The SREB Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended that states review affordability policies for capacity to make postsecondary education more affordable for students and families. This framework outlines, in checklist form, questions to guide the review. Questions cover governance, aligning policies toward affordability, tuition policy, need-based student financial aid, student debt, investing in innovation, and shared responsibility among states, agencies, institutions and families.
Part-time college students made up 38 percent of undergraduates in SREB states by 2013. Many part-time students work to pay their living expenses as well as tuition, and the more hours they work, the longer it takes them to finish, on average. Part-timers are eligible for less financial aid, and they tend to file later, missing early deadlines.
College students today face many barriers when wishing to transfer from one institution to another. Some state policies prevent a seamless, clear path to transferring credits toward a degree — which can lead to increased cost and time for students, administrative burdens and increase the overall likelihood of students to dropout before graduation. This report details best practices in state policy across the SREB region, examines the questions policy-makers need to answer when updating transfer policies, and presents SREB’s recommendations on the essential elements of a clear and comprehensive statewide transfer policy.
Greater numbers — and a more diverse mix — of public high school students are turning to dual enrollment programs to get a head start in college and move more quickly toward a career. This paper — one in SREB’s series on the essential elements of state policy to increase college completion — highlights recent state actions on dual enrollment in SREB states and explores its link to college completion. Recommendations and six issues for policy-makers to consider are included.
SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South convened in New Orleans in December 2014 for its second meeting to focus state policies on increasing the students’ ability to pay for and complete college. Members learned what the research tells us about affordability’s effects on enrollment and completion and heard about promising practices in two states, Oklahoma and Tennessee.