, Political Polarization, and State Higher Education Budget Outcomes. Journal of Higher Education Vol. 85 No. 4, 469-498.
      

  3. Oct 2015
    1. This article focuses on Partisan differences in education policy. The article goes over several literature reviews. It finds that the public believes higher education is important to success, believes it should be available to all but that students need to put high effort in college, have concerns about college cost and has little idea of what the actual costs are. The research suggests that both Parties are concerned with keeping education affordable, but have different plans to do so. Republican politicians focus on efficiency of money spent on college, making sure that federal investment in higher education are not being wasted. Democrat politicians on the other hand pay much more attention to providing opportunity to unprivileged demographics. The study measured to see if the constituents of the parties agreed with the leaders. It found that republicans and democrats in the public did not greatly differ in their views of college efficiency, but that African Americans viewed colleges as less efficient. On the question of opportunity there was significant difference between republicans and democrats in how much opportunity there was for disadvantaged people to get in to college. Democrats perceived much more obstacles to educations than republicans, who were more optimistic about the potential for low income individuals to attain higher education. However among both parties college educated people perceived college to be more obtainable than low income individuals. The study expresses concerns that education may become politicized due to the differences in the electorate. Should the issue become seen as special interest for one party as opposed to a general concern, it will be more susceptible to gridlock and less likely to be resolved. The article notes the power of the issue of educational attainment and cites Kingdon in the possibility that if it does not make it on to the public agenda it may be ignored or discarded.

      Doyle, William R. July- August, 2007. Public Opinion, Partisan Identification, and Higher Education Policy. The Journal of Higher Education Vol. 78 No. 4: 369-401.

    1. This article looks at early commitment programs, designed to put low income kids on the college track sooner. It explained how many low income students are unaware of financial opportunities before their last year of high school. Many low income students have long since devoted their energy to non-academic activities and have not focused on preparing for college, due to the belief that they could not afford it. Their study aimed to look at the effectiveness of applying a commitment program to the Pell Grant system, promising low income students a certain amount of paid college for educational performance in school and educating student’s early on educational opportunities. They measure the persistence of poverty in students through the free and reduced lunch program, so to counter the possible criticism that students who were poor in 8th could likely leave poverty by college age. Their study indicated the persistence of poverty for most students throughout K-12 education, especially students with uneducated or minority parents. Finally the report measured the cost and benefits of the program. It full mentioned that this was based primarily on educated estimates as some of the variables such as college completion rates and actual economic benefits of those who do graduate cannot currently be known. The overall calculations suggested that the program would be net benefit and the growth in the educated work would offset the costs of the program. It further mentions that several benefits and costs were not calculated like the improved health and low incarceration rates of college graduates or the costs of additional supplemental student loans. Overall the study suggested that the program would over look very few students and could do a great deal of good in dispelling lower class pessimism about college and related apathy about high school education. This could help bridge the knowledge gap between the poor and higher incomes, at least in college access.

      Kelchen, Robert and Sara Goldrick-Rab (March 1, 2015). Accelerating College Knowledge: A Fiscal Analysis of a Targeted Early Commitment Pell Grant Program. The Journal of Higher Education Vol.86 No.2, 199-231.

    1. Seneca, J.J. and Taussig, M.K. (1987). Educational quality, access, and tuition policy at state universities. The Journal of Higher Education, 58 (1), pp. 25-37.

      Seneca and Taussig (1987) investigate the impact tuition policies can have a two missions that many state universities seem to focus on – access for underserved populations and providing a high quality education. By analyzing data from thirty state universities, the authors hypothesized that as tuition policies force students to pay more for their college education (tuition increases), then the quality of education also increases. On the other hand, the authors also hypothesized that as a result of higher tuition rates, then access to that specific state university decreases for low-income families.

      As a current member of the Strategic Planning Committee at a state university, I can attest that the state university I have experience with is striving to increase access for underserved populations while at the same time, increasing the quality and distinctiveness of education. However, as a result of their study, Seneca and Taussig would likely argue that these two missions are difficult to fulfill simultaneously, especially without increasing the resources provided by financial aid.
      
      In the study, Seneca and Taussig (1987) analyzed data from thirty state universities to measure the level of access the university was providing – in other words, is the university’s student population proportionate and reflective of the state’s population. For example, Seneca and Taussig’s measure of access looked at the family income of a student relative to incomes in the state (pg. 30). They also measured the level of quality of education, which the researchers determined the SAT or ACT score would be the operationalized value of the concept of a high level of education. 
      
