“F” for Affordability

Today, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education released its National Report Card on Higher Education. The report surveyed all of the states, examining several variables, such as participation and preparation.

Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania was given an “F” in affordability for the third time.The chart shows Pennsylvania in red compared to the US in yellow and the median of the best 5 states in blue.

The report states, “Pennsylvania’s investment in need-based financial aid is very high when compared with top performing states. Nonetheless, the share of family income, even after financial aid, needed to pay for college is very large when compared with other states.”

Clearly the current spending system needs to be revamped. Luckily we published a commentary offering some suggestions:

  • tie funding to what it actually costs to educate students (do not allow state aid to be spent on non-academic costs)
  • increase accountability on the student’s end in terms of timely graduation and decent grades
  • focus on teaching instead of research and other non-academic pursuits

Until we hold colleges accountable for the taxpayer funds they receive presidents will continue to ask for more aid and costs will continue to rise. That’s only way to improve accessibility without affecting the quality of education.

For PA’s Complete Report Card click here.

And here for a link to the PDE’s Cost of Higher Education report.