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Why Does College Cost So Much?$
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Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744503.001.0001

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Financial Aid Policy

Financial Aid Policy

(p.214) 14 Financial Aid Policy
Why Does College Cost So Much?

Robert B. Archibald

David H. Feldman

Oxford University Press

Despite ample evidence that changes in net tuition do affect the college going decisions of students, there is scant evidence that increases in federal need-based financial aid actually have increased the college going rates of low-income students. This failure stems from the complexity of the system that determines eligibility for federal financial aid. Many have suggested simplifications of the system to make it more transparent. To stimulate discussion, this chapter suggests a more radical proposal, making federal financial aid an entitlement independent of income. This proposal is appealing because the most successful financial aid programs have been those with the simplest eligibility requirements. The chapter then compares and contrasts a dramatic simplification with the less radical proposals put forward by the Rethinking Student Aid Study Group and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The chapter also discusses changes in federal student loan programs.

Keywords:   federal financial aid, low-income students, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, need-based aid, net tuition, Rethinking Student Aid Study Group

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