      Seneca and Taussig (1987) found that as tuition increased at state universities, then there was a negative effect on access, whereas when financial aid increased then a positive effect on access was determined. It was also found that as access increased, then the level of quality decreased (pg. 33).  The authors recognized specific limitations to their study, including access limited in terms of income levels rather than ethnicity, race and gender (pg. 35). I also believe the level of quality is not necessarily measured by a student’s incoming standardized test score and future studies should look at other ways to operationalize the quality of education.
      
      This study should serve as a discussion point for state universities who are determining priorities and tuition and financial aid policies, especially with regards to missions of access and quality education. This study could be replicated within the state of Washington to see if the higher education institutions in this state also show the same results as Seneca and Taussig determined.
      

    1. This Informational Packet prepared by the Executive Branch outlines the current objectives and plans for increasing educational achievement for low income students. It first outlines the moral and economic incentives to do so. College attainment gaps between high and low income has been growing over the last several decades, and this limits the ability of poor youths to obtain a better life. College attainment is also important for the economy as a whole the job market requires a greater degree of education then ever before. The paper highlights some of the current programs that the Obama administration has implemented such as increase in Pell Grants and a new pay as you earn program that doesn’t demand that students pay any more than 10% of their monthly income to student debt. Then it goes over outlining four goals for the US in terms of low income educational achievement. The first goal is to connect low income students to available colleges, and work to help them complete the college they start. It points out the critical problem of under matching, where low income students are least likely to enter school that match their ability, often going to schools that perform under that students ability. The second goal is to greater academically prepare low income students better for college while in public school. The paper suggested that technology and more personalized approach could greatly aid low income students many of whom are not adequately prepared for college. The third is to decrease inequalities in advising and test preparation. The school counselor is an important figure in connecting low income high school students to opportunities and knowledge they may otherwise not know. The final goal is to have brake though in remedial course work. Students who start in remedial classes rarely go on to complete college and the paper suggests that by bettering primary and secondary education and shifting more students out of remedial education in college this problem can be solved. The whole article focuses on each of these goals to a greater depth and would be an excellent reference point for our paper. Particularly interesting is the use of high school counselors as a factor in college attainment, as it is something that policy makers could easily alter and is less nebulous than improving K-12 education as a whole. Many other programs contained within are also worth studying.

      The Executive Office of the President (2014). Increasing College Opportunity for Low Income Students: Promising Models and a Call to Action. Retrieved on 10/17/15. Retrieved from chrome-extension://bjfhmglciegochdpefhhlphglcehbmek/content/web/viewer.html?file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitehouse.gov%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fdocs%2Fwhite_house_report_on_increasing_college_opportunity_for_low-income_students.pdf

    1. Frempong, George, Xin Ma, and Joseph Mensah. "Access to Postsecondary Education: Can Schools Compensate for Socioeconomic Disadvantage?" Higher Education 63.1 (2012): 19-32. ProQuest. Web. 16 Oct. 2015.

      In this article, the authors discuss postsecondary educational attainment and factors that may affect it such as socioeconomic status (SES) and family background. The authors cite multiple studies that took place in both the U.S and Canada dating back to the 1960’ regarding factors that affect access and attainment of a college education. The purpose of the article is to analyze access to a university education for students coming from low SES families. The authors do this by providing a literature review, outlining their measures, and presenting their results.

      The authors claim that it is an undisputable fact that SES affects access to postsecondary education. One survey that is cited in the article shows “only 30% of youth in the bottom 25% of the income distribution attend university, compared to 50.2% in the top 25%” (Pg. 20). They also talk about the lack of social capital in low SES families due to the fact that youth “are often brought up in a home environment where parents, friends, siblings and peers are less interested in schooling, university education, and its associated benefits” (pg. 21). Additionally, one Canadian study delved deeper than financial constraint and looked at secondary factors that are common amongst the economically disadvantaged. These factors include personal perception of what youth can accomplish, sub-par scores on standardized tests and reading level.

      The authors conducted a study by looking at multiple surveys such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS). They had a dependent variable of “students’ access to postsecondary education” and an independent variable of “family characteristics.” The study found that SES may be a predictor of college access with students coming from a high SES family being more likely to attend a 4-year school. They also found that schools with a higher average SES also had higher rates of students attending college. Lastly, they drew a conclusion that students have typically decided whether or not they will be attending college at an early age. Students who are driven and complete high school are able to find the resources to attend college.

