SREB Launches Commission College Affordability in the South


Atlanta, GA — 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

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