Affordability Commission

Overview

Commission on College Affordability in the South

How do state financing policies impact affordability? What kinds of policy changes can improve both affordability and college completion?

Report cover:  The Southern Regional Education Board Commission on College Affordability in the South focused on aligning state policies toward the goal of affordability for students and families. The Commission met during 2014 and 2015 and published reports and recommendations in 2016. 

A Critical Factor in Both Access and Completion

“For states to reach their goals for postsecondary attainment, we need more students to go to college and more to complete,” said SREB President Dave Spence. “Affordability is a critical factor in both access and completion.”

Publication October 2016 | 32 pages | (16E10)
Affordability report cover

Shared Responsibility for College Affordability
The Report of the SREB Commission on College Affordability in the South

The Commission offers eight policy recommendations for affordability, grounded in a shared responsibility model where states, families, colleges and the federal government each play a role. The report charts trends and data on educational attainment, workforce needs, student diversity, family income, student debt, higher ed funding, tuition, net price, financial aid and more. An appendix offers questions to help states begin reviews of their policies and practices. 

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT

DOWNLOAD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Publication July 2016 | 3 pages

A Statewide Framework
College Affordability Policy and Practice Review

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.

DOWNLOAD PDF

Blog post September 2015 Commission meeting

Part-Time Students = 38% of Undergrads
Affordability Commission focuses on needs of adult and part-time students

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.

Blog post

Promising Affordability Practices in Oklahoma, Tennessee
What the research tells us

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.