4 Key Ideas In Obama's Plan To Control College Costs Bear Familiar Fingerprints

"Many of the ideas embraced by President Obama in his call to control college costs have long-standing champions in major foundations and among prominent policy analysts," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "The president's plan dovetails closely with the agendas of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has spent $472-million to remake college education in the United States, and of the Lumina Foundation, the largest private foundation devoted solely to higher education. Many features of the president's plan have been advocated, too, in the research and analysis of the New America Foundation's education-policy program. The Gates Foundation and its major grantees have focused, for example, on the idea of tying aid for colleges to their performance, a cornerstone of the president's plan. At the state level, Gates grantees like Complete College America and Jobs for the Future have been pushing efforts to tie colleges' budgets to factors like graduation rates. And at the federal level, the foundation's Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project has supported research on using financial aid as a lever to improve student success. ... The project's first round of grantees, mainly higher-education associations and advocacy groups, recently offered ideas like prorating federal Pell Grants based on students' course loads. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the consulting firm HCM Strategists favored such variation; other groups suggested offering larger Pell awards for high-performing students or providing loan forgiveness to Pell recipients who graduated on time."

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