ERIC Number: EJ1035312
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: N/A
The Unanswered Question: How Will We Pay for Aggressive Attainment Goals?
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v46 n4 p16-25 2014
The concern about the United States' education attainment levels as compared with those of other countries, and the consequences of this poor showing, were given visibility by the inclusion of international statistics in the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education publication, "Measuring Up 2008." That concern was transformed into a national goal when President Obama, in his address to the joint session of Congress on February 24, 2009, called for the United States to meet a new goal: "By 2020, American will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world." This goal, articulated without definition, was subsequently translated to mean that 25-34 year olds in the United States would have postsecondary education attainment rates equal to those of the best-performing Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) calculated that reaching this target would require the production of 8.2 million more degrees than doing business as usual would yield. This number has been widely used by Administration officials in explaining their reform agenda. However, while policymakers at all levels are jumping on the attainment bandwagon, they are not attending to a key corresponding issue: how the successful pursuit of these goals is to be funded. What combination of financial strategies can be implemented to provide sufficient resources to accommodate more (and harder-to-serve) students while maintaining affordability for both families and taxpayers? Failure to provide a credible response to this question has the very real potential to derail the bandwagon. It is the topic to which this article is addressed. The steps that states and institutions need to take, enumerated here, must be based on solid data and informed judgments.
Descriptors: Postsecondary Education, College Planning, Goal Orientation, Strategic Planning, Educational Resources, Educational Finance, Financial Support, State Aid, Finance Reform, Educational Policy, Program Implementation, Financial Policy, Educational Practices, Educational Change, Change Strategies, Cost Effectiveness, Tuition, Fees, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A