    1. Dyce, Cherrel Miller, Cheryll Albold, and Deborah Long. "Moving from College Aspiration to Attainment: Learning from One College Access Program." The High School Journal 96.2 (2013): 152-65. ProQuest. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

      By 2018 a large majority (around 62%) of jobs in the United States will require some type of post high school education and over half of those jobs will require a four-year degree. If those numbers are accurate there will be a shortage of over 15 million qualified individuals in the workforce. The subset of the population that is most at risk of not being able to compete for these jobs is individuals who come from a disadvantaged background or who have a cycle of disadvantage in their family. These are students of color, first generation college students, and low-income students who lack the financial and social capital to enroll and complete at a post high school institution. The education gap between underserved students and other students continues to grow and much of that is attributed to a lack of resources along with many other life challenges.

      The essay by Cherrel Miller Dyce titled “Moving from College Aspiration to Attainment: Learning from One College Access Program” discusses a small study focusing on low-income, first-generation students and families regarding their aspirations and realities as it pertains to achieving a college education after high school. The study surveyed 75 students and 76 parents regarding their confidence about different aspects of the college entry process such as necessary courses and ability to find financial resources.

      The study found that students’ and family’s confidence of a college education is fairly high, however that does not correlate with actual college entry rates. This means that students are not reaching the goals they aspire to when it comes to their education. The article calls for “long-term support for students and families throughout the high school.” To do so, the author is proposing more college access programs in the K-12 system that are targeted towards first-generation, low-income, minority students. These programs should “celebrate, recognize, and nurture the aspirational capital found in the social networks of potential students.”

    2. Witman, K., Chase, M., Bensimon, E.M., Hanson, D., & Longanecker, D. (2015). Moving the attainment agenda from policy to action. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 47 (4), 6-15.

      In Whitman, Chase, Bensimon, Hanson and Longanecker’s (2015) article, the authors propose a model for how higher education institutions can put policy decisions into practice in order to increase access to college for underrepresented populations. The authors stress the importance of equity being at the forefront of policy implementation and involving faculty and other institutional staff in the process of policymaking “to produce dramatically greater and more sustainable change by merging these two domains of practice” (policy and practice) (pg. 8).

      Using Colorado’s Equity in Excellence program as a model and similar to Lasswell’s (1956) Stages Model, Witman et al. outline the “Policy and Practice Alignment Model”, which will be referred to as the PPA Model in this posting. The first stage of the PPA Model involves the creation of state equity policy goals based on disaggregated data by race/ethnicity to “identify equity gaps in student progress toward degree attainment” (pg. 9). These policy goals will then lead to the following phases (pg. 9):

      1. Laying the groundwork
      2. Defining the problem
      3. Assessing interventions
      4. Implementing solutions
      5. Evaluating results

      Once policy determines the achievement gaps to focus on, Whitman et al. recommend the “creation of a campus evidence-team” and a “campus-specific data portfolio” to implement policy at a specific campus (pg. 10). After this process had been conducted at a college in Colorado, it led to the math department making changes such as “providing professional development [for faculty] focused on how to be more inclusive in their syllabi, be more alert to power dynamics that prevent students from seeking help, understand what types of languages may engender stereotype threat, and learn how to help students who may lack experience interacting with faculty…and many are already showing positive results” (pg. 13). Other changes noted in the article include hiring of more diverse faculty, analyzing achievement gaps at the level of specific courses, and analyzing faculty practices that “may be failing to produce success, particularly for the marginalized students of color” (pg. 14).

      The Whitman et al. article can be compared to policy decisions and implementation in the state of Washington. For example, the Washington Student Achievement Council’s Report: Educational Attainment for All: Diversity and Equity in Washington State Higher Education (2013) (which can be found online at http://www.wsac.wa.gov/sites/default/files/DiversityReport.FINAL.Revised.07-2013_0.pdf), specifically brings attention to race/ethnicity disparities of college enrollment within the state, particularly among African American, Latino, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Native American students who graduated from a high school within the state of Washington.

      Policy makers and practitioners, within the state of Washington and other states, may use the Policy and Practice Alignment Model presented by Whitman et al. in order to guide their local decision-making process to advance equity issues across the nation.

