New effort aimed at 'completion-focused' federal financial aid programs
- An initiative led by public policy consulting firm HCM Strategists aimed at "reimagining aid design and delivery" has brought together financial aid analysts, former government officials and other technical experts to to develop and assess the potential effects of possible changes to federal aid programs.
- According to Kristin Conklin, the effort's organizer and a partner in HCM Strategists, the committee's work will focus not only on the Pell Grant Program, but on the full range of federal investments in students and the question of how to get states and institutions to invest more in low-income students.
- Though it hasn't been formally announced, the initiative is already raising suspicions due to a number of factors--its patrons are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it plans to develop its recommendations within several months, and its stated goal is “using student aid to provide the right incentives to help all students attain a high-value credential.”
From the article:
Even those who most strongly support the concept of government financial assistance for college students concede that the system by which governments and colleges now provide it to American students isn't working optimally. Although the amount of financial aid flowing to students has risen sharply in the last decade, with state and federal governments and individual institutions alike ratcheting up their spending, low-income students remain significantly less likely than wealthier students to enroll in and graduate from college, and overall completion rates for American students have flattened. ...
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