ERIC Number: ED527951
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Lifting the Fog on Inequitable Financial Aid Policies: A Companion Brief to "Priced out: How the Wrong Financial Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students"
Lynch, Mamie; Engle, Jennifer; Cruz, Jose L.
A lack of situational awareness has been blamed for many of the most counterproductive decisions American policymakers have made on the battlefield, in response to natural and man-made disasters, and in the design and implementation of domestic policies. There are two key elements such disparate events as the escalation of the Vietnam war, the handling of relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the under regulation of the subprime mortgage market have in common. First, there are decision-making processes grounded in ideology and political expediency, rather than values and social contracts. Second, there are many missed opportunities--usually acknowledged in hindsight and attributed to the "fog of war"--to make timely decisions that could have altered the catastrophic outcomes before they unfolded. In "Priced Out: How the Wrong Financial Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students," we demonstrated how far too many low-income students are priced out of higher education, in no small part because of the counterproductive financial aid policies enacted by federal, state, and institutional policymakers. The negative impact of these policies--many of which were enacted in a robust fiscal environment and thrived through complacency with the status quo--has worsened throughout the current financial crisis. The bottom line? At every level, from the federal government to the campus, our spending has shifted away from the students who most need support toward those who will attend college no matter what. Leaving this situation unattended will effectively deplete our ever-diminishing reserve of opportunity in America. In this companion brief, we seek to lift the fog and to enhance situational awareness not only for those we have entrusted with our higher education policymaking, but for those who can influence the debate in order to avert an impending disaster: trustees, faculty members, parents, students, and advocacy groups. (Contains 8 figures and 37 notes.) [For the companion report, "Priced out: How the Wrong Financial-Aid Policies Hurt Low-Income Students," see ED520199.]
Descriptors: Access to Education, Student Financial Aid, Paying for College, Grants, Educational Policy, Financial Policy, Policy Analysis, Low Income Groups, Student Costs, Barriers, Educational Legislation, Financial Problems, Educational Finance
Education Trust. 1250 H Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-293-1217; Fax: 202-293-2605; Web site: http://www2.edtrust.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education
Authoring Institution: Education Trust