      • N Brusseau (10-5-15)

    3. Burke, J. B., & Johnstone, M. (2004). Access to Higher Education: The Hope for Democratic Schooling in America. Higher Education In Europe, 29(1), 0-31

      The Article “Access to Higher Education: The Hope for Democratic Schooling” by J. Bruch Burke and Michelle Johnston take on some of the issues the United States faces with its ideals of hope and democracy for all, and the reality of a shrinking middle class and an increasingly unrealistic perception of the American dream.

      The article starts by comparing the world’s perception of the U.S to the drastically different views that American’s have for themselves. Mostly, it is difficult to grasp the concept of a country who is so filled with patriotism and faith in the democratic system yet has so many shortcomings, particularly when looking at the gap in quality of life amongst its upper class and lower class citizens. The article then moves into the specific topic of access to higher education. Acquiring a higher education has long been viewed as the beacon of hope for individuals who strive for a better future, a beacon that under threat according to Burke and Johnston.

      The authors pose the questions: “What would define a quality undergraduate education for marginalized students?” (pg. 22) They go on to describe that a quality education for one group should look the same as a quality of education for another group. I believe the article is making the point that education should not settle based on the population it serves. The article calls this concept, “democratic schooling” which essentially acknowledges socioeconomically, cultural and other differences students have and uses those differences to empower all students, not just the ones that are deemed creative, talented or gifted. It goes on to explain the unfair and unequitable nature of the school system by describing key distinctions between affluent students and marginalized students. Distinctions which include access to technology, up-to-date text books, opportunities to travel, and enriching activities.

      The authors look to public school teachers in K-12 to prepare students for democratic schooling post high school but state that most K-12 teachers are unprepared in doing so due to the cyclical shortcomings of the hiring process of public school teachers. “The majority of teachers have been unprepared to lead their students into the arena of democratic learning environments, and much less to actually engage in democratic discourse” (pg. 31). In the concluding paragraphs, the article talks about the importance of a broad, liberal arts based education as a key component to democratic discourse. It states that many teachers entering the workforce are not informed about basics in literature, mathematics and science. A broader education instead of focusing on concentration area may be a solution or alternative to teaching credentials.

    1. This article examines why college graduation rates are exceptionally lower than college entrance rates in low income households. While college dropout occurs in all income levels it is much higher in low income families. The paper studies whether “attrition”, the term they use to describe the process of leaving college uncompleted, is due to college cost or other factors. They looked in particular at a school in Kentucky where tuition and living expenses are almost entirely subsidized, controlling for the cost of college as a variable. The whole college could be considered relatively low income as its wealthiest attendants appeared to be from the lower middle class. Despite the lack of college cost only half of students graduate and most that leave did not indicate that they are going to transfer. Analysis of the groups shows that the higher income groups were the most likely to stay in college and the lowest the most likely to leave. The researchers also found that wealthier students had on average higher grades than poorer students. Their data suggested that this was due to better preparation in K-12, although they stated that it is possible that lower income tried less do to being uncertain if they were going to leave or not. The article proposed the possibility of “negative shocks” that a dramatic fall in income would lead to drop out. Yet its data ultimately showed no evidence of this effect. The article did not directly state any specific reason why low income students dropped out more even when college but suggested several. These included better primary and secondary education, more encouraging parents, and less need to immediately support their family. It ends with a call for more research into how aid non-cost difficulties related difficulties, so to most effectively use education budgets. Stinebrickner, Ralph and Todd R. Stinebrickner (2003). Understanding Educational Outcomes of Students from Low-Income Families: Evidence from a Liberal Arts College with a Full Tuition Subsidy Program. The Journal of Human Resources Vol. 38 No.3, 591-617.

