Second Round Of Gates Project Aims For 'Convergence' On Financial-Aid Reforms

"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, continuing to explore ideas for using financial aid as a lever to improve student success, has selected the grant recipients for the second round of its Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery project, foundation officials have told The Chronicle," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "The first round of the Gates project, commonly known as RADD, identified some points of consensus but also differences of opinion in the recommendations of the 16 think tanks, advocacy groups, and other organizations that participated. Widely shared proposals included making income-based loan repayment more common, or even universal; ending or consolidating education tax credits; and providing prospective students with better information about outcomes at individual colleges. The second round will explore some of those ideas in more depth and 'give folks an opportunity to see if there's convergence,' said Nick Lee, the senior program officer at the foundation who oversees the project. While there is already some common ground, the foundation isn't asking grantees to agree on all of the details of a particular policy recommendation, but to indicate points of disagreement in their papers, he said. The 18 groups participating in this round are organized into five consortia, each led by one grantee. Two of the consortia will focus on grant aid and Work Study, and one each will focus on tax credits, loans, and simplification and transparency. Each consortium received roughly $300,000, for a total of about $1.6-million. Some groups are in more than one consortium." NASFAA is participating in a the Young Invincible Consortium with the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Council for Economic Development, HCM Strategists, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the National Campus Leadership Council, the National College Access Network, and the New America Foundation.

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