NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED544780
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 43
Abstractor: ERIC
The Economics of Higher Education: A Report Prepared by the Department of the Treasury with the Department of Education
US Department of the Treasury
This report discusses the current state of higher education, with a brief high-level overview of the market and a more detailed discussion and analysis of the financial aid system. It also discusses the important changes President Obama has made to make higher education more accessible and affordable. The key findings are: (1) The economic returns to higher education remain high and provide a pathway for individual economic mobility; (2) Public colleges educate the vast majority of the nation's students enrolled in institutions of higher education, but private, for-profit schools are growing the most rapidly; (3) Historically, society provided a significant subsidy to young people through the widespread availability of inexpensive public higher education. However, over the past several decades, there has been a substantial shift in the overall funding of higher education from state assistance, in the forms of grants and subsidies, to increased tuition borne by students; (4) The Obama Administration has offset some of those increased costs with recent increases in educational support through increased Pell grants and the American Opportunity Tax Credit; and (5) The combination of decreased state subsidies for higher education and increased federal spending on financial aid represents a shift in the responsibility for paying for college toward a greater onus on students, families, and the federal government. This report is divided into four sections. The first section provides a broad overview of the basic characteristics of the market for higher education. The report then discusses the impact of higher education on individual earnings and economic mobility. The next section focuses on cost and access to higher education, including the difference between posted and net tuition. The final section considers the financial aid system and other federal policies related to higher education. The following are appended: (1) Expected Family Contributions; and (2) Distribution of Campus-Based Aid to Schools.
US Deparment of the Treasury. 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20220. Tel: 202-622-2000; Fax: 202-622-6415; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of the Treasury; Department of Education (ED)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009; G I Bill; Morrill Act 1862; Morrill Act 1890; National Defense Education Act; Pell Grant Program; Perkins Loan Program; Race to the Top; Stafford Student Loan Program
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study