    1. This article is a British study from the early 2000’s looking at difficulties in access to higher education among disadvantaged youths. As it is in Brittan some of the information may not apply in an American context but it should certainly help at least a general understanding of the various factors that can disadvantage some youth from pursuing education. The survey looked at 16 schools in four areas of Scotland, all schools having lower than average rates of students who entered higher education. Some of this was due to finances which caused more students to put school off in order to save up money, or not go so that they would not accrue debt. Even students that did go were more likely to not pursue their passion or best subject for fear that it may lead to unemployment and inability to pay the debt, opting instead for more practical degrees that they have no interest in. Cultural factors also played with disadvantaged students decisions. Many students either chose not to pursue higher education or chose to apply to less prestigious schools as a result of fear of being looked down upon by wealthier classmates. Others felt that their hometowns discouraged them from furthering their education. Many felt both and said being in higher education and from a disadvantaged background made them outsiders in all worlds and isolated.<br> Location was also a factor; some students simply lived very far from colleges and could not receive education without moving. Another was the ‘Highers’ a Scottish test that affected whether or not a student could gain entry to higher education. Students from a higher social class were far more likely to get an acceptable score at the ‘Highers’. The study found that many of the disadvantaged students simply dropped out as well, so getting into higher education didn’t guarantee that they would receive anything for it. The overall study suggests that the main reason why disadvantaged students have lower representation in schools in not in selection bias by the school but due to lower rates of application. The students that did go often went due to inability to find a job and focused only on financial security, unlikely to enter postgraduate education or a discipline of interest. The study concludes that financial assistance could increase disadvantaged participants and thus also decrease cultural barriers by greater familiarizing disadvantaged areas with education.

      Forsyth, Alasdair and Andy Furlong (2003). Access to Higher Education and Disadvantaged Young People. British Educational Research Journal Vol. 29 No. 2, 205-225.

    1. This study deals with the relationship between distance from university and rates of attendance, particularly in lower income families. Like my last article this article is not American. However as a Canadian study the population lives in a large country with many rural cities similar to their Southern neighbors. The study stated that moving is a factor that can have financial and emotional cost on students who have to leave their hometowns for universities. Previous studies found that students who were farer than 80 Km from Universities were 42% less likely to attend than those who lived in commuting distance. It also found that lower income students were even less likely to attend far away university than higher income students. This study focuses on colleges which have a far more rural presence than universities and are thus more available to lower income students who are less willing or able to move for education. The study looked at the behavior of three types of students, those in commuting distance of a university and college, just a college, or neither. The study showed when a college and university were both in the same area students attendance at each was roughly the same, although lower income students were more likely to opt for the college. Yet in more rural areas with only a college most students choose to stay rather than move to a university, regardless of income. If there was no college or university in the area, rates of post secondary education overall were lower, although students who did move were slightly more likely to go to university. It should be noted that the vast majority of the sample had at least a college nearby. Low income students were most likely to attend post secondary education if only a college were nearby. All income levels however were affected by commuting distance even the high income bracket. The article also addresses how this research can aid policy makers in how to best aid access for students. It suggested that focusing aid on rural colleges and student aid to its students may be more effective increasing access than focusing on the larger more urban universities. Expanding the capacities of rural colleges is the likely the best way to make post secondary education available for low income students. The study supports that access to education is more than just paying for college itself, it is also being able to get there.

      Frenette, Marc (2004). Access to College and University: Does Distance to School Matter? Canadian Public Policy/ Analyse de Politiques Vol. 30, No. 4, 427-443.

    1. This article looks at and evaluates proposals to increase access to education based upon the best available research as well as the estimations of the authors. The authors ranked objectives relating to higher education in their current status, as well as ranking it in terms of needed improvement rate. The six objectives rated were developing educated workforce, increase college affordability, increase number of high performing high performing high schools, increase K-12 learning, increase college learning, and help at risk students. They then prioritized the objectives by which objectives they believed to be the most underdeveloped. Interestingly the author’s conclusion was that increasing funding for student aid was actually the least pressing issue. The most important were helping at risk youth succeed in college and improving K-12 education. The authors stated that more financial aid would not be effective until at risk students could not only go to college but also be effective there. After evaluating objectives the authors evaluated a series of broad solution and what their relationships were with the 6 objectives earlier mentioned. The categories of reform were improving Pell, improve financial aid, intervene early, and improve institutions. Once again, the financial outcomes seemed to be much less influential than the options focusing on improving quality of education and ability of low income students. This was partly due to the fact that since financial solutions corresponded with the financial objectives which were given the lowest priority weight. The final chart looked at actual policies that could be implemented in the educational system in the categories of K-12 Student policies, Postsecondary Student Policies, Postsecondary Financial Aid Policies, K-12 Institution Policies, and Post-Secondary Polices. The highest rated solution in terms weight given by the authors formula were providing academic coaching for the at-risk in elementary, academic coaching for at risk in high school and train high school teachers how to monitor and analyze student learning. The article emphasizes at the end that higher education cannot be seen as separate from K-12 in terms of policy. Many students lack to skills to succeed in college and getting a low income student into college only for them to drop out cannot be considered a success.

