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ERIC Number: ED567786
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
State Financial Aid: Applying Redesign Principles through State Engagement. Special Report
Pingel, Sarah
Education Commission of the States
College is increasingly expensive for students, but states have an important policy tool to help defray the costs: state financial aid programs. However, many states' programs are misaligned with articulated strategic postsecondary education policy goals. Over the past two years, Education Commission of the States has supported a variety of state-level projects to redesign state financial aid. This report shares lessons learned from each of these efforts. This brief demonstrates that: (1) State aid may be promised to students early, but income criteria at the time of college matriculation may result in the unintended consequence of additional barriers for the very students early promise scholarship programs are designed to serve; (2) College affordability enjoys a disproportionate share of attention from policy leaders. This attention may result in productive policy evolution towards strategic goals or in approaches that suffer from a lack of cohesion and focus; (3) Completely eliminating the cost of college may be a way to reach low-income and other underrepresented student populations, but a student's age should not be the deciding factor in eligibility if states intend to enroll or re-enroll adult students through free college programs; and (4) States should carefully consider how institutional eligibility criteria to participate in state aid programs reflect pathways that are the most promising for students, or to what extent they may employ state financial aid simply as an additional conduit for institutional support.
Education Commission of the States. ECS Distribution Center, 700 Broadway Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3692; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States