SREB Launches Commission College Affordability in the South

News release

The Southern Regional Education Board today launched the Commission on College Affordability in the South to focus state policies on the goal of affordability for students.

The Commission will consider ways to improve college affordability by better coordinating the different types of financing policies — tuition, state appropriations to institutions, and state financial aid to students — to support that goal. It will be guided by two questions: How do current state financing policies impact affordability? What kinds of policy changes have the potential to improve both affordability and college completion? 

Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, chairs the Commission.Members represent all 16 SREB states and include state legislators, state higher education leaders and presidents of colleges and universities.

At its initial meeting in Atlanta today, Commission members began their in-depth look at the range of affordability issues, particularly how states finance higher education and whether they integrate tuition, appropriations and financial aid policies.

In recent years, financing of public postsecondary education shifted more to students and their families, at the same time that states have turned their focus on not only access to higher education, but completion of degrees.

“For states to reach the goal of 60 percent of adults with some form of degree or certificate, we’ll need to do some things differently,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “We need more students to go to college and more to complete. Affordability is a critical factor in both access and completion.”

“Paying for college is a particular concern for the large number of students we must reach to meet our goals,” said Chancellor Johnson. “This includes students who will be the first in their families to attend college and adult students returning to complete or upgrade their credentials.”

The Commission on College Affordability in the South will meet throughout the coming year.

Southern Regional Education Board 

Commission on College Affordability in the South 

Members

  • Wayne Andrews, President, Morehead State University, Kentucky
  • Alan Baker, State Representative, Alabama
  • Melanie Barton, Executive Director, Education Oversight Committee, South Carolina
  • Peter Blake, Director, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Virginia
  • Hank Bounds, Commissioner, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, Mississippi
  • Shane Broadway, Director, Arkansas Department of Higher Education, Arkansas
  • Harry Brooks, State Representative,Tennessee
  • Norman Conway, State Delegate, Maryland
  • Walter Dalton, President, Isothermal Community College, North Carolina
  • Krissy DeAlejandro, Executive Director, Tennessee Achieves, Tennessee
  • Lee Denney, State Representative, Oklahoma
  • Joyce Elliott, State Senator, Arkansas
  • Terry England, State Representative, Georgia
  • Gregory Fitch, Executive Director, Alabama Commission on Higher Education, Alabama
  • Erik Fresen, State Representative, Florida
  • Herb Frierson, State Representative,Mississippi
  • James Halligan, State Senator, Oklahoma
  • Randy Hanna, Chancellor, Florida College System, Florida
  • Jack Hill, State Senator, Georgia
  • Paul Hill, Chancellor, Higher Education Policy Commission, West Virginia
  • Janet Howell, State Senator, Virginia
  • Hank Huckaby, Chancellor, University System of Georgia 
  • Mac Huddleston, State Representative,Mississippi
  • Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma, Chair
  • Robert King, President, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Kentucky
  • Shana Payne, Director, Delaware Higher Education Office
  • Joe Pickens, President, St. Johns River State College, Florida
  • Bob Plymale, State Senator, West Virginia
  • John Polk, State Senator, Mississippi
  • Richard Rhoda, Executive Director, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Tennessee
  • Johnnie Roebuck, Consultant, Arkansas
  • Catherine Shultz, Acting Secretary, Maryland Higher Education Commission, Maryland
  • Arnold Simpson, State Representative,Kentucky
  • David Sokola, State Senator, Delaware
  • Richard Sutton, Executive Director, South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, South Carolina
  • Sandra Woodley, President, University of Louisiana System, Louisiana

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The Southern Regional Education Board works with states to improve public education at every level, from early childhood through doctoral education. A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.