      Stapen, Jacob O, and W. Lee Hansen (1999). Improving Higher Education Access and Persistence: New Directions from a "Systems" Perspective. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Vol.21 No. 4, 417-426.

    1. Niu, S.X. (2014). Leaving home state for college: Differences by race/ethnicity and parental education. Research in Higher Education. 56 (4) pg. 325-359.

      Attending college out-of-state is usually more expensive because of transportation and housing costs, but Niu (2014) makes the normative claim that “leaving home states for college provides additional benefits compared with attending college in home states” (pg. 347). This is mainly due to the finding that students who are attending out-of-state institutions are likely attending “a private, a 4-year, and a selective institution” (pg. 347), but Niu seems to believe that inequitable out-of-state college attendance should be noticed.

      Niu cites other researchers who found that high-income students were more likely to apply to many schools as well as more selective schools. Previous research found that a student’s “likelihood of leaving home for college was found to be positively affected by the father’s education and the parental income” (pg. 327).

      Niu conducted a study to examine where graduating seniors from 2010 actually attended, rather than focusing on college choices of students that were not confirmed with actual attendance in previous research. The study used secondary data from the SAT exam and then tracked where the students actually attended using data from the National Student Clearinghouse (pg. 329). In order to rank the selectivity of specific colleges, Niu used the Barron’s college selectivity index.

      Based on the college(s) a specific student chose to have their SAT scores sent to (in-state vs. out-of-state), Niu looked at whether a student was more or less likely to request out-of-state colleges in comparison to the student’s race/ethnicity and parental education.

      After descriptive and multivariate analyses were completed, Niu determined that White students had the highest rate of sending test scores to out-of-state colleges, while Hispanic students had the least likelihood of sending scores out-of-state (pg. 332). The increased likelihood of a student sending their test scores out-of-state was also correlated with higher levels of parental education. When this pattern was compared to where students actually attended, the correlation remained that White students with parents of high education levels were the most likely to attend out-of-state college, compared to Black, Hispanic and Asian students. This study notes that Black and Hispanic students who attended out-of-state colleges were likely attending colleges with ‘need-based’ financial aid practices, which provided additional need to students with low income.

      These factors are in support of Brody’s two articles posted in the “PolEdu” tag, which analyzes a student’s ability to relocate to attend college as well as have access to transportation in order to attend. Public policy makers should be aware of possible barriers to students and seek ways to assist the public with overcoming these additional barriers.

      -N Brusseau (9-28-15)

    1. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED555523.pdf

      Anderson, L. (2015). Addressing postsecondary access for undocumented students. ECS Educational Trends, February, 2015, 1-6.

      Schneider, A.L., Ingram, H. and Deleon, P. (2011). Democratic policy design: Social construction of target populations. In Sabatier, P.A. and Weible, C.M. (Eds.), Theories of the Policy Process (105-149). Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

      Anderson’s (2015) provides an overview of recent policy decisions with regards to undocumented students’ access to U.S. higher education institutions. Anderson notes President Obama’s creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), which provides the authorization to work for undocumented individuals, but does not provide a path to citizenship. One requirement to qualify for the DACA program is they have moved to the U.S. before age 16 and also maintained continuous residency (pg. 2). Anderson cites an estimate of 11.2 million undocumented people living in the U.S in 2012 (pg. 1). Federal and state governments are faced with policy questions for this group, including questions about access to higher education.

      Anderson notes many policy changes since 2001, but currently eighteen states made changes to policies to allow for undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, provided the individual meets specific requirements. Examples of state requirements include high school attendance or graduation from the state, or provide a signed statement that the individual will obtain legal status as soon as possible (pg. 2). Five of those 18 states allow undocumented students access to state financial aid programs (pg. 3).

      Anderson provides policy examples from different states to serve as a springboard for continuing discussions. The first state to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition was Texas in 2001, but there are requirements the student needs to meet (such as living in Texas for three years before high school graduation and not previously enrolled in college before 2001, among others). Anderson cites that more than 16,000 college students in Texas enrolled in college in 2011 under this policy (pg. 2). Illinois adopted a similar policy in 2003 and nearly 16,000 students enrolled in public institutions.

      Washington implemented policy changes to allow for undocumented students to be considered in-state residents in 2003 and in 2014 also made state financial aid available. In 2013, Washington reported over 1,000 undocumented students enrolled in college (pg. 4).

