ERIC Number: EJ893005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: N/A
Is Colorado's Voucher System Worth Vouching for?
Prescott, Brian T.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v42 n4 p20-26 Jul-Aug 2010
In 2004 Colorado passed legislation enacting the nation's first voucher-based approach to financing higher education, known as the College Opportunity Fund (COF). The work of an unusual coalition that included higher education leaders, generally conservative policymakers, and others, COF completely replaced the traditional approach of subsidizing public higher education through direct appropriations with a combination of vouchers and "procurement contracts" for educational services. Within and outside of higher education, few believe that COF has increased access or led to more competition among institutions. But despite its shortcomings, there is wide recognition that the policy has been instrumental in breaking the state's beleaguered higher education institutions free from a fiscal and legal tangle that had seemed an imminent threat to their missions. This article reports on the findings of the full-scale evaluation of the COF policy undertaken by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and commissioned by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), which included interviews with key members of the coalition that supported COF's passage and representatives from public institutions, as well as an analysis of enrollment data. (Contains 3 figures.)
Descriptors: Higher Education, Educational Vouchers, Enrollment Trends, Fees, State Aid, Student Financial Aid, Access to Education, Program Effectiveness, Formative Evaluation, Finance Reform, Funding Formulas, Educational Finance
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado