"Setting tuition at public colleges and universities is no simple task," Inside Higher Ed reports.
"Governors and lawmakers approve different levels of state funding to subsidize higher education from year to year. Those same politicians are frequently unhappy with rising college costs, and they sometimes move to freeze tuition or cap its rate of increase.
But flat tuition, if not accompanied by an increase in appropriations, can result in fewer sections and longer times to graduation, which is expensive for students and families. And because of the way many state aid programs are structured, public tuition rates can directly affect the amount of financial aid students receive.
In other words, setting public tuition is an exceedingly complex process involving numerous power centers. It’s a process with numerous possible unintended consequences for students’ ability to pay for college. Yet it’s a process that’s not even close to being standardized from state to state.
Most states don’t even have a single strategy for addressing affordability, according to a new report out today from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. SHEEO found that 68 percent of higher education agencies it surveyed had no unified affordability strategy taking tuition, fees and financial aid into account.
That lack of strategy comes even as four out of five states have put in place attainment goals for increasing the percentage of their residents with postsecondary credentials. As a result, SHEEO is calling for states to bring together governors, lawmakers, higher ed governing boards and college presidents in order to set tuition and fees in ways that line up with attainment goals."
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Publication Date: 11/9/2017