      Rhode Island and Colorado were also highlighted as changing policies to increase access to college for undocumented students. Anderson points out that states likely approach policy changes in different ways, but there are similarities to extend the right to higher education to include undocumented students (pg. 5).

      In conclusion, Anderson lists questions that legislators should consider when making policy changes with regards to undocumented individuals. The concluding questions encourage legislators to analyze potential policy changes impact for the state, consider if undocumented students would be held to the same requirements as U.S. citizens and also recognizing the number of undocumented students within their state. (pg. 6).

      Through these more recent changes in policy at the federal and state levels, the social construction of “illegal immigrant” may be shifting to a more positive framework. Schneider, Ingram and Deleon (2011) believe that “social constructions of target groups can change, and public policy design… [can be a] force for change” (pg. 123). Undocumented students access to higher education seems to be increasing through policy changes that are likely changing society’s social construction of undocumented individuals.

      • N Brusseau (9-20-15)

  4. Sep 2015
    1. HILL, C. (2014). A Billion-Dollar Problem in Widening College Access. Chronicle Of Higher Education, 61(11), A72.

      There are prestigious schools that recognize the need to accept academically prepared students who come from all walks of life. In response, many of these schools have specifically reserved spots for “talented low- and middle- class students” in effort to appeal to these individuals who would likely not apply otherwise.

      However, according to Catharine Hill who is author of A Billion-Dollar Problem in Widening College Access, the issue is not the student’s perception on their likelihood of getting accepted but rather the family’s ability to pay for the education.

      Bloomberg Philanthropies is the organization who has taken on this $10-million dollar project of increasing awareness and trying to get around 65,000 more low-income students to apply to one of the 265 top tier colleges. However as the title of the article suggests, this is not a $10-million dollar problem but rather a billion or multiple billion dollar problem.

      Hill states that a fair, average number for each student to attend one of these schools is around $40,000 per year. This means that the school would have to invest $160,000 in Financial Aid for a low-income student to attend for four years who will not have any family contribution. When you multiply that by the 65,000 applicant increase that Bloomberg Philanthropies wants to see, you get a daunting $10.4 Billion. Hill states that by focusing the initiative on just getting more applicants, you are not solving the real problem.

      Some of the suggestions Hill gives include getting buy-in from all of the college Presidents to make financial need a priority and creating policy around doing a better job incentivizing these schools to make financial need a priority. Historically government has attempted to play a role in increasing access for students but Hill argues that they have only improved the quality of education for students who already have access. She suggests that policies can be created to help alleviate colleges from making some of the difficult decisions around where to allocate their money.

    2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 guarantees certain rights to people with disabilities and establishes a baseline of what organizations need to do in order to provide equitable access to people with disabilities. Colleges and Universities are just one of the social institutions in America that are required to comply with ADA regulations. In the field of higher education, these regulations are the bare minimum of what colleges and universities need to do for their students. However, a group of doctoral study students at Syracuse University take it one step further with the creation of Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee (BCCC).

      In an article by Carrie Rood and Michelle Damiani, titled “Increasing Access and making Practice More Inclusive through Disability Awareness Training” the authors describe some of the efforts and best practices of BCCC.

      The group was founded in 2001 and strives to bring issues of access and disability to the forefront of the college. It takes a holistic approach to doing this by “encouraging the university to establish and support attitudes, settings, and practices that go ‘beyond compliance’ with the law in order to create an inclusive environment of participatory equality within the scholarly community.”

      One of the core concepts highlighted in the article is the idea that Graduate Teaching Assistants who will have of first hand contact with students must have proper training to successfully work with student with disabilities. Since the organization was formed by a group of doctoral studies students, they had all gone through teaching assistant (TA) training and identified a need for more training in this area.

      The group created a training module and launched it in August 2012 They hosted two sessions during regularly scheduled TA training which happens on an annual basis. Overall they had a good responses from participants and were able to use the feedback to improve the module.

      The main takeaway from this article is that higher education should give more attention to one of its most vulnerable populations to ensure equitable access and a quality college experience for students with disabilities.

      Citation: Increasing Access and Making Practice More Inclusive through Disability Awareness Training. By: ROOD, CARRIE E., DAMIANI, MICHELLE L., Academe, 01902946, Sep/Oct2015, Vol. 101, Issue 5

      Link: http://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:2156/ehost/detail/detail?sid=4208df97-9ff2-427d-b5ec-b8343b563b45%40sessionmgr4004&vid=13&hid=4204&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=109490246&db=eft