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ERIC Number: ED619542
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Hidden Prices and Higher Tuition: The Case for Transparency in Higher Education Pricing and Advanced Credit
Weinstein, Paul, Jr.; Goodman, Veronica
Progressive Policy Institute
Over the last 30 years, college tuition has skyrocketed. From 1988 to 2018, tuition at public four-year institutions rose 213%. In response to the exponential surge in the cost of higher education, policymakers have focused increasingly on proposals to expand financial aid and loans, and canceling the vast sums of debt that college students have accumulated. The first step to make college more affordable and expand access to more Americans is to increase price transparency about the true cost of college, and ensure prospective students get credit for college-level work they have completed before starting their degree. Presently, students lack the information they need to make smart choices about if and where they should go to college. Colleges and universities are not transparent about the true cost of tuition and fees and are opaque about how much credit (if any) students can earn before enrolling (which in turn can reduce the cost). This paper offers a series of pragmatic steps policymakers could take immediately to curb college costs and borrowing. The federal government should use the leverage of billions in financial support for higher education to increase transparency around tuition price, credit transfers, and acceptances so that students can make more informed decisions around college costs.
Progressive Policy Institute. 600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE Suite 400, Washington, DC 20003. Tel: 202-547-0001; Fax: 202-544-5014; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Progressive Policy Institute
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A