Make postsecondary education affordable for low- and middle-income families


REC 1 needs a name

Institutions of higher education can develop and improve their practices related to affordability with actions such as

Switch university need-based aid from a last-dollar to a first-dollar funding method to provide more funding to low-income students so that they have enough to cover costs like school materials, high-speed internet, transportation, housing and childcare at contemporaneous prices. 

Provide more university need-based aid and scholarships to low- and middle-income students. Strive to meet two-thirds of the cost of attendance for as many students as possible, starting with those facing the largest funding gap. 

Expand the use of open educational resources to bring down costs of books. Require OER for general education courses. Provide more reserve copies of high-dollar texts in the college library. n Provide equipment, broadband or aid to students so they can access online courses and open educational resources. n Rethink fee structures and reduce additional fees. n Begin or improve programs that provide emergency funding to students. n Collaborate with federal, state and local government agencies, nonprofits and businesses to help low-income students with living costs. Partnerships might include food pantries, free campus meals, free bus or ride-share passes, free furniture rentals, free room and board for students experiencing homelessness, case managers to help guide students to apply for government assistance, free medical and mental health care or free hotspots. n Develop and require a financial literacy course or program for students and expand advising on finances, loans, and financial aid access and availability. n Provide more on-campus jobs and work-study programs so more students can work while enrolled full-time. Recommendation 2 Be transparent with students and families about the true out-of-pocket cost of college and the value of obtaining a college degree that aligns with their skills and interests. n Collect, analyze and disaggregate the true out-of-pocket cost of degrees for different student populations with varying resources and needs (such as low-income, traditional, adult learner, student-parent, part-time). n Analyze and publish the value of different degrees, especially for high-demand professions, and push for increased wages for key professions (such as teaching and health care) so that more students find those degrees and professions valuable. I

REC 2 needs a name